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


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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How to Rock a Staycation

sailing staycation

It’s the end of summer and you want to go out with a bang before the kids are back in school and don’t have a lot of time or money to take an ultra-planned getaway? Well, knock it out in your hometown and have an awesome end of summer staycation you won’t soon forget or regret. With long, warm days still a plenty spend as much time outdoors as you can. Stop dreaming about your next BIG trip and live like it’s that BIG trip now, at home. Many of us love planning our getaway to travel and escape our […]

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3 Ways Drivers Can Help Cyclists

Cycling tips

I live in Wyoming. There are more pronghorn here than people. There are more horses in my neighborhood than residents. So it’s not like overcrowding is exactly a problem. Still, whenever I ride my roadbike, something cool happens. I am nearly overcome with gratitude for the awesome drivers who share the road with me. In three years of weekly riding, I have precisely zero stories of negative encounters with drivers on my state’s highways and byways. Zero. What do these drivers do right? 1. They give me plenty of room as they pass. On a two-lane highway with plenty of […]

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5 Reasons Why Coffee is Good For You

Photo chichacha

Nothing starts a morning off right like a cup of coffee. Sadly, our daily addiction has gotten a bad rap. I hear people say they are trying to cut back on their coffee intake (which in many cases is a good idea) but I’d like to point out all of the ways that coffee is good for you. Reasons Why Coffee is Good for You Coffee Helps You Lose Weight – Have you ever noticed that caffeine is a key ingredient in most fat burning supplements? There’s a good reason for that. Caffeine increases the oxidation of fat and raises […]

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Mystery Game: Can You Name this Famous Preservationist?

The famous trail

It’s time to mix up our Mystery Destination Game. Each week we describe a popular outdoor destination and ask you to name it. This time we’ll describe a famous advocate of the outdoors and see if you can give us his name. Simply read the clues then give us the answer in the comments. This man was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. He was a co-founder of the Sierra Club and served as the first President of the club. His name has been used for the name of a national […]

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Brooks Brand Spotlight and Giveaway

Brooks Logo

We all love to run… well, some do. People run for different reasons. Some enjoy a short jog around the neighborhood, an hour on the treadmill, a long trail run, a local 5k or maybe you’re training for a marathon. The one thing we all have in common is a desire to wear the perfect pair of running shoes. Brooks is one brand that has been making great shoes. Keep reading to learn how to enter our Brooks running shoe giveaway. Brooks has designed high performance, technically advanced running shoes since 1914. They have received praise from runners for producing […]

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Hiking Safely in the Heat with Kids

Summer hiking with kids

Hiking in the summer months is beautiful, epic, and something I recommend for everyone.  However, the heat of the summer is also nothing to be taken lightly, especially with kids.  They’re less able to be aware of what their body needs, are more susceptible to heat problems, and seldom have the capacity to let someone else know if there is an issue. Children’s smaller bodies generate more heat for the same amount of activity and they sweat less. Most important to note – the younger the child, the less developed the internal heat-regulating system. Just like adults, children need to […]

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5 Common Backpacking Mistakes That Can Cost You Your Life

backpacking mistakes

Heading into the backcountry requires some survival knowledge and attention to safety. You can’t plan for everything you might experience on a backpacking trip but you can prepare yourself with quality gear and enough knowledge to spot dangerous situations. Keep reading to learn the 5 common backpacking mistakes that can put you in serious danger. 5 Common Backpacking Mistakes 1. Ignoring poor weather conditions- Last week as I quickly descended Flattop Mountain with dark clouds closing in on this section of Rocky Mountain National Park, I came across multiple people still climbing the mountain (without rain jackets). Having been in […]

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Injury Recovery: Tips for Coming Back From Injury

ACL Injury Recovery

**Please welcome our friend and injury recovery expert, Lauren Martin, to the Sierra Social Hub.** I am lucky enough to live in Colorado. Being active and going hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, skiing (etc.) isn’t just a hobby around here- it’s a way of life. In just over an hour, I can drive to over 10,000′ elevation and stand knee-deep in snow during most months of the year. By the time I get back home, I can change into sandals and enjoy warm sunshine. Yup… it’s pretty perfect here. I first visited Colorado on a trip with my husband (then boyfriend), […]

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3 Ways Outdoor Adventures are Easier as the Kids Get Older

easy outdoor adventures with kids

My kids are elementary age, 10 and 7, and we have had plenty of outdoor adventures over the years. We’ve camped, hiked, swam, and explored the world around us. Some of those outings have been hard, difficult, and a few have been plain torture. However; as with anything in life, you live and learn. We have had equally as many wonderful times spent outside and that always makes the effort totally worth it. As the children have grown, I have too. I’ve learned their personalities and temperaments. What works for one child doesn’t necessarily work for the other. Our current […]

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Where Do You Prefer to Spend Your #TrailTime?

Where to adventure

Sure, we all love the outdoors. We spend all week looking forward to camping trips, hikes, an afternoon on the lake or whatever you’re into. We’ve found that our fans are into a lot of different activities and come from all over the country. With that in mind, it’s time to ask you all an important question…. Where is the best place to take an adventure? Seriously, where to you prefer to go when you have the option: Mountains, Ocean or Plains? Do you head to the mountains to climb some peaks, see the wildflowers and gain some elevation? Do […]

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How to Find Dog Friendly Trails

dog friendly trails

I love hiking with my dogs. In fact, I very rarely hike in places they aren’t allowed. Hiking with a dog means that, in some areas, I have to search a little harder to find a good trail because not all of them are dog friendly. In Washington State, where I live, the Washington Trails Association has created one of the most comprehensive online trail guides available. The site lists every designated trail in Washington and they are accompanied by detailed descriptions, trail stats, and a note about whether they are dog friendly or not. All of the trails have […]

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Eagle Creek Luggage Giveaway

Eagle Creek

We all need a vacation once in a while. Unfortunately, airline restrictions, grumpy passengers and confined spaces can sometimes take the fun out of travel. Durable and well designed luggage can take some of the hassle out of air travel. Keep reading to learn about Eagle Creek or skip to the bottom to enter our luggage giveaway. Based in California, Eagle Creek has been making incredibly durable, stylish and versatile rolling luggage, duffel bags, backpacks and packing solutions since 1975. Eagle Creek luggage makes air travel less of a pain. Their bags and luggage will roll through the airport, easily […]

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Ecotourism Myths: Busted


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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