Road Trip Tested: Winter Edition

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again (and again and again): we’re not into stuff for the sake of stuff. But reliable gear that helps folks adventure and explore, we’re totally into that! Which is why we geared up a family for a winter road trip to test products from Mountain House, Teton Sports, Solo Stove, Orion Coolers, Coffee Wick, and GoCamp Rentals. And now one lucky winner has a shot at winning the same items (new, of course!). Enter by providing your email address below. And then tune in to Facebook and Instagram for chances to earn … Continue reading

Avalanche Safety

For winter outdoor recreationists in the mountains, there’s no more fearsomely violent natural hazard than the avalanche. Too many of those skiers, snowshoers, climbers, and snowmobilers underestimate the risk and/or lack basic knowledge of avalanche behavior and avalanche safety. Others at least recognize the threat avalanches pose but don’t always actually take the time to study the forecast, test the snowpack, or practice their rescue techniques. There’s no substitute for taking an avalanche-safety course, which we heartily recommend to anyone who regularly adventures out in the winter backcountry, but for starters check out this blogpost: serving up a walk-through of … Continue reading

The Best Offline Navigation Hiking Apps

The use of smartphones out in the wilderness is controversial, but there’s no question the technology has real utility. Even if you personally eschew the regular use of a smartphone on your backpacking or paddling or hunting adventures, it’s not a bad idea to have one stowed away in the pack: If nothing else, it’s another emergency tool in case you run into trouble. But there’s much else to take advantage of, outdoors-wise, with today’s immensely powerful mobile devices. (And, incidentally, a 2013 report by the Outdoor Foundation suggested close to 40 percent of all Americans do take advantage of … Continue reading

Looking for Wildlife Signs in the Winter

All things considered, there’s no better time to observe wildlife—or at least evidence of wildlife—than winter. Sightlines expand through barren woods, distant animals stand out darkly against snowfields, and, of course, the white stuff abounds with the tracks and traces of all sorts of critters, large and small. We’d wager a lot of you who read the Mountain House blog are dedicated winter recreationists. If you’re getting out there cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling, here are some signs of wildlife to keep an eye peeled for! A Quick Intro to Snow Tracking The great thing about snow tracks is how … Continue reading

Winter Camping Basics

When the first subfreezing night temperatures hit and the first real snowflakes start falling, some outdoorspeople hang up their packs and camping gear for the year and settle in for a winter of trip-planning for the following summer, maybe with some skiing or snowshoeing thrown in as daytrip adventures. But as many of our Mountain House readers know from experience, winter camping can be amazing: quiet and solitude abound, the snow-draped scenery can be transcendent, and you can justify an extra cup or two of hot cocoa around the campfire. Newbies often find the idea of winter camping intimidating, but … Continue reading