The Gear You Need for Your First Day Skiing

Downhill skiing requires a lot of equipment. If you haven’t been skiing before but are going soon, here’s what you’ll want to bring with you.

Skis, Bindings, and Boots

The actual act of skiing requires three pieces of equipment: skis, bindings, and boots. These function as a single system with the boots clicking into the bindings and the bindings being mounted on the skis. Together, the bindings anchor your boots to the skis.
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Key Chain Camping

4 Essential Accessories You Can Fit in Your Pocket

Camping in the wilderness provides you with a lot of adventures, exciting exploration, and plenty of traveling by foot. This is why people who spend time hiking, camping, and exploring the outdoors love to pack as light as possible.

Thankfully, innovations, inventions, and products have come out directly catered to packing light. If you have a key chain ring or carabinier, then you can simply attach a number of these accessories to it and slip it right into your pocket.

Not only will these accessories be lightweight, but you will also have easy access to them, making this method ideal for camping. You will not have to go digging through multiple bags to find these essential items. Continue reading

For Many Hikers, Trail Runners Are the New Hiking Boots

Several decades ago, if you hiked down a trail, almost everyone you passed would be sporting a pair of above-ankle hiking boots. Today, the footwear scene looks a little bit different. For many hikers, trail runners have replaced hiking boots as the footwear of choice. These shoes are like road running shoes but they are made to withstand the rigors of hiking or running down a trail.

Though there are still situations in which hiking boots are the better choice, trail runners offer a lot of advantages to the average hiker. Here’s a closer look at why trail runners have become so popular, along with the times when you still want to reach for traditional hiking boots.

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Things to Consider When Packing for a Hiking Day Trip

While you may be tempted to just put on a pair of sneakers and go, it’s a good idea to put a bit more planning into a hike and bring along some gear, even if you expect to be hiking for just a few hours. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so pack a backpack with a few essentials and make sure to dress appropriately. Also, be sure to let someone know when you leave, where you’re going, and when you expect to be back.

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Pressing the Pause Button – By Maddie Smith

We all have it: a means to reset, to press the pause button and recharge ourselves. Call it what you will, but everyone has something that can make the rest of the world stop its chaos and allow us to just be. For some, it’s the early morning run in Buffalo Park. For others it’s grabbing your harness and climbing a Sedona spire. It may be an overnight sleeping out under the stars up on the San Francisco Peaks, or a multi-day backpacking trip in Grand Canyon. It may be a daily habit, or a seasonal event that is anxiously awaited. For me, it tends to be the latter, and it’s a trip rafting down the Colorado River. Continue reading

10 Things I Learned From Spending 15 Nights In The Wilderness

10 Things I Learned from Spending 15 Nights in the Wilderness:


From April 22nd to May 8th I had the opportunity to go on an extended 17-day backpacking trip through the Aldo Leopold and Gila Wilderness, as part of a class that is a graduation requirement for my degree. No complaints from me about backpacking for class credit – and I learned a lot more out there besides the curriculum that was covered during those 2.5 weeks. So rather than write out a day-by-day log or even attempt to summarize those days into a blog post, I decided to write down some of the lessons I learned, and tell the stories that went along with them. Continue reading

Trip Planning Never Goes as Planned by Maddie Smith


Sometimes, trip prep means weeks or months of planning. Sometimes trip prep happens the night before you leave. I’ve had less than 36 hours notice to meet a crew at Lee’s Ferry to put in on the Colorado River. I’ve agreed at 9pm one night to leave at 4am the next morning for a trip to Utah. I’ve also had 6 months to prepare for a 17-day backpacking trip in the Aldo Leopold and Gila Wilderness of Southern New Mexico. Spontaneity, I’ve learned, is almost easier than long-term planning. Continue reading

Ski Trip On A College Budget



When Flagstaff wakes up to snow in early November, you can almost hear the collective expressions of excitement from college students near and far who are already busy envisioning themselves out on the slopes. There’s nothing quite like a mid-semester ski trip to revitalize you, and the fresh clean mountain air is just the therapy you need before studying all night for end-of-the-semester exams. But soon you begin to grapple with the reality of funding a ski trip on a college budget, and before you know it, you tell yourself there’s always spring; there’s always next year.

Skiing can be a pricey endeavor. Things such as ski or snowboard equipment, lodging and lift tickets can mean a hefty financial investment, and that’s why we’ve come up with some tips for planning a ski trip on a college budget. We wholeheartedly believe that the mountains are for everyone and are simply good for the soul. So grab your gear and get ready to plan your ski trip on a budget using these four lifesaving tips! Continue reading