Entering the backcountry in the 21st century demands responsibility. Many postcard-perfect wilderness destinations in North America are at risk of being loved to death (or at least degradation); truly remote, pristine sites are all the more precious in the context of our never-so-great human footprint. Leave No Trace (LNT) is a philosophy every outdoorsperson should adopt. Naturally, human beings are going to leave some traces in the woods—when we’re out hunting or fishing, sure, but also simply backpacking. Comes with the territory—and totally natural. But the LNT idea about aiming for as light-handed and soft-footed a touch as we can: … Continue reading

The Principles of Leave-No-Trace

Entering the backcountry in the 21st century demands responsibility. Many postcard-perfect wilderness destinations in North America are at risk of being loved to death (or at least degradation); truly remote, pristine sites are all the more precious in the context of our never-so-great human footprint. Leave No Trace (LNT) is a philosophy every outdoorsperson should adopt. Naturally, human beings are going to leave some traces in the woods—when we’re out hunting or fishing, sure, but also simply backpacking. Comes with the territory—and totally natural. But the LNT idea about aiming for as light-handed and soft-footed a touch as we can: … 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

Let’s Celebrate Something We All Share: Our Public Lands!

If you’ve been in the U.S. for more than a few days, chances are you’ve enjoyed spending time in some type of public land — a beach, campground, lake, monument, wildlife refuge, forest, grassland, marine sanctuary or any local, state or national park. It would be almost impossible not to step foot in public land, given that 30 percent of America’s land is public land. Here’s the “Catch 22” — we get to enjoy these public lands — but our public lands don’t always enjoy us when they are overused, littered, neglected or impacted by other issues such as invasive … Continue reading

Up a Tree: A New View on Outdoor Recreation

Here at Mountain House we keep a keen eye open for stories to share with our community, particularly those that encourage folks to get outside and explore. And wonderfully, people are doing just that! From hiking the PCT, to summiting mountains, to discovering natural wonders in our own backyards, outdoor recreation seems to be at an all-time high. Great news, right? Well yes. But … we’re also keeping an eye open for other stories, too. Because as more and more people get outside and turn little-known areas into popular “must-see” experiences, there’s a risk that some ecologically-sensitive areas could be … Continue reading