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There’s something special about hiking and camping on an isolated west coast with nothing between you and Japan but the wild Pacific Ocean. Shi Shi Beach in Washington’s Olympic National Park gives you that experience, and it’s a short and easy hike to get there. I’ve made several trips to Shi Shi Beach since the …

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I have eaten a LOT of pre-packaged backpacking meals in my days (and nights) on the trail. Unfortunately most of them are full of ingredients I can’t pronounce and don’t recognize. I have also tried my hand at dehydrating my own backpacking food at home, but that can be time consuming. (And despite my best …

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If you’ve been shopping for hiking or backpacking gear recently, you may have noticed some women’s specific gear. I’m not talking about clothing or shoes (obviously we need those)… I’m talking about backpacks, sleeping bags and more. Often this stuff seems to follow the same tired formula: “Shrink it and pink it”. Brands make the …

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Do you NEED to hire a trekking guide in Nepal? No! It’s easy to get around on your own. But SHOULD you hire a trekking guide in Nepal? Yes, definitely! I’m an experienced backpacker and have planned dozens of wilderness trips in North America, so at first I was a bit resistant to hiring a …

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Recently I wrote a post called “You Killed A Bear” that ended up getting way more online attention than I had anticipated. My message in that post was that less experienced hikers should read up about bear safety before they head out for a hike or go backcountry camping. Lots of people asked questions about …

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