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THE MOUNTAINS ARE CALLING

THE CLOUDLINE HIKING & BACKPACKING BLOG

Event Series: Thru-Hiking Te Araroa in New Zealand

Event Series: Thru-Hiking Te Araroa in New Zealand

by Austin Campbell March 17, 2017

CloudLine ambassadors Justin and Patrice Lavigne live a life less ordinary. They are constantly doing what they love and that involves adventures like thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2011, living in their van for months at a time, spending the summer guiding kids on outdoor adventures at summer camps, writing for Backpacker's Magazine, and in 2015 they thru-hiked New Zealand's long trail, Te Araroa. 

Beginning May 1st, 2017 the Lavigne's will be hitting the road in their camper van to speak about their thru-hike of Te Araroa at 31 events across the country. 

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11 Books About Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail that Aren't "Wild"

11 Books About Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail that Aren't "Wild"

by Austin Campbell March 02, 2017

Whether you are currently prepping for a 2017 thru-hike or just dreaming about someday checking the PCT off your bucket list, we've collected 11 books about the Pacific Crest Trail to add to your reading list. The PCT runs 2650 miles from Mexico to Canada and draws thousands of hikers for day hikes and thru-hikes each year. If you read Wild by Cheryl Strayed and loved it then these lesser known books about the Pacific Crest Trail will be right up your alley. Pick a couple or read all 11, and then at least go for a day hike on the PCT this summer or start planning your future thru-hike!

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Six Washington State Parks Worth Checking Out

Six Washington State Parks Worth Checking Out

by Brandon & Stacy from Pacific North Wanderers February 15, 2017

With well over 100 state parks in Washington, there’s always something to explore without traveling too far from home. The state’s many parks are located on the coast, in the mountains, on islands, and far out east. Many of the parks offer a range of activities from camping to hiking to exploring old bunkers when the park was once a fort. We’ve put together a list of our six favorite parks to visit.

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5 Reasons You'll Love Joining an Indoor Climbing Gym

5 Reasons You'll Love Joining an Indoor Climbing Gym

by Austin Campbell February 10, 2017

The number of climbing gyms in North America has exploded since Seattle's Vertical World opened in 1987. As indoor climbing grew in popularity, gyms went from flat brick walls in drafty warehouses, to world class training gyms that offer intricate climbing walls, weights, aerobic equipment, yoga, and more. If you aren't a climber but love the outdoors, there's never been a better time to trade in your traditional gym for a climbing gym membership. 

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5 Ways to Prepare for a Successful Thru-Hike

5 Ways to Prepare for a Successful Thru-Hike

by Logan & Morgan from Trail Mix for Newlyweds January 25, 2017

The decision to thru-hike the Appalachian was initially an extremely overwhelming path to travel for us. Not only did outsiders begin bombarding us with a plethora of questions, our own minds seemed to be swimming in the thought of how much knowledge we’d have to acquire before a thru-hike was even a plausible feat. Let me tell ya, it is incredibly easy to let your mind wander tirelessly down a trail of daunting thoughts at first.

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Five Exercises to Help Prepare for Your Next Hiking or Backpacking Trip

Five Exercises to Help Prepare for Your Next Hiking or Backpacking Trip

by Katelyn Sepmoree January 22, 2017

Hello everyone, my name is Katelyn Sepmoree. I am a professional golfer who likes to do some recreational hiking on the side. Like with golf there are specific exercises that will be beneficial in training for your next time on the trail.

First, the best way to prepare for a backpacking trip is, of course, backpacking. However, here is a list of 5 exercises you can do in a gym to get you ready to hit the trail.

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Backpacking Recipe: Dehydrated Red Curry Lentil Soup

Backpacking Recipe: Dehydrated Red Curry Lentil Soup

by Austin Campbell January 18, 2017

Making your own dehydrated backpacking meals is a great alternative to brand name freeze dried meals and this is one of my favorite. I first started making variations of this red curry lentil soup in college and it has been a regular meal on and off the trail since then. Best of all, it can be made vegan / vegetarian friendly by substituting vegetable stock.

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5 Reasons to Apply for a Big Outdoors Thru Hiker Sponsorship

5 Reasons to Apply for a Big Outdoors Thru Hiker Sponsorship

by Austin Campbell January 10, 2017

A thru hike is a huge undertaking and our friends at Big Outdoors are launching a sponsorship program to help 12 lucky hikers outfit their 2017 thru hikes. If you are planning to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, or Appalachian Trail this year, then head over to Big Outdoors and fill out their quick and painless sponsorship application by Monday, January 23rd. And if you aren't already convinced you should apply, here are 5 reasons to partner with Big Outdoors for your 2017 thru hike.

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7 Ways to Fill the New Year with Epic Adventures

7 Ways to Fill the New Year with Epic Adventures

by Austin Campbell January 05, 2017

The new year is here and 2017 is already off to an adventurous start. This year we didn't make a new year's resolution. To be honest, we never stick to our resolutions anyways. In place of a resolution, we've committed to 7 ways we want to fill the new year with epic adventures. Check them out below and we hope a few of them will inspire you to have an adventurous new year!

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Eat Well on the Trail with these Backpacking Meal Hacks

Eat Well on the Trail with these Backpacking Meal Hacks

by Melissa Lynn Lieser December 01, 2016

After a few days in the backcountry eating a steady rotation of the same meals, we are all looking to change things up a bit, right? With a little planning and carrying a few extra ingredients, there are so many fun ways to change up typical backpacking meals. Frequently, adding a little something increases the amount of the food so that there is enough for another friend or two. It can also up the nutritional value of the meal, giving you an extra boost after a long day. Or maybe you just want to change the dish a little because you’ve eaten it a few times in the past few days. Either way, here are some of my favorites.

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A Day on the Trail: Hiking Mt Rincon

A Day on the Trail: Hiking Mt Rincon

by Warren Maddox November 28, 2016

4:30 a.m. wake up call. 4 liters of water. 4 good friends. 1 hour drive. Bumpy back roads. Mountain views for breakfast. Cows, cows everywhere. MOO…OOOOVE.

The stoke is high as we begin our hike, running through the wash and bouncing over the rocky terrain deep in the mountain valley. Mt. Rincon towers in the distance. The cold morning air burns my nose and lungs. Hit the incline, pace is naturally slowed. Set the cruise control.

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Holiday Gift Guide: 76 Gift Ideas for Hikers, Campers, and Outdoor Adventurers

Holiday Gift Guide: 76 Gift Ideas for Hikers, Campers, and Outdoor Adventurers

by Austin Campbell November 22, 2016

Finding the perfect gift is hard, but don't worry we've made it easy by handpicking the best gear of the season. Browse the whole list or use the links below to jump to categories for Men, Women, Hiking, Skiing and more.

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How to Make an Insulated Backpacking Meal Cozy

How to Make an Insulated Backpacking Meal Cozy

by Austin Campbell November 11, 2016

It happens to the best of us. You spend a long day hiking with a full pack and when you get to camp you're starving. You quickly prepare your dehydrated backpacking meal and when you dig into your first bite you find it's still crunchy. Maybe you didn't let your water reach a full boil, or maybe you didn't wait the 10-20 minutes most meals suggest, but either way it's too late now so you crunch your way through it. A great way to speed up the rehydration of your backpacking meals is to buy or make an insulated cozy that will hold the heat in so your meal rehydrates faster and stays warmer longer. 

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Going Solo: Tips for Safely Hiking Alone

Going Solo: Tips for Safely Hiking Alone

by Austin Campbell October 28, 2016

Hiking alone can be peaceful and the perfect way to spend some quality time with yourself. Hiking alone can also be terrifying. Is that a cougar stalking me? Is that bearded dude hiking towards me dangerous? And what about Bigfoot? Don't worry those fears are mostly just in your head (except for Bigfoot) and taking a solo hike has some major advantages. You won't need to worry about that friend that's never on time, or waiting at the top of every switch back for a slow hiking partner, and you get to be fully in charge of the adventure you have. While hiking alone isn't as safe as using the buddy system and hiking with a friend, there are a few simple things you can do to have an epic solo adventure.

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12 Inspiring John Muir Quotes for Hikers and Backpackers

12 Inspiring John Muir Quotes for Hikers and Backpackers

by Austin Campbell October 25, 2016

John Muir is arguably one of the greatest adventurers in history. He was an author, philosopher, naturalist, inventor and of course a hiker. His efforts helped preserve Yosemite National Park and start the Sierra Club, and his writings continue to inspire new generations to get outside and experience nature through hiking and backpacking. Today we've gathered 12 of our favorite John Muir quotes, and we hope they will inspire you to plan your next adventure!

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6 Reasons Merino Wool Makes the Best Hiking and Running Socks

6 Reasons Merino Wool Makes the Best Hiking and Running Socks

by Austin Campbell October 13, 2016

Merino wool is an amazing natural fiber that comes from, you guessed it, Merino Sheep. If you're thinking to yourself, "yeah I've worn wool before and it was the itchiest experience of my life" then you had the misfortune of wearing a cheap pair of regular wool socks. Merino wool has extremely fine fibers compared to other breeds of sheep which makes merino incredibly soft and itch free in comparison. On top of being itch-free merino also has a long list of natural properties that truly make it a high-performance material.

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11 Tips for Hiking and Backpacking in the Rain

11 Tips for Hiking and Backpacking in the Rain

by Austin Campbell October 07, 2016

A rainy day doesn't need to keep you off the trail. With the proper preparation and gear hiking in the rain can be just as enjoyable as a clear day, just a little muddier. When it's raining you'll have popular trails, that you usually avoid because of the crowds, all to yourself. CloudLine is based in Seattle so we have spent many days testing hiking socks in the rain and over the years we've discovered 11 tricks that make sure we have a great day on the trail rain or shine.

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Alaska Adventures

Alaska Adventures

by Patrice La Vigne September 27, 2016

“Is it raining out?” Ryan, our 13-year-old nephew bellows from his sleeping bag. “I heard dripping on the tent all night and it still sounds like it is raining.”

For Justin and I, who have built a life around the outdoors and have hiked more than 12,000 miles together, walking in the rain comes with the territory. But, for our Gen Z nephew who finds walking home from the bus stop a chore, this could be a catastrophe.

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5 Knots Every Hiker and Backpacker Should Know

5 Knots Every Hiker and Backpacker Should Know

by Austin Campbell September 15, 2016

The right knot can be a life saver when you run into the unexpected in the backcountry. So if a granny knot is your go-to knot for every situation, it's time to upgrade your knot skills with these knots every hiker and backpacker should know. The 5 knots below are perfect for attaching loads to your pack, tensioning a rainfly, securely connecting two ropes, rescue lines and more. Best of all we've embedded Youtube tutorials from Backpacker Magazine's Knot School Series so learning each knot is as clear as possible.

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11 Best National Parks for Fall Hiking

11 Best National Parks for Fall Hiking

by Austin Campbell September 09, 2016

Fall is just around the corner, and we have been busy planning hikes in some of our favorite National Parks to enjoy the Autumn colors. Aside from the beautiful foliage, Fall means fewer crowds, and cooler temperatures perfect for hiking. We wish we could visit every park but Fall is short, so we've put 11 National Parks on our Fall hiking bucket list. Check out our picks below and start planning your Fall adventures in our National Parks. 

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6 Ways to Purify Water While Backpacking and Hiking

6 Ways to Purify Water While Backpacking and Hiking

by Austin Campbell September 01, 2016

A long hike or multi-day backpacking trip requires plenty of hydration and unless you want to weigh down your pack with water you should plan on bringing a water filtration or purification method. The options for purifying water in the backcountry have never been lighter or easier with solutions ranging from ultra light squeeze filters to high tech UV purifiers. Here we will look at 6 popular options for purifying water on the trail, so you can keep hydrated and happy on your next hiking or backpacking trip.

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National Geographic Just Made it Easy to Find Free Topo Maps for Your Next Hike

National Geographic Just Made it Easy to Find Free Topo Maps for Your Next Hike

by Austin Campbell August 10, 2016

The first item on the updated 10 Essentials list is navigation, yet many hikers explore new trails without bringing a map. Luckily, National Geographic just made it easy to make sure you have a map for every hike with their free printable PDF USGS Topo Map site. USGS Topo Maps have long been available for free online, but it was hard to find the map you needed, and they were a pain to print because they weren't sized to print on a standard printer. National Geographic just solved both of these complaints with their new easy to navigate website. And as an added bonus they have upgraded each USGS map with hillshadding, to help adventurers better visualize the terrain they will be hiking in.

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Hiking Recipe: How to Make Easy Homemade Beef Jerky

Hiking Recipe: How to Make Easy Homemade Beef Jerky

by Austin Campbell August 04, 2016

Today we are making one of the most ubiquitous hiking snacks around: delicious beef jerky. Making your own beef jerky beats store-bought jerky hands down because you can select the highest quality cut of meat and you can experiment with your favorite flavors to come up with a snack that is uniquely yours. Best of all making your own jerky can be easy with a few simple tricks we will explain in this recipe. 

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How to Make a Tin Can Wood Gas Backpacking Stove

How to Make a Tin Can Wood Gas Backpacking Stove

by Austin Campbell July 26, 2016

Todays MYOG project is an ultra light backpacking wood gas stove that can be made with a few leftover tin cans and fueled with pinecones and twigs. A wood gas stove is designed in a way that cool air enters from the bottom and is heated as it channels towards the top and mixes with gases from the combustion and ignites them, to create a super efficient burn. And one of the best parts of this design is you never have to worry about packing fuel because you can find twigs, pinecones, and other fuel anywhere.   

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