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
Hiking has a very noticeable progression. Starting off with day hikes then to backpacking. A few overnight trips later, the idea of going further will start to form. Whether you plan to thru-hike, the idea and progression continues for the next adventure. I followed this same progression and haven’t looked back. After completing a second thru-hike the next step for me was getting into ultra-running, the Pinhoti 100. 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've never gone hiking or have never planned your own hike there are a few things you should know before hitting the trail. The last thing you want is to become a news story about an unprepared hiker who got lost or needed to be rescued. Luckily, preparing for a successful first hike is not rocket science. Just follow these tips and you will be on your way to a great first hike that is safe, fun and memorable. So keep reading, and then get out there and go hiking! Read More
In our current political climate, National Parks, Monuments, and Public Lands that were once protected are now in danger of being opened to mining, drilling, logging, and development. These videos are a powerful reminder of the reasons we preserved these places. Watch them, share them, and most of all contact your elected officials and let them know how important these wild places are. Read More
Seeing a bear in the backcountry can be simultaneously breathtaking and terrifying. We are always hoping for a chance to see a bear from a distance while also hoping to avoid the danger of a close encounter. Over the years we've been given good and bad advice on what to do when we see a bear, like the time our Scout Master threw a rock towards a black bear and told us to drop our packs and run if it charged us (three things you should never do during a bear encounter). While bear attacks happen regularly, the number of attacks is very low in relation to the number of hikers, backpackers, and campers spending time in bear country every year. While it is impossible to completely eliminate bear danger in the backcountry, employing common sense and familiarizing yourself with these bear safety tips and resources will greatly reduce your risk. Read More