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Architecture for One

Mountain Lab: An Interview With Scott McGuire
"As a form of minor architecture," the resulting short article explained, "tents are strangely overlooked. They are portable, temporary, and designed to withstand even the most extreme conditions, but they are usually viewed as simple sporting goods. They are something between a large backpack and outdoor lifestyle gear—certainly not small buildings. But what might an architect learn from the structure and design of a well-made tent?" Amongst the group of people we spoke with that day was outdoor equipment strategist Scott McGuire, an intense, articulate, and highly focused advocate for all things outdoors.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 21, 2014 - 14 comments

Mile 943: Day 44: Toulumne Meadows Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart

Writer Carrot Quinn is walking from Mexico to Canada for the second time. In 2013, she hiked the Pacific Coast Trail (2,663 miles) from Mexico to Canada. [more inside]
posted by Ideefixe on Jun 9, 2014 - 13 comments

RIP: Randy Udall

Randy Udall was the son the late Mo Udall brother of Colorado Senator Mark Udall and cousin of New Mexico Senator Tom Udall. He died of natural causes while hiking to Titcomb Basin in Wyoming. [more inside]
posted by humanfont on Jul 5, 2013 - 10 comments

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Ordinary special elections rarely merit wide attention, but tonight features no ordinary special. Republican Mark Sanford and Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch face off in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District tonight. Sanford, famous for resigning in disgrace after abandoning his state in search of an Argentine mistress while claiming to hike the Appalachian Trail, faces Colbert Busch, sister of Stephen Colbert. Latest polling shows the race within 1 point, with Green Party candidate Eugene Platt potentially playing spoiler. Stretching along five counties on South Carolina's Atlantic coast (PDF), the district is primarily in the mustard-based barbecue sauce region, one of four in the state.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College on May 7, 2013 - 42 comments

Diving in Austria: Grüner See

About 800 meters (a half mile) above sea level is Grüner See (Google maps), or Green Lake, fairly centrally located in Austria. Named for the emerald green color of the lake, which is the setting for nice hiking trails, camping and fishing in the fall and early spring when the water is lowest (Google auto-translate, original Austrian site), and a popular cold water diving location in the late spring through summer as snow melts and increases the water depth up to 12 meters (~ 40 ft), submerging trees for a few months, allowing you to swim around park benches, over hiking trails and past fish (Vimeo | more videos).
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 14, 2012 - 10 comments

Hike the Alps from your computer

Webwandern. Hike the Swiss Alps but don't bother getting out of your chair. Site is in German, but easy to navigate.
posted by zardoz on May 19, 2012 - 13 comments

“He just has some things on his mind he’s trying to work out.”

Why Noah Went to the Woods: He was a proud Marine who survived three ­brutal tours in Iraq and had plans to redeploy with the ­national guard. But when 30-year-old Noah Pippin ­vanished inside Montana’s remote Bob ­Marshall ­Wilderness, he left behind a trail of haunting secrets—and a mystery that may never be solved. "The Pippins were alarmed. Given their son’s strict adherence to his moral code, a scenario in which Noah had intentionally shirked his military duty was nearly inconceivable. After several calls to his phone went straight to voice mail, they began to investigate, discovering that they knew far less about their son than they had imagined."
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 3, 2012 - 46 comments

This is Oregon

This is Oregon [video] showcases the natural beauty found within 90 minutes of Portland.
posted by OverlappingElvis on Apr 24, 2012 - 34 comments

Even damp it looked sticky.

In the spring of 1977, a Lockheed Lodestar crashed into a lake in Yosemite National Park carrying six tons of Mexican marijuana. The US government recovered most of it. Camp Four got the rest. A true stoner fable by Kief Hillsbery. [more inside]
posted by theodolite on Apr 20, 2012 - 12 comments

“You will know how to deal with everything from a tension pneumothorax to torsion of the testes.”

First, Do A Little Less Harm: "As Mark Jenkins knows, wilderness first aid can hurt. (Just ask his patients.) So he finally did what everyone should do: he took a class from real experts." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 17, 2012 - 48 comments

Law and Order: Yellowstone Style

A Death in Yellowstone: On the Trail of a Grizzly Bear. a gripping story and a well written article in Slate, by Jessica Grose. Includes a similarly remarkable photo feature. [more inside]
posted by spitbull on Apr 2, 2012 - 51 comments

Trail View

Nature Valley Trail View is sort of a "street view" for 300 miles of hiking trails in Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Great Smokies National Parks.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 21, 2012 - 8 comments

Murphy Ranch: the faded dreams of a Nazi Shangri La, just outside of Hollywood

About 2 miles into the park... things start to get strange. A forbidding padlocked wrought-iron gate, surrounded by a low lying stone wall sits nestled on the edge of the trail.... Strange rusted debris starts to appear on the side of the paths. What looks like an old water filtration system, broken pieces of farm equipment, half buried sinks, strange concrete slabs with graffiti . A lovely little steam appears and makes delightful background noises, lizards and birds scatter about your feet. And then you see it. A burned-out overgrown concrete building completely covered with graffiti. Cartoon of Hitler? Check. Declaration of undying teenage love? Check.... The bunker of the building is exposed and filled with trash; a metal cage sits menacingly in the corner, and outside a series of stone steps wind up to what seems to have once been a sustenance garden. The steps then continue all the way to the top of the canyon (3,000 steps in all) and ghosts of America Nazis patrolling the wilds fill your head. Baby, we aren't at the Grove anymore... We are at the Los Angeles Nazi Compound! Well, it's actually the ruins of a small community built by Nazi sympathizers, in the hills outside of greater Los Angeles. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 19, 2012 - 50 comments

Ghost town of Bald Mountain

Doodletown, NY, from the Dutch "dood dal" meaning "dead valley" a ghost town since the 1960s, lies just an hour north of New York City in Bear Mountain State Park [more inside]
posted by aloiv2 on Mar 14, 2012 - 9 comments

American Discovery Trail in 66 YouTube episodes

For the past month or so I've been daily watching YouTube episodes about Mike "LionKing"'s 2008 hike across the USA on the American Discovery Trail. There are 66 episodes (4-8 min ea) which is a lot and probably difficult to absorb in a sitting or day, but if you spread it out, you'll get the impression a long haul experience from Delaware to California, w/out the sore feet. He is the first to hike the entire trail non-stop, including both parts of the mid-country loop.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 30, 2010 - 9 comments

Hike the Appalachian Trail to Morocco

The Appalachian Trail, beyond Mount Katahdin. Way beyond. The Appalachian Trail runs from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine. The International Appalachian Trail goes much further. Beginning at the northern terminus of the AT, it stretches through Canada, across the ridge of mountains formed during the continental collision that created the Pangaean continent, as far around as Morocco. The Eastern Continental Trail includes all of the AT and IAT in North America, plus an extension south to Florida.
posted by rmd1023 on Aug 2, 2010 - 17 comments

The First Thru-HIker

In 1948, WWII veteran Earl Shaffer decided to "walk the Army out of his system" by hiking the full length of the Appalachian Trail, Georgia to Maine, in one season. At the time, no one had attempted it, and the Appalachian Trail Conference didn't think it could be done. Not only did he complete it, setting the standard for generations of thru-hikers to follow, but he did the walk twice more in his life, the last time at the age of 79.
posted by Miko on Jul 21, 2009 - 36 comments

How To Find Yourself In One Easy Step

Approximately two years ago, James Kim died after he and his family were stranded, snowbound, in their car on the Oregon coast (Previously, previously, and (selflink) previously). But what if he'd had a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)? [more inside]
posted by scrump on Oct 30, 2008 - 36 comments

"We were on our own resources and we knew it. And that's what this business is all about."

So you've finished hiking the Appalachian Trail, just came down from Mount Katahdin, and you're wondering what to do now. Well, there's always the International AT, which goes through the Chic-Choc Mountains on the Gaspé Peninsula before crossing over to Newfoundland. Then you'd have hiked the tallest mountains in Quebec, right? Wrong. 800 miles to the north, on the border of Quebec and Newfoundland, lie the Torngats. [more inside]
posted by A dead Quaker on Oct 14, 2008 - 10 comments

A Beautiful Place to Die

"STOP. The area ahead has the worst weather in America. Many have died there from exposure, even in the summer. Turn back now if the weather is bad."

A Boston Globe piece on the White Mountain National Forest, the common disregard for danger of those who hike in it, and the people who often go and get them when things go wrong.
posted by rollbiz on Aug 15, 2008 - 44 comments

Colin Fletcher, RIP

Colin Fletcher, hiker and author of The Thousand Mile Summer, The Man Who Walked Through Time, and The Complete Walker series, has died at age 85. LA Times obit.
posted by mosk on Jun 23, 2007 - 19 comments

Bikes + GPS + Geeks = MTBGuru

MTBGuru is a new site that enables bikers, hikers and runners to upload GPS info, along with photos and comments, from their routes that get mashed up with Google Maps to create an ever-expanding trail resource. Mostly Bay Area now but that is changing.
posted by fenriq on Nov 29, 2006 - 9 comments

Never Hug a Swiss Cow

Keep your distance. Avoid eye contact. And even if it looks cute, never hug a Swiss cow. With helpful warning poster (PDF).
posted by mr_crash_davis on Aug 29, 2006 - 41 comments

a woman alone on the appalachian trail

"It’s a cliché among hikers that there are as many ways to hike the trail as there are people who hike it. Most start at Springer Mountain in Georgia and end at Katahdin in Maine; a few start in Maine and head south. Purists walk every 2,167.1 miles of the trail marked by white rectangular blazes painted on the trees. Blue blazers take short cuts on side trails marked with blue. Yellow blazers hitchhike ahead along roads. And then there are the pink blazers. Pink blazers pursue women."
posted by jessamyn on Aug 28, 2006 - 155 comments

To think I can walk, but don't get up to change the channel

Wheelchair mountaineering: stunning ascents by the seemingly disabled.
posted by mek on Mar 2, 2006 - 13 comments

Trail Season

It's that time of year - time for thru-hikers to start the Appalachian Trail! Last year, over 1700 hikers started the hike with only 352 completing the 2,200 mile walk from Springer Mtn, Georgia to Katahdin, Maine. Given that walking the AT takes about six months, most hikers start in March and April so they can finish before winter sets in. With town spread out along the trail, many hikers keep online journals - probably some of the few blogs where what you had for breakfast and what the weather was like make for interesting topics.
posted by borkus on Feb 29, 2004 - 23 comments

Let your feet do the walking!

"We're walking from Chicago to San Francisco. Many have responded with, "You guys are stupid!" Some, on the other hand, have said, "Wow, that's cool!" Either way, we hope you'll keep coming back to see what will happen next in our walking adventures."
Current mileage, photo galleries, and journal entries abound -- and really, when was the last time you walked 627 miles (inside of 60 days)?
posted by wells on Jul 24, 2003 - 20 comments

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