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Big City Mountaineers ‘Try-On’ Program

Big City Mountaineers (BCM) transforms the lives of under-served urban youth through wilderness mentoring expeditions that instill critical life skills.

Columbia is a long-term partner with BCM because of our shared commitment to getting kids outside. This Fall we are excited to partner with BCM through our unique “Try Columbia and Introduce Urban Teens to the Outdoors” initiative.

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How To: Winter Camping Tips

Camping or backpacking in the dead of winter can be cold business. But you will be rewarded with pristine, snowy wilderness, and very few people. And while cold-weather camping might frighten most people, it doesn’t have to be miserable. Here are a few tips to making your time in the wild during the deep days of winter more enjoyable.

-Eat. If you wake up cold in the middle of the night, your body most likely ran out of fuel to keep you warm. Keep a small snack next to your sleeping bag to munch on if you wake up shivering. Unless there are bears in the vicinity. If so, never sleep next to your food (of any kind).

-Fill one of your water bottles with hot water and throw it in your sleeping bag. Not only will the hot water bottle help to keep your feet warm at night but it will also speed up the drying process for any of your gear that might have gotten wet.

-If duty calls in the middle of the night, get up and get it over with. The longer you wait, the colder you will get.

-Don’t go to bed cold. Drink some hot tea, run laps around your tent, or do a few squats and burpees before hopping into your sleeping bag for the night.

-Stuff all your clothes for the next day in the bottom of your sleeping bag and even fill in the spaces around you. This will cut down on the amount of air in your sleeping bag that your body needs to heat up, and because your body heat will warm the clothing, that also means you can put on nicely heated clothes the next morning.

-Wear a hat and dry socks to bed to add some extra warmth.

-Sleep with both a closed cell foam pad and an air mattress beneath you. The closed cell foam pad will insulate you from the ground, which can suck away most of your body heat, while the air mattress will provide comfort.


As with any new adventure, don’t let the fear of “what if” stop you from seeing for yourself.

Tips And Tricks: How To Cast From A Kayak With Chad Hoover

As intuitive as it seems, there are a few things you should keep in mind when casting from a kayak. Chad Hoover fills us in on these pointers.

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Good To Know: Will Your Tongue REALLY Stick to a Frozen Pole?

Blame it on A Christmas Story (one of the best holiday movies ever), but there’s a human propensity to take risks, whether it be out of a compulsion to just keep trying stuff, or as a consequence of a double-dog dare. Whatever the motivation, you might feel tempted this season to see what really happens when you touch your tongue to a frozen flag pole—or a ski lift safety bar…


This time your mother—and that famed holiday movie—were both right.

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Tips And Tricks: How To Cut Glare With George Poveromo

Cutting down on glare is a must in order to see the game fish that you’re after! George Poveromo tells us how.

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Travel: Warm Winter Hikes

While we all love the coming of the cold, and the activities that accompany it, occasionally we yearn for a bit of a respite from winter (especially if those Polar Vortex conspiracies come true). And that’s why we love these hikes. They trace through some of the country’s best national parks, ones that are prohibitively hot during the peak travel months of summer, but become a textbook destination when the rest of the country struggles to adjust to the deep freeze.

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Tips And Tricks: How To Build A Fire With Dave Norona

The sun is setting and you’ve got a long way to your destination. Dave Norona shows us how to safely build a fire that will keep us warm throughout the night.

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Travel: Family Friendly Ski Resorts

The family that skis or rides together stays together. There are very few outdoor activities that are as family-friendly as skiing and snowboarding. These sports can be enjoyed by nearly anyone who can walk—from three or four years old to people in their 80’s and even 90’s. Our suggestion is to plan on a long weekend, or better yet, a week. Sign kids and adults up for lessons; non-skiers or riders can snowshoe, ice skate, or have fun at the tubing park. Here are a few of our favorite family-friendly ski resorts in the country.

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Tips And Tricks: Find New Fishing Spots With Bob Izumi

Bob Izumi lets us in on how he doesn’t get stuck in a fishing spot rut.

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Travel: Sun Valley, Idaho

First things first: Ketchum, Idaho—the city adjacent to the famed Sun Valley Resort and your typical gateway to the region—can be hard to reach. The area (including the small town of Hailey) sits in a low valley, and when the weather comes in, the conditions can close the airport. It’s not uncommon to take off, fly right over Hailey, and then get rerouted due to fog or clouds, even after making a few attempts at landing on the runway.

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Vasu Sojitra: ‘Out on a Limb’

“His talent pretty much exceeds most any skier I’ve ever seen.” Adaptive skier, Vasu Sojitra, stars in ‘Out On A Limb’ profiling his inspiring story as he ventures into the backcountry to summit peaks, explore avalanche zones, send cliffs, and ski deep powder lines—all completely unassisted. Filmed in the Chic-Choc Mountain range and Vermont’s backcountry, Vasu shows that the only limits are those we place on ourselves.

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