Leave No Trace: Managing Human Waste in the Outdoors

This is a story about poop. It’s about the principles of Leave No Trace camping not changing exactly, but evolving in the way we need to apply them. Because we are loving our wild places to death by treating them like giant toilets. The focus here will be on ‘frontcountry’ areas which I will define as relatively remote yet road-accessible areas with little or no services, typically managed by the National Forest Service (NFS) or Bureau of Land Management (BLM). These playgrounds are among the crowning jewels of the mountain west and some of the finest rewards for anyone seeking the freedom of the Great American Road Trip. There’s little more satisfying to a vagabond van-lifer than seeing a brown wooden sign that reads “Entering [insert name] National Forest”, knowing…

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Bolting Climbs: The Ethics of First Ascents

Evaluating the ethics behind first ascents begged the question of whether or not we’re creating safer climbs by “conquering routes”. Were we providing positive accessibility by bolting walls? Or just flaunting our abilities?

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MSR Dromedary Bags: My Guardian Angels For More Than 50 Expeditions

MSR Dromedary Bags have become my guardian angels, providing me life—yes, literally providing life—on more than 50 expeditions around the world to complete major athletic goals. From first desert crossings in China to climbing huge first ascents on vertical rock walls in Greenland, on every continent and beyond, they have kept me alive. Let me explain: Water. It is the sweet giver of life. This transparent fluid forms the world’s streams, lakes, oceans and rain, and is the major constituent of the fluids of living things. We are water and water is life. And, of course, life is sweet. My body is anywhere from 55% to 78% water, depending on the day or my activity. To function properly I need to drink between one and seven liters of water per…

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From Sea to Source: Misadventures & Camping on the Hudson River

In August of 2019, my friend Kirk and I fulfilled a childhood dream, paddling the Hudson River from source to sea. Growing up, my friends and I would explore my small hometown and go as far as we could get before making it home for dinner. We would go paddling, swimming, cliff jumping, hiking and occasionally jump trains when they were moving slow enough. Setting off to wander our town each day was an exploration, even if we had been there before. As kids, my friends and I were too naïve to even realize that our exploits rarely took us more than a mile or two from home, yet they still had a sense of adventure that built the kind of lasting friendships that are only forged in the outdoors….

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The MSR Away Team Shares Their Favorite Outdoor & Hiking Essentials

We couldn’t be more excited to introduce the all-new MSR Away Team—a passionate crew of adventurers from around the world who will share their trips, expertise and insights with the MSR community. Chosen from nearly 1,000 applicants, these 10 amazing outdoorspeople will bring the stoke all summer long. Read on to meet the whole crew and learn about the favorite outdoor gear and hiking essentials they take on every adventure. Make sure to follow them on Instagram to see all their explorations. Corey McMullen @coreyoutdoors Home base: New Hampshire, United States Corey is a photographer and an avid backpacker and trail runner who has stayed close to home in the White Mountains of the Northeast United States since the COVID pandemic hit. This summer he plans to camp and backpack…

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