Fifteen years ago, an owl swooped down to Mike Clelland with a message. That event changed the trajectory of his life, leading Mike to become a leading historian and author on the connection between highly charged owl encounters and UFO abduction. Yes, you read that correctly. Tune in to the newest episode of the Out and Back podcast and be prepared to never look at the world the same way again.
Don’t let your weekend plans go up in smoke. Gaia GPS’s robust collection of weather maps can help you avoid current wildfires and find smoke-free skies. Learn how to use these (free!) wildfire, smoke, and air quality maps to find out if it’s safe to hike, bike, or camp at your next destination.
Learn how to overcome your backpacking fears this week on the Out and Back podcast. Allison Boyle, the face behind the ultra-popular blog and hiking resource She Dreams of Alpine, lays out the big three fears newbie backpackers feel. She shares her tried and true strategies for overcoming them, as well as why almost everyone wants to back out of their trip right before they start. Plus, learn how she turned her passion for the outdoors into a career.
Hike, hunt, and offroad with confidence using the Public Land (US) and Private Land (US) maps. Both maps provide coverage for every state in the US so you can quickly and easily decipher public and private land, no matter where you are. Plus, we’ve added 1.5 million acres to the Public Land map to bring you the most comprehensive coverage available.
The best — and safest — hikes start before you reach the trailhead. With a little advanced planning at home, you can know what to expect, find your way to the trailhead, and navigate the trails with ease. Check out this video to learn how to plan a hike using Gaia GPS.
The trails are melting out, and it’s time to start planning spring and summer adventures. The USFS Roads and Trails layer makes finding your next route especially easy. Trails are color-coded so you can tell whether they’re mountain bike friendly, open to motor vehicles, or even allow horses. Plus, this layer shows trails and backroads that you won’t find on any other map.
Dreaming up summer hiking and backpacking adventures? You can start getting ready for them right now, right from home. This week on Out and Back, personal trainer and founder of Backcountry Fitness Billy Gawron shares how you can get strong, fit, and mentally prepared to hit the backcountry. Minimal space, equipment, and time required.
Knowing how to read a topographic map is the foundation to any backcountry adventure. Through the use of contour lines, topo maps bring a 3-dimensional element to a 2-dimensional paper map. Visualize the rise and fall of the land, and “see” the depths of canyons, the location of boggy meadows, and the height and shape of a mountain. Learn how to read topo maps like a pro.
Trail running allows you to cover a lot of ground in a little time. This means you can reach new heights and sights and still be back in time for lunch. If you already hike, it’s not hard to make the transition to running. Here’s how to get started.
Winter hiking can be magical — or miserable. That difference can largely come down to one simple decision. Bring the wrong layers and you may end up too cold or too sweaty, both of which can lead to exposure-related conditions like frostbite and hypothermia. Read on to learn the art of layering.