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Medical Update On Backpacker Editor

Dorn wakes up from GU-induced psychedelic coma

This morning, we reported on the shocking accident suffered by editor Jonathan Dorn late last night after he apparently and unknowingly self-administered a near-lethal dose of a powerful prototype electrolyte salve from energy-gel maker GU. An outpouring of concern ensued on Backpacker’s forums and Facebook page, with many readers and industry friends wondering if this report was, in fact, an April Fools’ prank. Read Full Story...
Friday, April 01, 2011 in: News and Events
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Video: Hike the Entire Appalachian Trail—in Five Minutes

Stop-motion film "Green Tunnel" takes you through the length of the Appalachian Trail

Do you aspire to hike the entire Appalachian trail, but simply don't have the time? Kevin Gallagher just did you a huge favor: His stop-motion film Green Tunnel is a lyrical, aptly-named trip through the entire AT—all in under five minutes.

You'll see airy balds, fields of flowers, and —yes—miles and miles of trail boring through an endless green forest. Watch:

Green Tunnel from Kevin Gallagher on Vimeo.

Read Full Story...
Thursday, March 03, 2011 in: News and Events
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More John Muir on PBS

American Masters takes a look at the icon in "John Muir in The New World

Didn't get enough John Muir in Ken Burns' PBS National Parks series? You're in luck: Mighty Muir returns to the network with the documentary American Masters: John Muir in the New World. The show premieresMonday, April 18 from 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) in honor of Earth Day and John Muir Day.

Check out this preview: Read Full Story...
Thursday, February 24, 2011 in: News and Events
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Grand Canyon Uranium Mining?

Public comment period opens for BLM proposals to allow mining near the Grand Canyon

Well, this seems like a no-brainer: The Bureau of Land Management just opened up a public comment period to weigh the positives and negatives of uranium mining near the Grand Canyon in Arizona. They'll host several meetings throughout Arizona to share data and see what the public thinks.

Mining companies quite obviously want to re-open mining opportunities; everyone with even the slightest respect for the Big Ditch understands the massive environmental dangers of harvesting radioactive material near the greatest canyon in the world. Want to join the fight? Read Full Story...
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 in: News and Events, Environment and Green Living
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The Science of Bear Hibernation

Scientists monitor hibernating black bears to look for solutions that could benefit humans

It's no secret that bears hibernate in winter—so it's a little surprising how little we know about it. A new study by Øivind Tøien of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks sheds a little light on bear dens in winter, and it turns out what's going on with a bear's body is way more complex than just passing out. The results could even lead to innovations in medical treatment.

Tøien and his team took five Alaskan problem black bears and provided them with artificial dens far into the woods—so far Tøien had to ski out to collect the data. The bears were fitted with sensors to capture temperature and heart rate, and researchers outfitted dens with infrared cameras and other sensors to monitor the bears' movement, oxygen consumption, and even their snoring. (Watch it here.) Read Full Story...
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 in: News and Events, Nature and Wildlife
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Five Friends, Five Weeks: Paddling From Vancouver to Alaska

Five friends with minimal kayaking experience take five weeks to kayak from Vancouver, B.C., to Alaska, stoking wanderlust dreams for everyday Adventure Joes and Janes everywhere

No Experience Required_Full HQ from StuntBeaver Productions on Vimeo.

Five Canadian friends decided to make a small dream come true and kayak from Vancouver to Alaska in one five-week push—never mind that only one of them had much kayaking experience. They succeeded—and they made this cute short film. It's in need of some editing, but it's still great fodder for stoking your summer-adventure dream machine, and making it real.

Besides, we can think of way worse things to do in a kayak with no experience.

—Ted Alvarez

via The Goat
Read Full Story...
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 in: Destinations, News and Events, Weird and Funny
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Video: Obama On Outdoors Initiative

The President talks about preserving wild lands, getting kids outside, and Teddy Roosevelt

While Obama's track record on wilderness is mixed (let's face it—he's had a pretty full plate), he's regularly expressed his intentions to keep it top-of-mind in his administration. To wit: He gave a press conference on Wednesday covering nature preservation, getting kids outside, and the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt. Watch:

Maybe BACKPACKER can introduce Obama next time? I mean, if REI can do it...

—Ted Alvarez via The Goat

Read Full Story...
Friday, February 18, 2011 in: News and Events, Environment and Green Living
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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue: Banff Edition

SI takes athlete models to Canada's marquee national park

This year, Sports Illustrated skipped the sandy beaches and palm trees in favor of Doug firs, glaciers, and 10,000-foot peaks. The magazine chose to shoot three athlete models in Banff National Park, Canada. Read Full Story...
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 in: News and Events, Weird and Funny
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Finding Nordic Nirvana in Sun Valley, Idaho

Northwest Editor Mike Lanza explores the country's cross-country skiing capitol

The groomed white track tilts sharply upward and continues for a discouragingly long stretch before disappearing around another bend in the lodgepole pine forest. Climbing this relentless hill on my skate-skis, my heart wails loudly enough to scare off birds, while alarming sounds and fluids spew from my mouth. I feel like I’m locked in mortal combat against gravity and the battle isn’t going so well for me right now.

But I finally crest the hilltop and stop in an open meadow buried in deep snow. A view that’s become familiar over the years—and never less than exhilarating—spreads out before me. Central Idaho’s forested Wood River Valley, dappled with fields of white, meanders south for as far as I can see, and then some. Two long ramparts of jagged, snowy, 10,000-foot peaks frame the scene, the Boulder Mountains on the left and the Smoky Mountains on the right.

Every time I see this valley, I wonder how it can be that I don’t get out here more in winter. Little wonder this place has become one of the West’s skiing meccas. Read Full Story...
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 in: Destinations, News and Events
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Spray A Captive Bear, Go To Jail

Jackson Hole judge sentences guide to two days in jail, a fine, and community service for pepper-spraying a captive black bear

Animal lovers, get ready for your blood to boil: Back in October, 27-year-old Jackson Hole hunting, fishing, and float trip guide Tyler Steele emptied a can of pepper spray on a 177-lb. male black bear caught in a culvert trap. Grand Teton NP officials placed the trap to capture the bear after it had been investigating nearby cabins and a lodge.

But his crime didn't go unpunished: Federal Magistrate Jim Lubing accepted Steele’s guilty plea to animal cruelty and sentenced him to two days in jail, two years of unsupervised probation, 40 hours of animal-related community service and a $750 fine, and $250 in restitution to the Grand Teton National Park Wildlife Fund.
Read Full Story...
Monday, February 14, 2011 in: News and Events, Nature and Wildlife
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