The 6 Best Winter Thru-Hiking Trails in the U.S.

Winter can be a cold albeit magical time to go backpacking. The crowds are minimal, the air is fresh, and the views are unparalleled. While cozying up next to the fire with a good book is enticing, getting outside and experiencing the beauty of the natural world is worth it every time. With a little extra planning and the proper gear, wintertime thru-hiking can be the adventure of a lifetime. And it’s not just a shift in attitude that’s necessary; often a shift in latitude helps as well, rethinking the wilder options in southern climes with milder winter temps. Here, we’ve rounded up six overlooked, yet enticing long-distance hiking and backpacking routes to unplug, escape the depths of winter and go trek in the contiguous United States.

A cascade on Spirit’s Creek off the Ozark Highlands Trail. Shutterstock

Ozark Highlands Trail

Winslow, Arkansas

Located in Northwest Arkansas, the Ozark Read more

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3 Easy Ways to Boost Your Immune System

While maintaining a high-functioning immune system is always important, nowadays, it really seems to take on an added level of importance. A global pandemic is a scary event to deal with, and having a strong immune system––along with socially distancing and wearing a mask––is your best line of defense.

Of course, knowing exactly how to give your immune system the boost it needs is a little more complicated than putting back a couple glasses of OJ––but that’s a start. While staying active and fit is extremely helpful, you can still strengthen your immunity without breaking a sweat––or even opening your eyes, for that matter. Begin with incorporating these three simple changes into your life to give your immune system the boost it needs to keep you healthy and safe, during flu season and beyond.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Don’t be this guy. Shutterstock

16 hours should be more than enough … Read more

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These Outdoor Jackets Are the Best Alternatives to Puffers

We all love a good down jacket—they offer a ton of warmth in a featherweight package. But they’re inefficient when wet and you can look like the Michelin Man come to life. Admittedly, the newest down puffys have slimmer silhouettes and use more modern materials, but they still don’t cut a very stylish profile when strolling around town after a day on the slopes. Thankfully, there’s a new breed of outdoor jackets that are as fashionable as they are functional.

 

 

These hybrids mix old-school fibers, like wool and cellulose, with cutting-edge materials, like synthetic blends, that boast all the benefits of down with none of the negatives. Of course there’s still a time and place for your beloved puffers—just keep it to fast alpine adventures or treks when packability and lightness are required. If you’re trying to get style points, pick one of these 10 innovative jackets instead. They’re … Read more

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Adversity Lessons Learned the Hard Way in the ‘World’s Toughest Race’

Dark had set on the Fijian rainforest. In the mud and rain, Jason Magness and his teammates happened upon a bamboo frame. They draped a tarp over, and made camp for the night. The last few hours the group had clambered their way through a dense, steep valley they believed would bring them to the base of Vuwa Falls—a tiered, thousand-foot cascade they needed to ascend—only to discover they made navigational errors and had just spent the day traversing the wrong valley.

7 Reasons to Watch the 'World’s Toughest Race'

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Magness, Daniel Staudigel, Melissa Coombes, and Stephen Thompson of Team Bend Racing were in Fiji participating in the 2019 Eco-Challenge, an 11-day, 400-mile adventure race aired on Amazon Prime Video in August 2020 as the World’s Toughest Race. Team Bend started the multi-discipline event sprinting to a lead in their outrigger canoe. Then trekking on the island … Read more

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WSL Cancels Jaws Challenge and Sunset Open; Postpones Santa Cruz Open

The World Surf League’s (WSL) attempts to restart professional surf competition have already suffered a major wipeout.

After completing their season-opening contest at the Pipeline Masters in Hawaii––with John John Florence and Tyler Wright taking the Mens and Womens wins, respectively––the 2021 WSL season is going on an extended hiatus.

John John Florence on His Long-Awaited Pipeline Win, His New Brand and a New Yea…

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As a result of Hawaii’s suspension of all surfing competitions until further notice, the upcoming Championship Tour (CT) event, the Sunset Open––scheduled for January 19-28, 2021––and the Big Wave Jaws Championship Pe’ahi have been canceled. And with Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations continuing to surge in California, the WSL also made the decision to postpone the CT Santa Cruz Pro, which had been scheduled for February 2-12, 2021.

The decision was made due to the length of time surfers would have to be away … Read more

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John John Florence on His Long-Awaited Pipeline Win, His New Brand and a New Year As Surfing’s No. 1 Seed

On Dec. 20, Hawaii’s John John Florence emerged from the water at Pipe with his first Pipeline Masters win. The headline wasn’t so much that he won, but that he hadn’t won it up to that point. The long-awaited moment of victory itself was also marked by what it lacked: flanks of fans, as Florence couldn’t be chaired up the beach, thanks to social-distancing safety rules. Pandemic precautions, however, did not snuff out the significance.

“Not winning all those times definitely stung a little,” Florence explained recently to MJ, “especially the times I made the finals. You get so close, you make all those heats and you can’t get the win. It wasn’t getting to me too much, but it’s definitely an event I’ve wanted to win—it’s in my backyard.”

And when he says backyard, he’s not talking the figurative neighborhood; it’s his literal backyard.

Florence famously grew up … Read more

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Mark Wahlberg’s 8 Fitness Tips to Get Back in Shape in 2021

2020 has been a strange, stressful year for everyone; but for those of you looking to boost your mood, it’s time to get moving. Exercise has been proven as one of the most effective ways to improve mental health by releasing feel-good endorphins––something we could all use more of right now.

I’ve been working out for as long as I can remember, but like everyone else, some days are easier than others to get moving. Though regardless of where you are on your fitness journey, it’s critically important to make your health a priority. And with 2021 already on our doorstep, now is the perfect time to gear up and jump back on the fitness train.

MJ5: Mark Wahlberg on His Favorite Gear, Best Piece of Advice, and More

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To help convert your resolutions into reality and kick-start a healthier New Year, I’ve put together a list of … Read more

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The 5 Pillars of Santa Maria-Style BBQ With Chef Anthony Endy

When it comes to different styles of barbecue across the United States, places like Texas, Memphis, or North/South Carolina probably come to mind. However, there’s a particular style of barbecue that might not be as well-known, but most certainly punches above its weight class in flavor. We’d like to introduce you to Santa Maria-style barbecue.

Photo: Jon Perino

The history of Santa Maria-style barbecue started with the local ranchers in the Central California coast region in the late 1800s—even dating back to the Chumash people. They’d cook over the local hardwood in the area (primarly oak and sycamore). And due to the consistently windy conditions of the central coast of California, they would dig big pits into the ground to build their fires and cook over the embers. But the wind is actually a key component here, as it keeps the fire healthy and fueled without the need for ventilation. … Read more

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Drew Brees is on a MISSION to Give Back to Those in Need

THE $1,000,000 GAITER GIVE BACK

True to its name, MISSION and partner Drew Brees have been stepping up and giving back, and they are not slowing down. Having already donated 1 million meals through Feeding America and over $250,000 of MISSION Gear to help the Gulf Coast front-line workers clean up after the Hurricanes in the brutal heat; they recently announced their latest giveback by donating $1M of MISSION Gaiters to the YMCA to provide face covers for underserved communities across the country.

As a Partner in MISSION, I am honored to collaborate with the YMCA to donate $1M of MISSION Gaiters to support these communities in need across the United States.” —Drew Brees, MISSION Partner and NFL Champion

STEPPING UP AND DOING MORE

Throughout the pandemic, the YMCA has worked to meet the needs of the more than 10,000 communities it serves across the United States, providing childcare for … Read more

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Preview the New Film That Shows Climbing Can Be Colorblind

The new short film, Black Ice, tells the story of a group of Black men from Memphis, TN, who travel to the climbing mecca of Hyalite Canyon, MT, for their first ice climbing experience. The men learned about indoor rock climbing at Memphis’ Rox Gym, but it wasn’t until they met The North Face athlete, Conrad Anker, that their dreams extended to frozen vertical pillars a long way from home.

Chris Dean Champ Miller – courtesy TNF/Sender Films

Memphis is not known for rock climbing, much less ice climbing. But an indoor rock gym and an elite group of The North Face alpinists has changed that. The movie (part of the Reel Rock Tour’s 2020 lineup) is a 35-minute-long tale that traces the climbers’ journey into the harsh, cold and often inhospitable world of ice climbing. In addition to learning how to use axes … Read more

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Eight Greats: The Best Vehicles We Drove in 2020

We’re staring down the road at an electric future, there’s no doubt: Governments and automakers have pivoted to long-term plans where battery-electric powertrains are paramount. But that’s not the only story on autodom, as evinced by the best cars and trucks we drove over the course of this very unique year. On our “best of” list, you’ll find two norm-defying pickups, a game-changing Corvette, a Land Rover with enough off-road chops to cure your cabin fever for good, and more. Here are the drives we dug the most in 2020:

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

In the old Super Mario Kart, running over a star makes you ultrafast and untouchable, temporarily. Such is the feeling of piloting the 717-horsepower 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat on a long freeway uphill, past scores of slower cars. Grip the meaty wheel, plunge the pedal, and you hear a high-pitched, menacing supercharger whine as the … Read more

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Inside Kai Lenny’s “Day of Days” at Mavericks

As all things 2020 have been trending, so was the winter forecast for the big-wave season ahead. Surfers anticipated less-than-good conditions courtesy of La Niña weather patterns impacting the Northern Hemisphere, generally resulting in less swell and colder water.

However, on Dec. 8, and seemingly out of nowhere, Mavericks awakened from a lengthy slumber and began firing on all cylinders.

Located just outside of Half Moon Bay, CA, the storied wave has a reputation for consequence that precedes it. But despite its distinction, the spot is finicky and typically only works during a big swell coming from the west to west-northwest, with minimal wind.

According to Kai Lenny, recent men’s winner of the WSL’s XXL Biggest Wave Award, the swell was coming from a different direction than normal. Lenny, who flew in from Maui for the conditions, says the swell was filling in from the north, causing the waves … Read more

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Complete List of Everything Leaving Netflix on January 1

In case you haven’t heard, there is a (very) large list of popular TV shows and movies heading for the Netflix exit doors on January 1. So if you’ve been waiting for that perfect time to binge Indiana Jones, or the Office, or Back to the Future, or––well, you get the picture.

Below is a list of all the shows that will be leaving Netflix once we ring in 2021. Let the bingeing, begin.

  • 3 Idiots (2009)
  • A Dangerous Woman (1993)
  • A Girl Like Grace (2015)
  • A Good Wife (Season 1)
  • Airplane! (1980)
  • Along Came a Spider (2001)
  • Alpha and Omega: The Legend of the Saw Tooth Cave (2014)
  • Alpha Dog (2006)
  • An Education (2009)
  • An Innocent Mistake (Season 1)
  • Anna Karenina (2012)
  • Baby Mama (2008)
  • Back to the Future (1985)
  • Back to the Future Part II (1989)
  • Back to the Future Part III (1990)
  • Bad Teacher (2011)
  • Barbershop (2002)
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