Five Best Free Activities in Denver

Denver, CO

The mornings are growing cooler and the kids have packed up their backpacks and headed to school. However, that doesn’t mean that summer is completely gone! There is still time to nab a few fun weekends in the sun before the snow begins to fall, and we’re here to help. Read on for some favorite Denver activities that will keep your family smiling and your wallet happy. Red Rocks Amphitheater Sure, the concert tickets may be pricey but visiting the renowned venue is free! Red Rocks is located west of Denver in the small town of Morrison. Dozens of trails […]

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Epic Micro Adventures – What to do when plans fail

packrafting adventures

Life doesn’t always cooperate with one’s adventure goals, so when your multi-day adventure plans fail what do you do? You take those big plans and you create an EPIC Micro Adventure. A few months ago, I wrote an article on how to fill your life with adventures, not dreams, and since then a lot of my own adventure plans had to be sidelined by a series of obstacles. Our house was broken into and all our family time was taken up between fixing the damage and moving everyone across to the new place. I was starting to feel defeated as […]

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What Type of Outdoor Adventurer Are You?

Outdoor Adventurer Quiz

You love the outdoors, you’re up for an adventure from time to time but do you really know what type of outdoor adventurer you are? Take this quick quiz to find out.   1. Packing for a camping trip, you’d never forget to bring: A. A hotel room key. B. A big tent, camp chair and hiking boots. C. A map and compass so you can explore. D. Flint and Steel (because lighters and matches are for newbies). 2. You hop on your bicycle because: A. Your car won’t start. B. It’s a nice day and the paved bike path […]

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How to Ride a Bike in a Paceline

Cycling tips

Solo rides are awesome. The wind in my face, watching the scenery fly by, setting my own pace, and conquering long distances on my own is what makes the cycling experience so enjoyable. Sharing that experience with a small group is even better. Riding with a small group, I can cover even longer distances because I use less energy at a time when I ride in a paceline. I’d venture out to say that knowing how to ride in a paceline is a skill any cyclist should have and is essential during cycling races. Here are a few pointers to […]

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Hi-Tec Brand Spotlight and Giveaway

Hi-Tec Logo

Packing in the miles on a hiking trail requires a comfortable pair of boots. Nothing will ruin a hike like poorly fitting or wet hiking boots. Keep reading to learn about the Hi-Tec brand and be sure to enter our gear giveaway at the bottom of this post. The Hi-Tec footwear brand was established in 1974 by Frank Van Wezel. Frank was an avid racquet sports player in England when he introduced a new shoe designed specifically for squash. Over the years the company grew into other lines of footwear including hiking boots, winter boots, running shoes, sneakers and sandals. From lightweight […]

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Are You Making This Common Hiking Mistake?

hiking mistake

Hiking is basically walking, right? It’s easy. Anyone can do it but are you making this common mistake? Many hikers have discovered the advantages of using trekking poles but many people are using them incorrectly. Take a look at these two photos and decide which one is the correct way to hold a trekking pole. So what do you do? Reach into the strap and grab the pole or reach up through the strap then grab the pole? Photo two is correct. To get the best grip you want to start low and reach up through the strap then grab […]

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How to Maintain a Fishing Rod: Rod and Reel Maintenance

rod and reel maintenance

Landing that prize winning trout requires you to have a rod and reel set up that is in good condition. You can increase the longevity of a rod and reel and keep it performing at optimal level with just a few minutes of maintenance. Watch this quick video for tips on how to maintain a fishing rod. Rod and Reel Maintenance Do these quick things to keep your fishing rod in the best working condition: Clean the rod- Use a damp rag to wipe down the rod and remove any debris. Pay special attention to the guides as they are […]

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Enter to Win a Trip to Machu Picchu Plus Gear

Machu Picchu Giveaway

Do you know what would be awesome? To win a trip to South America plus a boat load of gear. Am I right? What are you waiting for? Enter now for a chance to win a Trip to Machu Picchu. The trip includes: Two round trip tickets with LAN. Two Classic High-Route Treks with Logistical Support lead by Journeys International. $500 to spend at Sierra Trading Post. Two Kelty Flyway Packs Two Kelty Ascender Roller Bags Two Kelty Dopp Kits Enter by November 3rd, 2014. One entry per person. Follow the link to enter: Enter Now   The following two […]

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30 Minute Glute Workout to Power Your Outdoor Adventures

Glute exercises

Jumping, walking, running, hiking, climbing: what do they have in common aside from being excellent forms of transportation? The same muscle group powers each of the movements: the glutes. Not to mention any sort of powerful rotational movement, quick direction changes, and throwing of any object. Last month we talked about how important having a strong core is to keep your adventuring at its peak performance. Today, let’s discuss how having a strong backside is just as important to keep you good shape on the trails. The glutes are the biggest muscles in your body. They’re a primary mover in […]

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10 Fun Things To Do While Camping

Things to do while camping

Camping is one of my favorite things to do. I’m often asked by non-campers what we do all weekend. That question catches me off guard because we’re always so busy just doing whatever comes up. Whether you’re family camping with kids or just going with adults, here are 10 things to do while camping. 10 Things To Do While Camping 1. Throw Rocks – Seriously, you remember throwing rocks as a kid. It’s just as much fun now as it ever was. 2. Just hang out. Nothing is better than a little hammock time. Catch a well-deserved nap, collect your […]

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Mystery Destination: Have You Visited This State Park?

Mystery Landscape

As we look forward to fall, we’re thinking about exploring the desert southwest. We’ve chosen a  state park for this week’s Mystery Destination. Read the five clues below, look at the photos then leave your guess in the comments below if you think you know the name of this interesting geologic state park. Dedicated in 1935, this park is the oldest and largest state park in this state. The park’s name comes from the red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes over 150 million years ago. Complex uplifting and faulting of the region, followed by extensive erosion, have […]

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Kovea Gear Giveaway!

Kovea Logo

When it comes to camping you’ll want a reliable camp stove, quality cookware and maybe a bright lantern. Kovea is one brand that is manufacturing quality outdoor gear. If you aren’t familiar with this company keep reading but be sure to enter our Kovea gear giveaway at the bottom of this post. Kovea is a leading outdoor gear manufacturer from Korea. Since 1982, Kovea has been pushing the boundaries of technology and design to create extremely reliable, light and functional backpacking stoves, lanterns, portable heaters and more. You can count on Kovea camping products to supply outstanding performance in a […]

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Stop Throwing Away This Easy Fire Starter

Easy Fire Starter

If you’ve been camping, backpacking or simply lighting backyard bonfires, then you know the importance of an easy, lightweight and reliable fire starter. Some campsites don’t have enough dry leaves or pine needles to get the fire started. If you’re like me you don’t like using gas or lighter fluid so you’re always looking for an easy fire starting alternative. Well, listen up because you’ve probably been throwing away a great fire starter. Did you know that dryer lint is quite flammable? It is. Stop throwing away your dryer lint and start saving it up for your next camping trip. […]

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Top 5 YouTube Videos So Far This Year

YouTube Videos

YouTube is a great place to learn how to do something new, learn a new recipe or follow along on an adventure. You can do all of those things on the Sierra Trading Post YouTube Channel. Here are the top 5 YouTube Videos of 2014 (so far) from our channel. 5 Uses for Paracord Learn these five helpful uses for paracord out on the trail. These tips may be really helpful on your next trip into the backcountry. How to Photograph the Night Sky This great how-to video offers up some great outdoor photography tips. You’ll be capturing the night […]

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More Great Brands Made in the USA

Made in the USA

Back in January, I wrote a post introducing ten great brands offered by Sierra Trading Post that make products in the United States. With Labor Day coming up, I thought it might be a good time to showcase a few more American-made brands. If you’re familiar with any of these, give us a shout-out in the comments and tell us about your experience. You can also tell us about your favorite brand that didn’t make our list. Proof Eyewear: Sunglasses with Attitude Founded in 2011 by a young entrepreneur named Brooks Dame, Proof is a fashion eyewear brand based in […]

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Guess Who? Name This Famous Naturalist/Author

Guess Who

Let’s have a little fun. You’ve probably played our Mystery Destination Game in the past, but this week we’re going to play Guess Who. That’s right, read the 5 clues below about this famous naturalist and author then guess who we’re talking about. Enter your guess in the comments below. One of this author’s most famous works was written from notes and sketches made while living in a trailer in Arches National Monument (now a National Park) when he worked as a seasonal ranger in 1956 and 1957. He is often quoted across the internet for inspiration to get outside. […]

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Granite Gear Giveaway

Granite Gear Logo

Backpacking, fast-packing and thru-hiking all require gear made to withstand the elements while being strong and lightweight. Granite Gear is a family-owned company that has been making rugged outdoor gear since 1986. Keep reading to learn more about this brand and be sure to enter the Granite Gear Giveaway at the bottom of this post. Granite Gear has developed a loyal following over the years, thanks to creativity and innovation in their designs. From drysacks, compression sacks and durable daypacks to multi-day backpacks and lightweight shelters, Granite Gear makes gear that meet the needs of all types of outdoors enthusiasts. What […]

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Summer’s Not Over: 7 Ways to Squeeze in A Bit More Fun

summer fun

As Labor Day Weekend approaches, marking the unofficial end of summer, days will continue to shorten, temperatures will continue to drop, and we’re all faced with the prospect of saying a temporary farewell to our favorite summer activities. But don’t despair; there’s still enough time for some serious summer fun. Use these suggestions to take advantage of the last bit of the season. Play a game. The phrase “play outside” means different things to different folks, but I’ve found it difficult to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy playing games outside. And there are some traditionally warm-weather games that are just […]

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Colorado Here We Come!

Colorado Store

What is green and orange, loves the outdoors and is opening a new store in Colorado? Yes. Sierra Trading Post. You’ve probably noticed that we talk a lot about Colorado adventures here on the Sierra Social Hub. We love hiking the 14ers, camping in the mountains and rafting the rivers. That is why we are so excited to announce that we’re opening our first Colorado store this week in South Denver. The new store will be located at the Cherry Hills Marketplace, 5910 S. University Boulevard in Greenwood Village near TJ Maxx and Homegoods. Colorado shoppers can expect over 20,000 […]

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How to Juggle Family Adventures with Back to School

get outside

This is the time of the year when, for families in particular, the focus shifts to school and schedules and away from the trail.  It’s easy to set aside outdoor adventures for the summer months and give them little thought throughout the late summer/fall, especially as our commitments ramp up. However, the benefits of outdoor family time aren’t limited to just when we can make them happen.  Ideally, they are an integrated part of our daily life, and break up the monotony of “desk time” while relieving stress. It can be quite a shock for kids especially to go from […]

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Mystery Destination: A Giant Lake, Ski Resorts and More.

Giant Lake

If you love the outdoors and like to travel to beautiful natural destinations, I bet you know the name of the giant lake in this Mystery Destination Game. Read the clues, look at the photos then guess where we are talking about. At a surface elevation of 6,225 feet this lake is the largest alpine lake in North America. It’s the second deepest lake in the United States behind Crater Lake and is the largest lake by volume in the United States behind the five Great Lakes at 122,160,280 acre·ft. The area features a number of ski resorts, summer outdoor recreation, […]

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Gear Testing: How Kelty Test and Designs Backpacks

kelty backpack testing

We love outdoor gear and are always looking for the best products. Have you ever thought about how outdoor gear is designed and tested? We called our friends at Kelty to see how they test their new backpack designs. They invited us to the Kelty backpack testing facility to see first hand how it’s done. Watch this video to see the tests Kelty uses to measure how comfortable their designs will be on the trail. Kelty has developed a way to simulate the distribution of force on the body when it’s carrying a fully loaded pack. This test helps them […]

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Saucony Brand Spotlight Giveaway!

Saucony Logo

Whether you’re into jogging, taking exercise classes at the gym or competing in triathlons, quality running shoes and athletic apparel are a must. Keep reading to learn about Saucony or skip to the bottom to enter our Saucony gear giveaway. Saucony is a leader in supplying performance athletic footwear, apparel and accessories. The roots of the company go back to a Cambridge, Massachusetts shoe store that was started in 1910. The company’s first product was manufacturing ice skates. They went on to build boots for the US Army during World War II and footwear for NASA astronauts in the 1960s. […]

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How to Ultralight Backpack With All of the Comforts of Home

backpacking without the pain

Backpacking would be awesome if you didn’t have to carry a bunch of weight, could sleep in a bed, take a shower and have someone cook you a big breakfast, am I right? What if you could have all the comforts of home and carry an ultralight backpack for two days of exploring the backcountry? Listen up, we’ve got the perfect solution. A couple of weeks ago while backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park, my shoulders were beginning to get sore from my heavy backpack when two girls passed me on the trail. They had tiny little day packs with […]

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Easy, Three-Ingredient Energy Bars

Easy Energy Bar

I really enjoy fruit and nut bars from brands like KIND, but they’re also a little pricey. To save some money, I decided to try making my own, and this recipe from The Kitchn is a great starting point. With only three ingredients, these chewy, nutty and lightly sweet homemade energy bars are super-simple and pretty darn tasty. You can easily switch out the dried cherries for another fruit, like dried blueberries or cranberries. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could also try adding other natural ingredients, like chia seeds, shredded coconut, lemon zest or crystalized ginger. Ingredients: 1 cup […]

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You Want to Run Your First Half-Marathon?

Train for a half-marathon

So you want to run your first half-marathon. Good—I’m glad. It’s every runner’s first “real” running accomplishment and it’s the high mileage gatekeeper. Before you set out on your own or go signing up for your first half-marathon, read these training tips to ensure your best chance at finishing. 1. Give yourself adequate time to actually train for a half-marathon. Listen to your body and plan accordingly. More advanced runners might only need six to eight weeks to prepare for a half-marathon. Consider taking a couple extra weeks to prepare. I gave myself 10 weeks and did just fine (I […]

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Where Would You Most Like to Hike?

hiking trails

Hiking is fun. Whether you’re climbing mountains, searching for waterfalls, trekking in the desert or exploring canyons, nothing is better than a good hike. Everyone has their favorite trail or favorite place to hike. So we want to know, where would you most like to hike? Here are three popular choices for hikes. Which one would you most like to hike? Hiking into the Grand Canyon What’s more iconic than the Grand Canyon? You aren’t the type to just look over the rim, you want to make it an adventure. Choose any one of the 15 official trails that take […]

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5 Core Exercises That Will Take Your Adventures to the Next Level

Core Exercises

  Wouldn’t it be great if the description of our day jobs included daily tasks of the following? Runs rocky trails in the mountains Scopes out the best runs on the slope Personally researches best trails for mountain biking Finds the best backcountry ground for snowboarding Talk about a killer resume! Alas, for most of us, our 9-5 tasks involve sitting at a desk, in front of a computer. Some of us even get to tack on an extra hour or two of additional sitting during that lovely commute. My point is that as a society, we sit. A lot. […]

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Mountain Hardwear Giveaway!

Mountain Hardwear Logo

Hiking, backpacking, running and outdoor adventures all have something in common, they require you to be prepared with the right gear. Waterproof jackets, layering pieces, functional backpacks and dependable tents are important for the adventure. Mountain Hardwear produces high quality gear made for the adventure. Keep reading to learn about the brand then enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post. In the early 1990s, four outdoor gear industry leaders came together with a common mission: “To become the number one, authentic outdoor equipment company in the world”. Using their experience and passion for the outdoors they created innovative […]

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I Hate Backpacking But Will Never Stop

thru-hiking

Backpacking isn’t fun. You spend all day hiking with a heavy load on your back. Your feet hurt, the backpack hurts your shoulders, the mosquitoes bite you, the sun burns your neck, the rain always seems to drench you at the wrong time and after all of that you’ve got to dig a hole when you need to go to the bathroom. Jeez, that doesn’t sound like any fun does it? I’ll be the first to admit that backpacking isn’t always fun. It really doesn’t make any sense. I’ve got a nice comfortable home. I’ve got a huge tent suitable […]

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