Cascade Mountain Tech News

Lesser Known Thru-Hikes in the United States
June 09, 2020

Lesser Known Thru-Hikes in the United States

While many thru-hikers see trails like the Pacific Crest, Appalachian and Continental Divide Trails as the ultimate in thru-hiking adventures, there are dozens of lesser-known routes that lead through the spectacular wilderness all around North America. Whether you are looking for a hike that lasts a few days or a trail that you’ll explore for months, I have gathered eight of my favorite lesser-known thru-hiking routes that are sure to stoke your wanderlust.

Read more →

campers hiking in the desert
May 26, 2020

Desert Camping 101: How to Survive while Camping in the Desert

Like any backcountry area, deserts present risk. But an understanding of basic best practices as well as some location-specific research will prepare you to have a safe and memorable trip.

Read more →

waterfall at havasupai
May 12, 2020

Your Desert Oasis Awaits at Havasupai

Havasupai was always on my bucket list of places to visit. All the photos and videos that I have seen made it seem too good to be true, but in reality, no photos or videos can really do Havasupai justice. Imagine my excitement when a friend called and told me she had won the permit lottery for four camping permits! 

Read more →

creative storage for ski boots in small apartment
May 05, 2020

How to Organize Your Camping Gear at Home (Even in a Small Apartment)

My camping gear storage is not only dialed, it beautifully highlights for house guests what we’re passionate about.  Whether heading out for a day-hike, a weekend of car camping or even a multi-day ski tour trip - having our gear easily accessible makes packing easy and even fun (okay, maybe just for a gear nerd)!  Follow these steps and you too, can have well organized camping gear, even in a small apartment.

Read more →

marshmallows on a backyard campfire
April 21, 2020

9 Ways to Adventure Without Leaving Your House: Backyard Camping, Campfire Cooking & More

What are the best ways to adventure in the Great Indoors? These at-home camping ideas will kickstart your adventure.

Read more →

couple watches movie while camping
April 14, 2020

Best Outdoor Content to Watch on Streaming Services

Break out the sleeping bag and camp chairs.  Grab the marshmallows and graham crackers.  Here are the best movies and shows for outdoor lovers that you can watch online right now.

Read more →

gear check before going camping with the dogs
April 07, 2020

The Camping Gear that Should be in Every Home Survival Kit

The organized among us already keep our camping gear ready, grab bag-style, so we can hit the road the moment wanderlust strikes. Applying the same preparedness to our home emergency kit is the best way to cover our bases should things go sideways, a-la COVID-19, or worse. Here are 5 pieces of camping gear that everyone should have in their home emergency kit.

Read more →

hiker practices social distancing on the trail during COVID-19
April 01, 2020

Hiking Etiquette in the Time of Social Distancing

Quarantine isn't exactly our cup of camp coffee. Luckily, many states still have hiking trails open to the public during COVID-19. What better way to get out of the house for some socially distant exercise than a hike? Before you hop in the car and jet to the trailhead, make sure you know the social distancing trial etiquette needed to keep yourself and your fellow hikers safe and healthy.

Read more →

national park covid-19
March 26, 2020

National Park and State Park Closures Related to COVID-19

For outdoor lovers, quarantine can feel extra quarantine-y.  Social distancing sounds like a codeword for camping to us.  But in looking for information about the status of national parks and state parks, we found the answers to be scattered and hard to track. To help you adventure responsibly during the coronavirus pandemic, we put together this comprehensive guide to park closures, updates, and resources.

Read more →

What to Know When Buying a Cooler for Camping - Car Camping Cooler
March 24, 2020

What to Know When Buying a Cooler for Camping

When it comes to buying a cooler, it’s important that you get the very best camping cooler for the money.  Premium cooler technology has become widely available to the point where you can get elite performance without putting a chill through your bank account.  But what features really matter?  What should you be looking for when shopping for a camping cooler?  Do you need to break the bank or can your camping adventures be fully supported by an affordable rotomolded cooler?

Here are the features to know as you shop for your cooler and why they’re important.

Read more →

walking-hiking-stick
March 20, 2020

How to Choose Walking Hiking Sticks and Trekking Poles

When hitting the trails for a nice long walk or hike, many adventurists want to know if they should use a walking hiking stick or trekking poles and how to choose the right one.  

Read more →

Lightweight Folding Camping Chair
March 19, 2020

Don’t Forget to Pack Lightweight Folding Camping Chairs

It’s worth your time to check out some quality lightweight folding camping chairs as you prepare for your next camping trip.  Camping is always so much fun and a great way to get away and spend time with friends and family on an affordable adventure.  The kids always love it and never seem to mind being unplugged, which is one of the greatest benefits these days. Exploring new places with a license to get dirty is healthy without them even realizing the benefits they’re gaining from the fresh air.

Read more →

Yellowstone National Park by Snowshoe: Out and back to Mystic Falls
February 12, 2020

Yellowstone National Park by Snowshoe: Out and back to Mystic Falls

Out in the backcountry, alone to ourselves below Mystic Falls, we gazed at the thermally colored canyon walls and soaked in the solitude.  We were in no hurry to leave.  Yellowstone had us entranced.

Read more →

What’s With the Pink Snow?: A Backcountry Ski Expedition in the Name of Science
December 17, 2019

What’s With the Pink Snow?: A Backcountry Ski Expedition in the Name of Science

he cool air rushed down out of the gully’s opening. The trail quickly disappeared among the tumble of rocks and boulders strewn about. A stream coursed out from under the snout of the receding snowfield that was once known as Spider Glacier. I wasn’t sure whether the goosebumps were from the chill of the cool air or from my excitement. I made it. Within a few steps onto the snowfield, I found what I was looking for, the main reason I had come nine miles into the Glacier Peak Wilderness, the ancestral lands of the Chelan, Wenatchi, Entiat, Yakama and Okanagan peoples. Pink, living, snow. 

Read more →

Exploring Colorado: A Look Inside Rocky Mountain National Park
November 07, 2019

Exploring Colorado: A Look Inside Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park, a breathtaking 415-square mile National Park located just west of Colorado’s Front Range, is an American icon. Jagged peaks soar above alpine lakes, elk herds graze in mountain meadows, and wildflowers takeover the grasslands in summer. I recently caught up with Barbara Scott, a 20-year National Park Service veteran and Supervisory Park Ranger of Interpretation & Education at Rocky Mountain National Park, to talk about her career in the Park Service, her passion for Rocky Mountain, and what makes this Colorado National Park so special.

Read more →

Views From the Top: Mason Lake
October 29, 2019

Views From the Top: Mason Lake

“Let’s go for a hike!” is a declaration my kids usually don’t want to hear. They’ve been drug out on hikes and marched down trails since our twins were 10 weeks old (Washington’s Lake Lillian hike was their first ascent, although they hitched a ride up the mountain snuggled firmly in a baby carrier). You’d think that eight years of hiking expeditions would have taught them the lesson that though these trips initially sound like a lot of work for little legs, they will enjoy themselves thoroughly. They may have hundreds of trail miles under their belt, but pre-hike griping seems to come naturally. Our destination was Mason Lake, a pretty little hike just off the I-90 corridor that switches back and forth up and away from the valley and over the ridge to a little mountain lake that gets just enough sun all summer to make it tolerable for a swim on a hot day after the ascent. The round trip is 6.5 miles in total.

Read more →

Training Techniques to Prepare You for a Local Hike or the Seven Summits
October 24, 2019

Training Techniques to Prepare You for a Local Hike or the Seven Summits

Since I have taken on the challenge to become the first NFL player to climb the Seven Summits, I have learned that there are three essential elements that contribute to the success of any expedition. The first is mental preparation. The second is physical capability and endurance. The third is Mother Nature. After contemplating the odds of success over and over, the question becomes:  what can I do to better prepare? Train, train & train.

Read more →

How to Get Started in Night Photography
October 17, 2019

How to Get Started in Night Photography

There is a particular fascination that develops when the sun goes down and the night sky comes out. Perhaps it comes from the unknown of the darkness or the fact that we generally sleep when the stars are shining at their peak. Making photographs at night is no easy task, but I hope to give you some tips and tricks to help you feel more confident when you set out to give it a shot. 

Read more →

Views from the Top: The 5040 Hut Hike on Vancouver Island
October 08, 2019

Views from the Top: The 5040 Hut Hike on Vancouver Island

Climbing old growth root ladders to the top of a misty mountain is a quintessential Vancouver Island hiking experience. Spending the night in a cozy, heated, and well-lit hut at the top of that mountain adds a definite something. It makes you feel a bit guilty writing about it because, while the newly-opened 5040 Peak Hut is no secret, it’s special and hopefully will be respectfully preserved for a long time. The hut is accessed via the Cobalt Lake Trail, a steep climb through old-growth and alpine, not far from Port Alberni, in the traditional territory of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth First Nations. The hike is not for the faint of heart—literally, you climb and climb and climb—and you’ll need a 4x4 to get to it via Marion Creek Forest Service Road. The hard work pays off though as you hike alongside rushing waterfalls, the small and incredibly clear Cobalt Lake, and up to the top of the peak, about another hour’s climb past the hut.

Read more →

Preparation Meets Opportunity: Lessons Learned on a Summit Attempt at Mt. Rainier
October 02, 2019

Preparation Meets Opportunity: Lessons Learned on a Summit Attempt at Mt. Rainier

In my past life, I was a professional football player in the NFL, but today, my sights are set on climbing the Seven Summits, with only Mt Everest left unchecked on my list. This past August, I was invited to co-guide a bunch of guys up the slopes of Mt Rainier, a recognizable and majestic peak towering at 14,411’ and located a few hours outside of Seattle. My good buddy, former NFL & college head coach Jim Mora, trained an insane amount of hours alongside me in the month of July to prepare for this endeavor. Unfortunately, this was not the case for our entire group.

Read more →

What to Know When Buying a Sleeping Bag
September 25, 2019

What to Know When Buying a Sleeping Bag

With fall swiftly approaching, many are starting to venture outdoors to bid farewell to the humid dog days and to welcome the crisp autumn air. As the leaves start to change their hues and fall from the trees, our eyes are drawn outside as we are once again reminded of the beauty of our seasonal surroundings. But the romance of outdoor exploration can quickly be stripped away by neglecting the importance of what’s keeping you warm when sleeping away in your bed, namely your sleeping bag. Regardless of your level of expertise, sleeping bags can seem scientific and intimidating with their different temperature ratings, materials, weights and shapes. This short guide will shed light on the specs that matter the most and should help to demystify the process of buying a new sleeping bag.

Read more →

Exploring Colorado: A Look Inside Mesa Verde National Park
September 16, 2019

Exploring Colorado: A Look Inside Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park, a breathtaking expanse of both archaeological and wild landscapes, became Colorado’s first National Park in 1906, and it was also the first in the country established to preserve archaeological history. There are nearly 5,000 archaeological sites—600 of which are cliff dwellings—within the boundaries of the park. I spoke with Jill Blumenthal, Education Coordinator and Volunteer Program Manager for Mesa Verde National Park and Yucca House National Monument, to learn more about the park, her career in the Park Service, and some suggestions about how visitors can enjoy the park today.

Read more →

Easy Access Backpacking: A Trip to Shi Shi Beach
September 04, 2019

Easy Access Backpacking: A Trip to Shi Shi Beach

There’s a thrill that comes from seeing the edge of something – a cliff, a horizon, a coastline. That’s it. That’s where it all ends. What’s over the edge? You can google it, sure, or you can let your imagination run for a while. If you’re looking for an all-time edge – a place that really whips the imagination into a frenzy – head to Shi Shi Beach on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Sitting in the upper left corner of the continental United States (yes you can see Canada from the beach), Shi Shi is an accessible backpacking destination ideal for families, novice backpackers and veterans looking to warm up to or unwind from a gnarly season in the backcountry. 

Read more →

How to Build Out Your Camp Kitchen
August 27, 2019

How to Build Out Your Camp Kitchen

Cooking a big meal in the great outdoors can be a little intimidating. There’s prep work to be done, a fire to light, pans to clean, and somehow never enough table space to slice & chop or set down a drink. It can feel tempting to reach for a bag of dehydrated lasagna, pass around a box of cookies and call it a night. No judgments if that’s how you roll, but if you’re willing to do a little planning, sharing a homemade camp meal with friends and family is well worth the effort. We’ve compiled a basic set of guidelines to help you get started for a smooth (and delicious) meal on your next weekend camping trip. 

Read more →