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How To: Clean Your Bike

With the arrival of warmer weather, many of us are finally getting out on our bikes. It’s a spectacular, time-honored ritual that signals the change of seasons–and it’s also time to apply that other time-honored tradition of spring cleaning to your two-wheeled chariot. Follow these tips and your bike will be ready for the open road. And–as spring brings with it mud, water, and road grit–this guide will serve you throughout the season and well into summer as a quick way to keep your bike in top riding form.

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Good To Know: Babies In The Wild

The American outdoor dream works like this: You love the outdoors. You travel to cool places and learn exceptional skills. Then you share your love of nature with someone else. Often that someone else is a child to whom you pass down your wisdom, passion, and appreciation for nature.

 

But is it that easy?

 

Yes! Here’s our primer for taking kids outside.

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Chew On This: Backcountry Greens

Now that we’ve covered the more obvious bounty you’re likely to encounter in the backcountry (bright, edible berries that grow alongside the trail), let’s get a bit more creative. If you know what you’re looking for, treasures await in the more unlikely places—like the foliage. There you’ll find choice, all-natural ingredients that can compliment your basic backcountry pasta dishes, offer a refreshing burst of warmth, or add some legit spice to that boring Cup o’ Noodles. Here are a few of our favorites, as well as a few things to avoid when harvesting.

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How To: Stretches For Hikers

As soon as you arrive at camp or back at the trailhead, it’s all too easy to just throw down your pack and have a seat. Your muscles have been working hard all day–and that’s precisely why you should do a few stretches before you cool down. It’ll keep your body running smoothly and ensure you are ready to hit the trail again tomorrow.

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Good To Know: Dessert on the Trail

Hands down, there aren’t many things more magnificent than a wild berry. So much gastronomical potential in something so small. Marionberries,  raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, lingonberries—even the magnificent cloudberries of Sweden. These gifts from nature seem sweetest when you earn them. In places with lava-rich soil (like the Washington and Oregon Cascades) there’s an abundance of fruits and vegetables; local favorites are the blackberries and smaller red and black huckleberries. Careful lookers can find wild strawberries, and the holy grail of foraging, wild raspberries, with their lush sweetness and out-of-this-world juiciness.

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How To: Remove A Fishing Hook

Unless you condone fishing with dynamite (you shouldn’t condone fishing with dynamite) or use a net, hooks are pretty much unavoidable when fishing. And while the act of getting a hook stuck in your body should be a rare thing—you’re best off accepting that it will happen (especially as you start to learn the sport). So before that inevitable event occurs, it’s best to educate yourself on the right way to remove a hook from your skin.

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Chew On This: Homemade Treats for the Trail

Although pre-packaged energy bars are tasty and convenient, they can get a bit expensive if you play outside every day–and they can also become boring. Instead, try making your own healthy snacks.Over the coming weeks, we will share a series of our favorite trail food recipes.

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How To: Store Your Ski Gear For Winter

Ski season may be over for most of the country, but don’t cry. It will be back again next winter. In the meantime, you need to properly care for and store your ski equipment over the summer to ensure it lasts for many seasons to come.

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Travel: Hiking New Hampshire

Spring hiking in New Hampshire is about color. The shades of green living in the fields, forests, and wildflowers rival a Monet. My husband’s family has lived in New England for centuries; as a young man he forged the first ascents of many of the iconic rock and ice climbs on Cannon Cliff in Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire—a 6,692-acre park with 5,000-foot mountain peaks, waterfalls, lakes, and old-growth forests. But these mountains have been luring the intrepid for generations.

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How To: High Points

There’s a famous quote attributed to George Leigh Mallory after his first attempt on Mt. Everest.

“Why do you climb,” was the question?

“Because it’s there,” is the now famous response.

For most of us, the desire to reach the top of geographically significant formations is easy to explain. The ascent is always memorable (you only need to look up to remember your adventure), and, while some of us repeat our favorite ascents over and over again, there’s also the philosophy that once you tick one off your list, you can move on to the next challenge. But whether you constantly look for the next peak to conquer or make an annual ritual out of your local favorite mountain, nothing equals the sensation of standing on a summit, surveying the world below. There’s the wind in your hair and a real-life map at your feet.

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