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America’s Best-Kept Secrets
Get the best features of our iconic national parks—world-class terrain and expansive backcountry—with none of the traffic or permit hassles at these 10 perfect substitutes. By Michael Lanza
Cut weight the smart way: Lose the load you’re carrying around the middle. Here’s how to get in the best shape of your life with the ultimate fat-burning program: backpacking. By Jim Gorman
Hike, Pray, Protest
Does God love camping? A new church movement foot-soldiered by wilderness-loving young people could transform the way conservative Christians perceive and protect the environment. We hit the trail with the new green evangelicals. By Tracy Ross
RIGHT PLACE, PERFECT TIME
See Yosemite’s river of ice, witness there-and-gone meteor showers in Hawaii, and mark your calendar for eight more fleeting natural wonders.
EXPANDED LOCAL SECTIONS!
Trek to Washington hot springs (Rip & Go); spy gray whales breach off the California coast.
Explore ancient ruins in Utah’s Grand Gulch; summit an Arizona peak.
Discover east Texas’s longleaf pine forest (Rip & Go); see the Boundary Waters on foot.
Ascend Rocky Top in Tennessee (Rip & Go); spot herons and pelicans in a Florida bayou.
Paddle to Maryland’s Assateague Island (Rip & Go); pack an ice axe for the Presidentials.
THE WRONG WAY
Stop! Drop that pack. Don’t make one of these 52 outdoor blunders. Here’s how to do it right the first time.
RECIPES: SEAFOOD SURPRISE
Dig into a backcountry fish feast with these easy-prep, sure-to-wow dishes.
GEAR SCHOOL: AVY BEACONS
Learn how to choose and use the right model before an avalanche scare.
FIELD TEST: CAMP COOKWARE
Upgrade your backcountry kitchen with light, durable, no-mess cooksets.
REVIEW: WATER TREATMENT
Drink up with eight ways to filter and purify water.
Plus: a body-hugging puffy, an affordable four-season tent, a versatile lightweight pack, super comfy trail runners, and a windshell that’s light and packable.