Mountains of Mind: Balancing Mental Health Through a Love of Adventure

words by Adrienne Pastula; photo above by Dave McCollum :: Of all the mountain faces to view as ordinary, I never thought I’d count the Matterhorn among them. The Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland is objectively gorgeous. It’s tall and chiseled, continually tempting many into climbing its summit. I frequently caught myself staring at photos of it with a fixation similar to that of [...]

Home Is Where the Heart Is: A Journey Out of the Last Wilderness

words and photos by Ann Olsson :: There’s something about packing your bags and leaving a place close to your heart, knowing you’ll never live there again. This is how I felt in May of 2016 when I made the journey out of the wilderness surrounding Fairbanks, Alaska and into the relatively big city of Madison, Wisconsin. At that time, my husband flew [...]

Creating Inclusive Outdoor Spaces as a Female Park Ranger

Andrea Willingham is a former park ranger with the U.S. National Park Service. In this piece, she reflects on what it means to be a female park ranger in the NPS and the importance it holds for women in outdoor spaces. Photo: Wesley Lucas; words + all other photos by Andrea Willingham :: “I’m now officially a park ranger. Uniform arrived yesterday in [...]

Roots Run Deep: Reclaiming the Black Outdoor Experience through Family History

The smells of honeysuckle and barbecue linger in the humid air as a spring thunderstorm lights up the sky. I was planted in these Arkansas conditions. Called the "Natural State" because of its clear water, rivers, lakes, wildlife, bayous, and mountains, Arkansas is where my roots run deep, and where my connection with nature began. There was a time when being outside was a means of [...]

Career + Life: Balance in the Outdoor Industry

This piece was created in partnership with Sorona®. We appreciate their support of our community.   "Push the paradigm. Don’t settle for mediocre — ever — in anything."  -Renee Henze If you've ever felt your professional life doesn’t mesh with the outdoor life you love, or you have a driving hunger to move into a career you are passionate about — one in the outdoor industry — but aren’t sure [...]

Share the Love: Passing Outdoor Appreciation to the Next Generation

  Motherhood’s age-old question: Are any of my parenting efforts sticking with my child? As an outdoor mom, I wonder if open space will still exist when my son reaches my age. I wonder if he’s learning to take care of our earth. I wonder if he’ll be able to teach his children to ski, or if snow will be a thing of [...]

Crux of Womanhood: Are you Running Yourself Dry?

Sometimes the outdoors is best enjoyed by just being. ::    It's inevitable: Life will present impasses. Whether they are physical or emotional, mental concentration and purposeful intent must be put forth in order to conquer these roadblocks. This time, I couldn't find it in me. Like many other women all over the world, I began to feel very worn down, mentally drained [...]

Trekking Patagonia: A Perspective on Becoming a Mother

words and photos by Betsy Dionne :: As my husband and I travel the long Argentinean road toward Puerto Natales, I can’t help but gaze at the mix of cobalt, gold, and the brightest shades of blue imaginable. I’m tired, but the landscape I see through the windows of the double-decker bus I’ve been on for the last 48 hours distracts me from [...]

Roads to the Summit: Approaching the Dilemma of Accessibility

words and photos by Laura Stasi :: I decided to go hiking while sitting in a garage waiting for an oil change. Even though I would be getting a late start (you can’t rush small-town car mechanics), I figured I had enough time to hike the 8.2 miles to the top of nearby Mount Greylock. It was mid-autumn, just past peak foliage, and [...]

Lost in Ashdown Gorge Wilderness: A Case for Staying Present on the Trail

words and photos by April McPherson :: I was lost. I’d hiked several hours into Utah's Ashdown Gorge Wilderness the previous day and, within the first two hours of the second morning, I found myself anxious and alone. I followed the trail and tried to remain confident in my direction, but I soon realized I had lost visibility of the trail. I was [...]