Have you ever passed a hiker on the trail who looked prepared to summit K2 at any moment? I know I have, even on easy trails with the city in clear visibility. I have also watched as tourists in sandals and business casual attire embarked into the Grand Canyon, armed with Venti Starbucks drinks instead of water.
It can seem difficult to strike balance between overconcern and under preparation. That line was blurry to me when I began hiking alone, often resulting in me placing myself in needlessly uncomfortable and unsafe situations. What seemed missing was a description of the necessities of safe hiking, presented with reason and practicality for the beginner hiker in mind.
Every year, fall slips in without a warning. I realize that the days are shorter, the mornings are crisp, and suddenly I find changing colors all around. In fall, midday temperatures are perfect for hiking and backpacking. A wonderland of new shades and patterns reveals itself, even in places you have visited all year long. The bugs regress to wherever bugs regress to, and colorful birds come out. Here in Colorado, the sound of bugling elk adds to the fall wilderness experience. Read More
Hiking... it is both calming and energizing. It is when I often feel most free. It can be whatever you want it to be- thoughtful or meditative, relaxing or challenging. It is a way to connect with the natural world, with others, and with yourself. It makes you more appreciative, and helps you understand your relative size. You discover beautiful things on every trail. It is one of the healthiest and most refreshing activities available.
Chill bumps bristled on my arms. Gazing out over snow-tipped peaks, I felt torn. After hiking one of my first of Colorado’s 14ers, I wanted to remain in the breathtaking landscape surrounding me. I had entered another world, one that only existed above the clouds. I longed to linger there, but I was growing colder and colder with every breath. My mind clung to the chill as I shivered. It was summer. While others sported short sleeves and light jackets, I was swimming in multiple layers with gloves, a Buff, and ear warmers all haphazardly pulled on, looking like the whip cream and a cherry atop an icy sundae. Read More
When most people think about camping one of the first things to come to mind is the campfire. A fire not only provides warmth and a place to cook and roast s'mores but also a gathering place for friends and family. Here we'll cover the basics of fire safety, wood gathering, building, and lighting a fire so you can impress everyone with your outdoor skills on your next campout. Read More
3D printing brings endless possibilities for MYOG and ultralight backpacking enthusiasts. If you have the skills you can create your own gear, or you can search online for open-source designs that are ready to print. 3d printing can also be useful for repairing and extending the life of your gear - think replacement buckles, new nobs for your old stove etc. If you don't have your own 3D printer you can have designs printed with online services, students can often print designs at school, and many cities have maker communities where you can rent time on 3D printers. Read More
As a Seattle based company, everyone at CloudLine has a favorite option for their camp coffee. Whether you insist on grinding fresh beans every time or you're looking for the lightest and quickest way to brew a cup of joe, here we've gathered the team's favorite backcountry java options for taste, convenience, and pack weight. Read More
Finding a meaningful gift is a challenge, so we've made it easy by picking useful and unique gift ideas for your favorite hiker. Browse the whole list or use the links below to jump to categories for Men, Women, Hiking, Backpacking, and Camping. Read More
Hiking seems to be a divisive issue. For some people, it seems like nothing could be simpler – they seem to glide up mountains and through deserts with no effort and nothing but a smile on their face. For the rest of us, it may not come so easily. For those who are just getting started, the technicalities in the hiking world can seem like Latin, and even small hikes can feel like treks through the Mojave. Learning any sport takes time, and no matter how experienced you are, there are always new things to learn. In this article, we’ll go over five simple tips for hikers of all levels to make their trips more comfortable – no matter where they go. Read More
When your short hikes are breezy 10-milers, and you rack up 30+ miles each and every weekend, you tend to get picky about what you put on your feet. After years of hiking and backpacking, I’ve fallen into the category of the foot-care superstitious, as though the ingredients for keeping my toes dry were some mysterious witches brew that could not be altered for any reason. Though I often have my doubts about new trends that enter the hiking and trail running world, I’d been curious to try compression socks for quite some time. When CloudLine Apparel sent me a pair of their finest in backcountry-blue, I knew I had to give them a go! Read More
A sharp knife can be one of the most useful tools in your pack or pocket. Along with always wearing our CloudLine hiking socks, we always carry a knife when we are hiking and backpacking. A good blade comes in handy for everything from food prep to survival and is an important item on the 10 Essentials list. Whether you are looking for a pocket knife for everyday carry or just for the trail we've rounded up our favorite options for everyone from ultra-light backpackers to day hikers. Read More
If you are feeling adventurous and want to make your own meal for your next backpacking trip this Pad Thai recipe is a great place to start. It doesn't take much prep work at home and is fairly easy to prepare on the trail and is delicious. A few of the ingredients can be difficult to find at local grocery stores but can easily be found on Amazon with free shipping and can be used for other backpacking recipes as well. Best of all because we won't be using traditional fish sauce, you can easily keep this recipe vegetarian-friendly by omitting the chicken. Read More