Recent Posts

  • Tune in to episode 4 of the Out and Back podcast with Blue Ridge Outdoors 2020 Hiker of the Year ( Daniel White. Known as the Blackalachian in the outdoor community, White tackled his first thru-hike in 2017 when he set out on the Appalachian Trail with no experience camping. In fact, the first night he spent in a tent was his first night thru-hiking the AT.

    In this episode, White recounts the ups and downs of his AT completion, opening up about a racist encounter at his camp near the Mason-Dixon line on the AT. He takes us through his “powerful” ride on the Underground Railroad Trail, and his trips to Europe last year, where he hiked across Scotland and completed the Camino Del Norte in Spain. Fueled by both adversity and kindness from the people he met along the way, White’s drive for solo adventure shines through in this interview.

  • Cell phones offer many useful features, even when you find yourself far away from cell towers. In the backcountry, they’ve become a go-to navigation tool, an alarm clock for alpine starts, and the place to conveniently store guide books and maps. Check out these ways you can use your cell phone in the backcountry even when cell service is sparse to none.

  • The Gaia GPS map collection now includes 45 new and updated maps, covering national park and recreation areas throughout the United States. As National Parks open up, stay safe by skipping the paper map and viewing all the park and recreation amenities, trailheads, and must-see stops right on your phone.

    Start planing your next national park visit or tour now. Make sure you hit all the best sightseeing stops and avoid inconveniences like road closures along the way with the NPS Visitor maps, available today.

  • Tune into the Out and Back podcast today as backcountry navigation expert and guide Andrew Skurka weighs in how to stay found in the wilderness. Known for laying down first tracks on three enormous hiking routes in the U.S, Skurka has become an authority on map and compass navigation. Tune in to hear Skurka’s story about his path from “living on crumbs” as a full-time adventurer to becoming a guide, gear reviewer, and author on all things backpacking. Also, don’t miss his discussion about the value of carrying both paper maps and digital maps, what’s in his navigation kit, and the one simple thing that will keep you from getting lost in the backcountry. Spoiler: it’s not triangulation.

  • Find out where you can send texts, make calls or access the internet along any route or trail. The new Cell Phone Coverage maps define where major cell phone carriers reach across the United States including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Whether you’re headed to the national parks, planning a thru-hike, or going into the backcountry for a few nights, use these maps to find out if you’ll have cell service anywhere you plan to go in the US.

  • Episode two of the Out and Back podcast drops today featuring thru-hiking legend the The Real Hiking Viking. In this episode, meet free-spirited and fun-focused Thomas Gathman, who picked up the Viking trail name due to his Norse-like beard and his warrior status as a former Marine Scout Sniper. Viking served two combat tours in Iraq before coming home, selling all his possessions in 2013, and hiking more than 20,000 miles on America’s longest trails. Tune in to hear Viking’s story about how he turned from sniper to pro hiker and never looked back.

  • As a kid, elite mountain climber Conrad Anker was diagnosed with ADHD. Rather than turn to pills, his parents sent him outside. Over time, fresh air and the great outdoors became Anker’s salve and sanctuary, and his path to becoming one of the best alpinists in the world. While the pandemic has limited Anker and the greater outdoor community’s access to the backcountry, experts say we don’t need to climb tall mountains to reap the benefits of nature.

    In this article, psychology experts, professors, and world-class athletes weigh in on why going outside even for 10 minutes a day can boost mental health. Read more about how athletes like Conrad Anker and ultra runner Scott Jurek are making the most of the outdoors simply by stepping outside their own front doors and exploring their neighborhoods.

  • Gaia Topo just got even better. Discover the best trails and routes and easily find public lands anywhere in the US with two new updates on our flagship map. Now you can quickly see nearby routes to campsites, trailheads and more on, plus view public land ownership easily with new color coding. Don’t forget to take Gaia Topo with you by downloading areas in seconds and entire states in minutes.

  • Veterans have turned to wilderness therapy programs to ease the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other combat-related injuries for many years. But with parks closed and many states ordering residents to stay at home, these therapeutic adventures have been put on hold. Program directors nationwide weigh in on how these programs might resume later this summer and advise veterans to seek fresh air close to home while they wait out quarantine.

  • The latest Android 2020.5 release includes a number of usability updates, making actions in the app more efficient and visuals more detailed. A refreshed stats bar and a number of fixes, like better deletion, add up to a smoother experience when using your Android device. After listening to your feedback, we’re excited to deliver Android 2020.5.