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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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5 Tips for Hiking and Backpacking During Your Period

5 Tips for Hiking and Backpacking During Your Period

by Sara Thompson June 01, 2016

Your period can be an uncomfortable experience and the thought of dealing with your it while hiking and backpacking can keep even the most adventurous girl off the trail. With a few tips though, dealing with your period while on a backpacking or camping trip isn't any different then dealing with it at work or school. In fact, according to WebMD, exercise and hiking actually helps reduce the pain and discomfort of cramps.

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Backpacking Recipe - Tortilla Trail Pizza

Backpacking Recipe - Tortilla Trail Pizza

by Austin Campbell May 19, 2016

Tortilla Trail Pizza has been one of our favorite backpacking meals for many years. We first made them on Boy Scout trips, when our cooking skills were limited to Ramen Noodles and Pop Tarts, because they were so easy to make. Tortilla Trail Pizzas are also great for groups or when adventuring with picky eaters, since everyone can create their own pizza with their favorite toppings.

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10 Tips for Hammock Camping

10 Tips for Hammock Camping

by Austin Campbell May 12, 2016

Parachute hammocks have become a popular trend in the hiking, backpacking, and camping communities. If you frequent any outdoor themed Instagram accounts you've probably seen countless photos of hammocks overlooking breathtaking landscapes and been inspired to bring a hammock on your next adventure. Whether you are looking to ditch your tent for a full hammock setup or just bring a hammock hiking to enjoy a relaxing view, this guide to hammock camping has everything you need to setup the perfect backcountry hang. 

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Introducing Big Outdoors

Introducing Big Outdoors

by Lloyd Vogel May 03, 2016

Big Outdoors is an online retailer of outdoor gear and apparel that sells and features companies and products not found at the “big box” stores. Our seasonally curated collections highlight innovative products that are built for both outdoor enthusiasts and professionals.

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No Bake Hippy Balls the Hiking Snack of Champions

No Bake Hippy Balls the Hiking Snack of Champions

by Elisa Rispoli April 14, 2016

Planning a day hike with the family? Here’s a delicious and nutritious treat that will help keep your family moving! Stay away from snacks that are heavy and high in processed sugar. We like to pack healthy and high protein snacks that don’t need any refrigeration…you don’t want to have to carry the extra weight of an ice pack to keep a snack cool!

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10 Tips for Hiking and Backpacking with Your Dog

10 Tips for Hiking and Backpacking with Your Dog

by Austin Campbell April 06, 2016

Most dog breeds love to get outside for a hike, almost as much as they love treats. My dog instantly goes nuts when he sees my daypack or I start loading up my overnight pack. He loves exploring the trails of the Pacific Northwest and sleeping in our tent. If you have a new puppy or your dog hasn't spent much time hiking or backpacking, these are a few tips to make sure you both have an epic and safe day on the trail. 

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How to Make an Ultra Light Backpacking Stove with a Cat Food Can

How to Make an Ultra Light Backpacking Stove with a Cat Food Can

by Austin Campbell March 29, 2016

We love making our own gear. Sometimes DIY hiking and backpacking gear saves us money, sometimes our projects don't turn out, and then sometimes we find a project that works so well we prefer it to our store bought gear. One such project is our cat food can alcohol stove. There are countless variations and tutorials for DIY alcohol stoves, and we have experimented with many of them over the years. This cat food can stove is one of the easiest to build, most durable, and efficient versions we have tested. It works so well and weighs so little, you may ditch your expensive backpacking stove in favor of a cat food can stove on your next adventure. 

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Book Review: A Woman's Guide to the Wild

Book Review: A Woman's Guide to the Wild

by Sara Thompson March 15, 2016

Spring hiking season is just around the corner and a newly published book, A Woman's Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook by Ruby McConnell has everything you need to get ready for a summer full of adventure! I was lucky enough to score an early copy and have been reading it cover to cover this week and dreaming about testing out all of the tips, recipes, and new techniques I've been reading about. 

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Spice Up Your Backpacking Meals with this Dehydrated Sriracha Powder

Spice Up Your Backpacking Meals with this Dehydrated Sriracha Powder

by Austin Campbell March 04, 2016

pring is almost here and we are gearing up for backpacking season with a tutorial on how to turn a heavy bottle of Sriracha into an ultra-light backpacking condiment. We put Sriracha on pretty much every meal, but it's hard to pack a bottle of hot sauce on a backpacking trip. Not only do you add weight to your pack, but if it leaks you are left with a sticky mess that could attract some unwanted friends. For years, we've gotten by with cayenne pepper and red chili flakes, but we recently came up with a new method that allows us to bring the delicious flavor and spice of Sriracha on every backpacking trip.

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The Hiker's Guide to the Ten Essentials

The Hiker's Guide to the Ten Essentials

by Austin Campbell February 22, 2016

Bringing the 10 Essentials on every adventure is something all hikers, backpackers, and adventurers should make second nature. Most day hikes and backpacking trips won't require the use of every item, but having the 10 Essential in your pack when things go south, could be a lifesaver. 

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