Ecotourism Myths: Busted

ecotourism

Ecotourism. It’s one of the new catchphrases in the travel industry with Hollywood celebs frolicking to ecolodges and elephant sanctuaries across the globe. But what is it? In a nutshell, ecotourism is any type of responsible travel to natural areas that helps preserve the environment and the indigenous people. Too complicated? Try this: travel that helps protect both locals and their surroundings. With ecotourism on the rise, questions and myths surround this traveling trend. If you want to try out an ecotrip but aren’t sure what to believe, then check out our busted ecotourism myths below! Myth: Ecotourism only exists […]

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Travel Expectations: When a Trip Doesn’t Go as Expected

Travel expectations

Let’s be honest – when you’re deciding to travel to a new place your number one reason isn’t usually to broaden your already deep understanding of the region and its people – it’s because you were lured in. Maybe it was a YouTube video of someone whitewater rafting down the Colorado River or climbing some monumental slab of vertical rock. Or maybe it was a tourist brochure. Or maybe it was an impossibly detailed HDR rendering of an idyllic wildlife scene that caught your eye while scanning Facebook or Instagram – something that made your brain stop and say, “Oh, […]

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5 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Reduce Your Pack Weight

pack weight

When it comes to backpacking, weight is everything. The lighter the backpack the faster and further you can go without injury or exhaustion. Check out these 5 surprisingly easy ways to reduce your pack weight before you hit the trail this summer and you’ll surely have a great adventure. 1. Bring Items That Can Be Used in Multiple Ways – Think of ways you can use the same item for multiple uses. For example, I carry a down jacket for hanging out at camp on cool nights then I use that down jacket as a pillow at night. Paracord is […]

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Which is the Best National Park?

National Parks

Whether it’s for the trails, rivers, lakes, mountains or another attraction, public lands can be an amazing place to visit. We’ve featured many different national parks as part of our Mystery Destination Game but now we want to hear from you. Yes, your opinion counts. We want to know what you think is the best national park? Seriously, we want to know what you think. Which is your favorite national park? Do you have special memories of visiting Yellowstone National Park as a kid? Do you have a favorite spot at Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Do you just love […]

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Tips for New Roadbikers

New Roadbikers

Thinking about getting into road biking? Good! I’ve got a few tips for you, which I’ve gleaned from my three years being involved in the sport. I don’t race, I just ride and have fun keeping up with my super speedy girlfriends who train a lot harder than I do! 1. Buy the best bike you can afford. I give this advice to anyone thinking about entering any sport. Why? Because having good equipment enhances the experience, lest your dreams be crushed by ill-fitting, rusted out equipment or a bike that just doesn’t meet your need. I don’t mean buy […]

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Teva Brand Spotlight and Giveaway

Teva

Summer requires comfortable footwear. Whether you are playing in the river, taking a short hike or hanging out in town, Teva sandals are the way to go. Keep reading to learn more about this brand or skip to the bottom and enter to win our Teva giveaway. Teva was created in the early 1980′s when a raft guide was looking for a solution to his clients soggy sneakers. Teva revolutionized river footwear with a sport sandal that could drain water, dry quickly and also tackle rugged river terrain. Over the years Teva has added boots, shoes and trail runners to […]

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Getting into Whitewater Kayaking

Whitewater Kayaking

I never really thought about whitewater kayaking until I went rafting one day with a few friends.  We went through the first rapid and there were these tiny boats everywhere, people surfing waves, people swimming, it looked like a lot of fun. And it is.  I went out the next day and bought myself a boat.  Kayaking sort of changed my life.  It opened up this whole new world of adventure and not to mention I met my husband on the river. I find kayaking is a mental sport.  You really have to think a lot and be aware of […]

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Find Adventure in Everyday Life

sky photo

**This is a guest post from Adam Nutting of Hiking the Trail. Join us at 6pm EDT/3pm PDT Thursday for our weekly #TrailTime Twitter Chat. This week we’re talking about keeping adventure alive!** So many of us who love the great outdoors struggle with a simple little issue that keeps us from getting outdoors as much as possible…life. Where we wrap all of the requirements as adults into a word and simply use it as an excuse. Kids, work, family, friends, money (or lack there of) and time are all fighting for that number one spot on the list. Now, […]

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Best Campsite Dessert Ever

Campsite Dessert

Last weekend I went camping with my family. We usually go with other families so the kids have friends to keep them busy. This time it was just us. I decided I’d better take the campsite dessert up one notch to ensure the kids had something to look forward to (or was it just because I have a sweet tooth?). We recently took our s’mores to a new level (as described here: Take Your S’mores Recipe to a New Level) and I’ve been known to cook a mean peach cobbler in the dutch oven. Each time we eat the cast […]

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A Spectacular Canyon Cut into a High Plateau

The Monument

We love getting outside and exploring new areas. Unique geologic areas are always a draw for outdoor adventurers. This week’s mystery destination is one of those areas. Read the 5 clues below, take a look at the photos then see if you know the area we are talking about. This week’s correct answer is the name of a national monument. Known locally at The Monument, the main draw is a spectacular canyon cut deep into this high desert plateau. Popular activities within this national monument include hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, road bicycling and scenic drives. Sightseers enjoy rides along the […]

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How to Hang Food in the Backcountry

how to hang your food

If you are going to spend a night in the backcountry, you need to know how to store your food correctly. Improperly stored food often results in bears becoming accustomed to humans… and often ending up being shot. Keeping food, and odoriferous objects (like toothpaste or deodorant) in your tent can land you with nighttime visitors, big and small. Even in areas where there are no bears, you can end up going hungry thanks to opportunist raccoons, mice and other hungry critters. Aside from parks that require bear canisters, or areas where there are no trees, your best (and safest […]

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Costa Sunglasses Giveaway!

costa logo

Seeing clearly and protecting your eyes while out adventuring is very important. A quality pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful UV light and help you see the mountains, rivers and seas more clearly. Costa Sunglasses are the perfect sunglasses for most adventures. Keep reading to learn more about this brand or skip to to bottom to enter to win this gear giveaway. In 1983, a group of hardcore fishermen who spent their days exploring the globe and battling extreme elements came to realize that their sunglasses weren’t as hardcore as their adventures. They decided to make their […]

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How to Choose a Fishing Rod and Reel

Choosing a fishing rod and reel

Choosing the right fishing rod and reel combination can help make a successful and enjoyable day out on the water. You’ll want to choose a rod and reel combo that will allow you to target the fish you are going for. Follow these tips on how to choose the right fishing rod and reel. Choosing a Fishing Rod To choose a fishing rod you’ll first want to consider the fish you are targeting. If you are targeting trout, pan fish or other small fish species, you’ll want a small fishing rod in the 5 to 6 foot range. The rob […]

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How to Discover Local Trails in Your Area

Finding Trails

Can you remember the first time you set foot on a trail? Whether you were hiking, biking, running, or snowshoeing, there’s just something memorable about experiencing your first ever #trailtime. I fell in love with the trails when I first visited Rocky Mountain National Park 4 years ago. At the time, I was living in Illinois, and had never experienced the beauty of the mountainous West. Upon returning from that trip, I felt a pull, as if the mountains were calling me back to them to come and play. Naturally, several more vacations were taken to Colorado, and eventually, the […]

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Food for the Outdoors: #Trailtime Favorites

outdoor food

It doesn’t take long for our weekly #Trailtime Twitter Chat (Thursday 4pm MDT) to turn into a discussion on food for the outdoors. Whether it’s crazy s’mores recipes, bacon wrapped ‘you-name-it’, tacos or post adventure libations, the #Trailtime community loves talking food and drinks. Here on the Sierra Social Hub we’ve done a backpacking meal series and a homemade energy bar series but we thought it’d be fun to ask some other bloggers about their favorite outdoor recipes or tips and tricks for eating delicious meals on outdoor adventures. Follow the below links to check out all of these great […]

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Fjords, Glaciers and Wildlife

Fjords

Escape the hot summer days with a trip to glacier fields in this week’s Mystery Destination. Take a look at the photos, read the clues and see if you can guess which national park we are describing in this week’s Mystery Destination. Enter your guess in the comments below. This national park contains nearly 40 glaciers and the largest icefield solely contained within the United States. A national monument was initially designated by President Jimmy Carter on December 1, 1978, using the Antiquities Act. It officially became a national park in 1980. The park protects the icefield, a narrow fringe […]

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How to Not Get Hit by a Car: Simple Road Cycling Tips

road cycling tips

The most dangerous part of road cycling is riding in traffic. With cell phone use in cars, distracted drivers and road rage, bicyclist are often put in unnecessary risk. You’ve obviously got to wear a helmet and pay attention to what is going on but check out these quick tips on how to not get hit by a car. 1. Follow the Law – This is easy. Stop at all stop signs and stop lights, obey all posted traffic signs and don’t ride on sidewalks. Cyclists who do not obey the law put themselves at risk of being hit by […]

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Big Agnes Gear Giveaway

Big Agnes Logo

  Backpacking and camping adventures start with selecting the right gear. Weight, comfort, and durability are important factors. Big Agnes manufactures light weight tents, warm sleeping bags and comfortable sleeping pads that are built for the adventure. Keep reading to learn more about this brand or skip to the bottom to enter our Big Agnes Gear Giveaway. Based in beautiful Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Big Agnes is a company started by outdoor enthusiasts with the goal of creating innovative, high-quality outdoor gear that people can depend on. They’ve received many awards for their quality gear. Intelligent designs allows Big Agnes sleeping […]

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5 Uses for Paracord on the Trail

5 uses for paracord

Paracord can be an extremely useful tool while out in the backcountry. From longer backpacking and thru-hikes to shorter adventures, paracord is a light weight tool that could be useful or may even save your life. Check out these 5 uses for paracord on the trail. Paracord can be used for first aid, replacing shoe laces and repairing equipment but here are 5 more cool uses for paracord you might not have thought about: 1. Strap wet and dirty items to the outside of your pack – This is a great way to keep those wet items outside of your […]

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Beat the Heat on the Trails: Tips for Hiking in Hot Weather

Justin Hiking in the heat

Summer’s in full swing down here in Florida and that probably explains why I immediately break into a sweat after stepping outside. Whoever says It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity is full of full dooky. It’s hot because of the heat when it’s 95+ on average. What’s a guy to do when he wants to hike in Florida without passing out from the summer heat? I say suck it up and embrace the heat. Oh you want to have a more enjoyable time? Here are five tips to help you beat the heat on the trails this summer. Dress […]

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Adventure Dogs: Fueling Your Pooch While Backpacking

backpacking with a dog

Well-behaved dogs make great hiking companions. Dogs love to experience the sights, sounds and smells of nature like you do. Your dog will need more calories than they normally eat if they are going to hike all day on the trail though. Dogs will need about 25% more calories than they normally eat to keep their energy up on a big adventure. The simplest way to add calories to your dog’s diet while backpacking is to bring 25% more of your dog’s regular food. Simply adding 25% more kibble to the food bag results in a larger volume and heavier […]

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An American Icon: Name This Mystery Destination

Mystery

Each week we play a Mystery Destination game. This week the destination is an American iconic destination. This area features multiple parks and sites to see. Read the clues below, look at the photos then enter your guess in the comments below. Although these are mountains, the range is referred to as ‘hills’. The name of the range comes from a translation of the Lakota word Pahá Sápa. In addition to the mountains, this area has a huge cave that is also a national park. The cave is currently the sixth-longest in the world with 140.47 miles of explored cave passageways. […]

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LEKI Trekking Pole Giveaway

LEKI Logo

You’ve got the boots broken in, you’re carrying the ten essentials and now you’re ready to take hiking to the next level. Then you’ll want to improve your form and relieve some strain on your knees why using trekking poles. One brand that make excellent trekking poles is LEKI. Keep reading to learn more or skip to the bottom to enter our LEKI trekking pole giveaway. LEKI got it’s start in 1948 when a factory owner (specializing in making wooden letters for signs) became frustrated with the ski poles available at the time. He used his machinery to test different […]

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Making the Most of a Long Weekend

Buffalo Creek Trails - Pine, CO

**This is a guest post from Mike Restivo, Mike Off The Map. Join us at 6pm EDT/3pm PDT Thursday for our weekly #TrailTime Twitter Chat. This week we’re talking about making the most of long weekends!** Give a weekend warrior two days and they’ll pull off a first ascent, a mazy trail run, or a spectacularly fast and light thru hike. Give them three days, and they’ll come home with a trip report for the ages. Long weekends are made for adventure. They’re the permission to go the extra mile, push for a second summit, or explore a new fork […]

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3 Outdoor Photography Tips You Need to Know

Outdoor Photography

Nothing tops off a big adventure better than capturing the perfect outdoor photo. Climbing an elusive peak, kayaking some raging rapids or camping in a secluded canyon is all the more enjoyable when you get home with the perfect photo to share with friends. Follow these 3 outdoor photography tips to raise your photos from okay to amazing. 1. How to Take Photos of Moving Water You’ve seen other people shoot photos of moving water that captures that silky smooth look. It’s not that difficult to capture moving water if you know these simple tips: For written instructions follow this […]

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Share Your Adventure Photo Winners – June 2014

SYAP thumb

Congratulations to the winners of our June Share Your Adventure Photo Contest. Check out these great shots sent in from our fans. Hopefully you’ll find inspiration to get outside for your own adventures. Have you captured a great photo from your recent excursions? Enter it in our monthly outdoor photo contest and you could win a $200 gift card to Sierra Trading Post. More information: Share Your Adventure Photo Contest. 1st Place – Mike Creed “Angry sky Taken from the Front Range of Colorado. Late summer thunderstorm developing over the eastern plains.” according to Mike Creed. 2nd Place – Ami […]

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Backcountry Water Filtration and Purification: Which Method is Right For You?

Water Filtration

**This guest post from Adam Nutting covers the different types of water filtration and purification systems. Read on to learn what water filtration system is right for you.** Water, one of the most important things that is needed for every backpacking, hiking, or camping trip.  We often take clean drinkable water for granted. The biggest reason why we need to purify our water is to remove bacteria from the water that can make you ill. Giardia is the most common bug that lives in the water here in America. This nasty like bug can leave you with a stomach ache […]

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How Not to Die While Mountain Biking, and How to Have Fun in the Process

MTB

As outdoor enthusiasts, we accept that some of the activities we engage in are inherently risky. Our rewards for taking on that risk can be amazing views, reaching places few others have, and the general satisfaction that comes with pushing our personal limits. Plus, the risk can be part of the fun, and there are ways to minimize risk without compromising the quality of your experience. Mountain biking is one of those outdoor pursuits I put in the “inherently risky” category. Flying through trees, over and around obstacles, and up and down steep hills is a blast, but there’s also […]

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Mystery Destination: A Large Reservoir, Mountains and Ski Resorts

Mystery Destination Reservoir

Outdoor adventure destinations can come in many forms. Some people flock to the mountains, rivers, canyons or beaches, others hit up a huge lake or reservoir. This week’s Mystery Destination is a large reservoir that is the center of many different outdoor adventures. Read the five clues below and see if you can guess the reservoir we are describing. This large lake is surrounded by mountains. It offers up a beautiful backdrop for photographers. The waters are popular for sailboats and sea kayaks but is too cool for swimming. Recreational opportunities include a bike path along the banks, boat rentals […]

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Chaco Brand Spotlight, Review and Giveaway!

Chaco logo

**Congratulations to Melissa who was chosen as the winner of this Chaco giveaway. If you didn’t win check out our current gear giveaway.** Ahh, summer. Time to free the toes and work on that crazy sandal tan. Whether you’re looking for sandals rugged enough to hike in, water shoes for playing in the river or flip flops for hanging out, Chaco Footwear has the pair for you. Keep reading to learn about the brand and see a review or skip to the bottom to enter our Chaco Giveaway. Mark Paigen started “Gecko” Sandals in 1989 in his home in Paonia, […]

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