Building Your Backcountry Kitchen, Part 2: The Essential Ingredients

I grew up in a family that embraced the convenience of freeze-dried meals and deviled ham when it came to camping trips. It wasn’t until a college spring break trip to Baja’s Bahia Concepción that I discovered it’s possible to actually, you know, cook while camping. We’d procured some scallops from the bay. My friend Caroline, an avid cook, sautéed them with garlic and chili flakes, adding a splash of her beer and a squeeze of lime to finish. I was gobsmacked—left to my own devices, I’d been subsisting on canned frijoles refritos and tortillas. That pivotal moment not only inspired me to go to culinary school, it redefined what I thought of as camping fare. Today, there are certain ingredients that are staples in my home and backcountry kitchen….

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Escape the Snow: Where to Hike, Bike and Climb this Winter

EDITOR’S NOTE 12/20: The gist of this article is travel – the safety of which is questionable right now, given the current and uncertain trajectory of COVID-19 pandemic. That said, we are dreamers and optimists at heart and we trust there will be brighter days ahead. In the meantime, read on to make some great future plans. As always, please do what’s best for you and those around you by follow current guidelines for travel from the CDC, state and local authorities.    Not everyone embraces the onset of winter. If you’re hardcore about warmer weather outdoor pursuits, from hiking, biking, trail running and climbing to paddling, there are parts of the western U.S. that offer respite from the polar vortex. Whether you’re looking to escape the snow entirely or just avoid hauling extra gear, the following places feature exceptional- and diverse- terrain…

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10 Amazing Places to Snowshoe in North America

Your favorite hiking trails may be under snow until spring, but snowshoeing is an affordable, accessible way to keep winter fun. The solitude of snowshoeing is also a bonus: there are no crowds, heavy machinery, or endless lift lines. The following destinations have some of the best snowshoeing in North America, from groomed Nordic tracks and valley floors, to lakeshore forest glades and rugged ascents. 10 Best Places to Snowshoe in North America 1. Ashcroft, Colorado: Ghost town turned dining destination Eleven miles from Aspen, this ghost town has been turned into an ungroomed, unmaintained Nordic playground. Explore the miles of trails that traverse meadow, creek and evergreen forest dotted with the remnants of the mining boom town of Ashcroft. Your destination should be the famed Pine Creek Cookhouse, which…

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Colorado’s 10th Mountain Huts: A brief history and how-to guide

Photos and story by Laurel Miller Although I’m a native Californian, I grew up skiing Colorado. This is because my parents met while students at Colorado A & M (now CSU) in the mid-50s, and they were avid skiers. My dad was finishing up veterinary school, and my mom was on the barrel racing team. Although they chose to move West to open my dad’s large animal practice, Colorado to this day retains a stronghold on their hearts—something that was passed on to my brother and me in utero (I can only presume). My dad’s obsession with the Rockies began when he was pre-med and trying to obtain residency for vet school, courtesy of the GI Bill. A World War II veteran and Arizona native, he moved to Colorado and…

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