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Laurel Nelson

As the weather warms in the spring, river flows increase and a whole new world opens up for exploration. Rafting is an accessible adventure option that allows you to explore remote places from a unique perspective. There is nothing better than looking up at huge canyon walls dwarfing your boat. You are able to get away from the crowds, bond with your small group, and really feel like you are one with nature, but without having to rough it too much. There are many ways to venture into the boating world, from kayaks to stand-up paddleboards to rafts. There are [...]

Connor Johnson

Being adequately prepared and equipped can easily make or break an all-day trail ride. What you bring along in your pack depends on the weather, the trail, and the length of time you plan to be out on the trails.  I’ll break down the essentials you should have with you on extended (4-6 hour) rides. Gear Spare Tubes or a Patch Kit Even if you’ve gone tubeless, I usually have at least one tube and patch kit in my pack on a long ride. It’s a little quicker and easier to replace a tube than patching a tube on the trail. If [...]

Andrew Bisharat

At some point in the course of climbing’s history, the idea equating tighter shoes with higher performance became a truth as unassailable as the granite of El Cap. The culture of tight shoes took hold in the community, persuading generation upon generation to perpetuate this masochistic ritual of binding one’s feet in painfully tight shackles of rubber and leather, pushing through the discomfort, and later raving about how much “fun” climbing is. My feet have actually shrunk a whole size after nearly 15 years of crunching my little piggies into the tightest-fitting climbing shoes I could stand. I was as [...]

Pace Measom

Whether at home or camp, eating well is an essential component of good living. It’s time to throw the burnt hot dogs and ramen out the window. Use these five tips to take your next camp meal to an entirely new level—your friends will thank you. 1) Prep it at Home Cooking food in camp is fun, prepping food in camp—not so much. Anyone who has ever tried to dice vegetables on a tiny cutting board placed on their lap knows what I’m talking about. One of the easiest things you can do to cook an elevated camp meal (and [...]

Pace Measom

For us, mountain towns don’t get any better than Park City, Utah. The powder skiing, Western heritage, and small-town feel with big-city style have a way of inspiring the creation of great brands. Founded twenty years ago by two Park City ski bums, Backcountry.com is counted among them. To introduce Basin and Range, the latest creation inspired by Park City, we shot the clothing on location at the new High West whiskey distillery at Blue Sky Ranch, another great Park City establishment. Featuring Utah’s first legal distillery since 1870, High West has been breaking some serious trail―we can get behind [...]

Elliott Woods

In Bozeman, we think it’s just plain ridiculous that après season ends in some towns when the ski lifts stop rolling. Our après season extends well into summer. Actually, it’s pretty much year-round, though the time of après changes based on available sunlight. Après fishing, après mountain biking, après rafting, après elk bratwursts—there’s an après for just about everything. Our breweries have long been trusted to wash away the soreness in our legs after a powder day at Bridger Bowl or a long ride on the Bangtail Divide, but there’s a newcomer to the Bozeman après scene—craft booze. Montana is [...]

Elliott Woods

Skinning through the timber above the creek that leads to Astral Lake in Montana’s Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, you catch glimpses of mouth-watering pillow lines and wide-open bowls of untracked cold smoke powder. Film by Greg Cairns / Photos by Elliott Woods Sunrise over the Beartooths, seen from the Mt. Zimmer Yurt. You’re surrounded on all sides by lines that would make just about anyone want to quit their job and find a dishwashing job in the closest town. The good news—or bad news, if you’re seriously considering becoming a dishwasher—is that the closest town, Cooke City, on Yellowstone National Park’s northeastern [...]

Jimmy Elam

The faster you can recover from a workout, the sooner you can train again. And generally, the more you can train, the better you’ll get. To achieve this end, many athletes and weekend warriors are turning to compression clothing as an aid to better training training and faster recovery. But, what is compression clothing? And how does it work? Benefits of Compression Garments Depending on who you ask, compression garments make a huge difference, or they’re just really tight underwear. Some controlled studies have yielded interesting results, while others are completely inconclusive. Overall, though, most people can agree on the [...]

Kyle Livingston

More than 60 years ago, Jack O’Neill, a northern California surfer, opened up a surf shop in Santa Cruz and began selling his creations: the first neoprene surfing wetsuits. Surfers and water-sport aficionados around the world can thank him for extending their seasons beyond a few short months of summer and their range of surf spots outside of balmy beaches. Wetsuits enable us to enjoy our favorite sports in colder waters by keeping our core body temperature above 95 degrees Fahrenheit and preventing hypothermia. From scuba divers to triathletes to surfers to freshwater rafters and kayakers, there are many outdoor [...]

Jeff Catalano

Your friend just dragged you to the climbing gym where you schlepped your way up some chunks of plastic. Now you’re hooked, and already looking forward to taking your new love outside. When you got home, you and your raw, painful hands typed “rock climbing” into the Google machine and you immediately got overwhelmed. Don’t worry; we’ve all been there. There are so many styles of climbing out there, not to mention so much lingo that it’s easy to get lost. Below you’ll find a breakdown to get you started. Climbing without a Rope Bouldering Backcountry Employees Diana Jenson and [...]

Kim Havell

Last November, Jackson Hole Ski Patroller Pete Linn and I traveled to Peru to explore the Salkantay Trail (ST), an alternate route to the popular and crowded Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. As guides ourselves, we opted to do the trip without an outfitter to have the freedom to move on our terms. It was a last-minute decision, so we only had a couple of weeks of planning and preparation before we found ourselves in Peru, ready to embark on adventure. Part 1: Packing for Purpose Part 2: The Trek We had flown from Lima to Cusco, spent two nights [...]

Adam W. Chase

Fair warning: I have a running shoe fetish. There is a reason I am known among my friends as the “Shoemelier” and the “Imelda of Running.” As a gear editor for a number of publications, I’ve had the chance to test more than a thousand running shoes over the years, which probably hasn’t helped. That being said, I still believe that there are very good reasons why you too should have your own ‘quiver’ (in sporting parlance, a collection of different types of a piece of sporting equipment) of running shoes. A die-hard skier has her quiver. It includes powder [...]

Andrew McLean

Skiing in the dark is hardly a new idea. In the Pacific Northwest, night skiing at the resorts—in the rain, no less—can almost be as crowded as skiing during the day. As a means of approach, climbers have been getting “alpine starts” at midnight and skinning through the dark to ensure they beat the sun to their climbing objectives for generations. Avalanche forecasters and snow safety patrollers routinely start work hours before sunrise and the crowds show up. And of course, there is always the most popular form of skiing in the dark—by accidentally getting lost in the mountains and [...]

rory bosio

I’ve run dozens of ultra marathons, ranging from 30 to 100 miles. How many regular road marathons have I done? Zero. While having marathon experience is great for making the transition to ultras, it isn’t required. I did my first ultra on a whim and have been hooked to it ever since. For a lot of people, though, getting started is hard. Here are eight tips to help you take the leap: 1. Develop a Training Plan If you’re overwhelmed by the very idea of running 100 miles, let alone putting a training plan together, turn to the internet. It [...]

Catherine Greenwald

Day three of your ski trip finds you near-crippled with pain and exhaustion, barely able to strap on the boots and clomp up to the lift. And although your body is screaming for you to stop, you press on—it’s your big ski trip of the year, and you want to make the most of it. Or you’re on vacation with people to whom you have something to prove (still got it!) and don’t want to slow the group down or miss out. But skiing when you’re stiff and sore just isn’t as fun. Worse, it may lead to injury when [...]

Kim Havell

Three weeks before I was due to go to Antarctica for my third trip to ski-guide for Ice Axe Expeditions last fall, my plans fell through thanks to last-minute guest changes. I was still itching to go somewhere, so I turned my focus to a new project. The goals were to find an adventure, check out new mountains, do some ski reconnaissance, and embrace and enjoy a new culture. My partner, Jackson Hole Ski Patroller Pete Linn, and I honed in on Peru, and then quickly found the perfect challenge. National Geographic lists the Salkantay Trail (ST) as one of [...]

Camille Barile

On your next backpacking trip, why would you choose to lumber along like a weighed-down pack mule when you could spring up the trail like a mountain lion? When it comes to hefting a backpack during multi-day treks over rugged terrain, cutting total weight to below 20 pounds for weekend excursions and below 30 pounds for anything longer brings a slew of benefits. A lightweight or ultralight load means fewer blisters, aches, and pains, and makes it possible to hike in lightweight trail running shoes rather than heavier hiking boots (a pound added to the foot is equivalent to five [...]

Geoff Conner

Silverton, CO is a small mining town nestled away in southwestern Colorado. Located in the San Juan Mountains, this town gets its fair share of snow, to say the least. The silver-mining industry eventually slowed, and in 2002 two visionary skiers decided to open up a ski area, not a resort—Jen and Aaron Brill put in one two-person lift to access some of the best snow and terrain the contiguous 48 states have to offer—and we all hope it stays like that. Getting Settled Our drive took us from Salt Lake through Grand Junction and 120 miles beyond, with the [...]

Casey Glaubman

Ouray, like so many mountain towns, started out as a mining town. Though there’s still plenty of mining around, today Ouray is known more for the outdoor recreation it has to offer than the precious metals pulled from beneath. Anyone with a passion for the outdoors, from hiking to skiing, will find something to love about this place. In the winter however, this town is all about two things: ice climbing and soaking in hot springs. Ouray is home to one of, if not the largest, manmade ice climbing areas in North America. The park is owned and operated jointly by the [...]

Benjamin Goforth

A pair of stylish sunnies might make a fashion statement around town, at the beach, or on the deck of an après-ski bar, but they are also are absolute necessity for many active pursuits. Primarily, they serve the vital function of protecting your eyes from UV rays. Like your skin, your eyes can also literally get sunburned; specifically, your corneas (the transparent ‘shield’ at the front of your eye that covers all of the important bits behind it) are at the highest risk. And since these kinds of sunburns are essentially irreparable, you’ll want to try to protect your eyes [...]

Pace Measom

Having the right avalanche safety gear—and the know-how to use it—is critical before heading into the backcountry. Learn how to choose the beacon, shovel, probe, and airbag pack that are right for you. Beacons Avalanche beacons, also known as transceivers, are essential for both transmitting your own location as well as finding others buried in the snow. Today’s digital avalanche beacons are easier and faster to use than ever before. Get one, practice like your life depends on it, and then do everything in your power to keep from having to use it. A beacon does not have to have [...]

Skratch Labs

The new Feed Zone Table cookbook by Skratch Labs founder Alan Lim and Chef Biju Thomas picks up where their Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables left off. Inspired by feedback from these books, they created a new set of recipes that are simple, healthy, and nutritious. But it goes beyond the food, to the way cooking and eating well can bring people together. As they say in the book’s forward: “We’ve always believed that physical activity and sport are central to our individual and cultural health. More important, we know that proper nutrition is fundamental to supporting an [...]

Pace Measom

In cold weather, the trick to staying warm is layering with the right insulation, and not all insulation is created equal. While the type of jacket you need has a lot to do with the activity you’ll be doing, learning a few basics about the different types of insulation, and waterproof technologies, will go a long way in choosing the insulated jacket best suited to your needs. Down or Synthetic? There are two main types of insulation used in jackets: down and synthetic. Both have specific strengths and weaknesses, making each superior in certain situations. Regardless of the type of [...]

Adam Riser

Everything went wrong. You misread the snow conditions and the first one to drop triggered a massive slide. The whole crew watched as closely as they could, but you lost sight of your friend and don’t have a clue where he is. This is the moment you’ve feared (and prepared for) since the day you started backcountry skiing. You unzip your jacket, pull your beacon from its chest pouch, switch it to receive, and begin one of the scariest things you’ll ever do in your life. This is what will happen during those hour-long minutes … Transmitting Any beacon made [...]

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