Why a Dark Sky Area Should Be Your Next Road Trip Destination

It’s hard not to feel small in a place like Westcliffe, CO. With the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the west and the Wet Mountains to the east, you can spot several 14,000-foot peaks—including Crestone Needle and Crestone Peak—from nearly any point in the Wet Mountain Valley. As stunning as that panorama is during the day, I came to Three Peaks Ranch—a family-owned and- operated private ranch just 15 minutes out of town—not for the mountain views, but for the nighttime sky.

How to Safely Camp and Recreate During Wildfire Season

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Westcliffe is one of just 28 “dark sky” communities in the world certified by the International Dark Sky Association for showing exceptional dedication to the preservation of the night sky. That’s done through the implementation and enforcement of a quality outdoor lighting ordinance, dark sky education, and citizen support of dark skies. It’s a … Read more

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Birth Of A Snack Food Brand… the Story of PeaTos with Nick Desai

Birth Of A Snack Food Brand… the Story of PeaTos with Nick Desai

Did you know that there are 92,000 Cheetos eaten a SECOND and that Cheetos is a 1.7 BILLION dollar business? AND that 48% of Americans have eaten one in the last year! And that Frito Lay is a 4.5 billion dollar business and that it takes up 60% of the snacking market share? Well, Nick Desai, Chairman and CEO, Snack it Forward  has a vision for Junk Food without the Junk and he is creating a massive and impactful disruption to the junk food industry. 

Nick believes that there should be a bridge option between JUNK and totally unprocessed natural foods and he is willing to risk everything to make an impact on the obesity epidemic while being honest with who they are. 

Today on Leveling up meet Nick Desai. He has been the Chairman and … Read more

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Jaw-Dropping Surf Clips From This Week's Massive Nazaré Swell

This article originally appeared on Surfer.com and was republished with permission.

The first time you watch the clip, it seems like your eyes deceive you. A white trail is streaking across a massive wall of water, but there’s no surfer to be seen. Watch it again, and again, and again––same result. The streak is Lucas Chumbo and the wave is one that Chumbo would later claim as the “bomb of my life.”

Yep, that XXL swell at Nazaré is living up to expectations. Hurricane Epsilon sent liquid skyscrapers barreling towards Portugal this week, and it’s being described as one of the biggest swells in years. In addition to Chumbo, this week’s XXL chasers included Kai Lenny, Nic von Rupp, Pedro Scooby, Justine Dupont, Andrew “Cotty” Cotton, Sebastian Steudtner and more.

To give you a sense of what’s going down in Portugal right now, we assembled a collection of the … Read more

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This Animal Flow Workout Will Get You Stronger Without Any Weights

Don’t let the odd name deter you: Animal flow offers unique benefits you won’t get from traditional strength training. “It fundamentally brings you back to the basics,” says Nike Master Trainer Patrick Frost. “These are ground-based movements, where you create resistance by pushing and pulling your body around a fixed platform.” The trick to mastering this discipline is generating constant tension throughout your body. “There are some parts that require grace and some that require grit,” Frost says.

10 Incredibly Awkward Exercises That Build Tons of Muscle

You may be embarrassed to do these moves in the gym, but they'll build you one hell of a body.

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“You could do this same workout multiple times and have a completely different experience depending on how you attack it.” While mimicking the movement patterns of a crab or an ape can seem a little goofy, animal flow … Read more

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You Won’t Get There By Accident

You Won’t Get There By Accident

YOU WILL NOT GET THERE BY ACCIDENT. Are you super laser clear on what you actually WANT to create for yourself? If you are not clear on where you want to go you won’t get there ‘by accident’.

Kinda like getting in a car and driving without deciding where you are going! You’ll get somewhere but it’s random and you may run out of fuel figuring out the destination.

That’s how I spent the first 4 decades of my life… chasing, following, changing directions… not being super clear on where I actually wanted to end up and getting clear on what I wanted that to feel and be like once I arrived.

Here’s the cool thing about deciding and then declaring a clear “vision and destination” for yourself:

Anything is possible if you can dream it up. It does not matter where you are … Read more

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Why Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Are on the Ballot This Year

How we protect and intend to use the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is on the ballot this election, as is the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Idaho’s South Fork Salmon River, Bristol Bay, Bears Ears National Monument, and countless other public lands.

Ely, Minnesota was once a thriving iron mining capital, whose modern identity is now synonymous with the largest wilderness area east of the Rocky Mountains: the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. That wilderness (the most heavily used in the U.S., attracting a quarter million visitors a year) now finds itself at odds with a foreign-owned copper/nickel mine—one that had been suspended, pending further research under the previous administration, and is now being fast-tracked by the current one.

Travis J. Camp / Shutterstock

The massive underground project, underway just a couple miles (or a long portage) away from … Read more

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What Every Man Can Learn From the Navy SEALS About Grit

For generations, the U.S. Navy SEALS (Sea, Air, and Land) have set the standard for military special operations. Relied on for the toughest missions, these men are as notorious as their training, which begins at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado off the coast of California. Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, or BUD/S for short, is the crucible in which SEALs are made, but the 24-week course, the first that SEAL candidates must endure, is actually only a fifth of the nearly two and a half years it takes before a man goes on his first mission.

The first phase, BUD/S, assesses candidates’ endurance and conditioning, water competency, camaraderie, and grit, culminating in “Hell Week.” The challenge has captivated men for years, and for good reason: Of an average 170-person class, around 30 make it to Week Five. Such severe attrition of some of the fittest men in the world is notable in … Read more

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How To Build Muscle

How To Build Muscle

Grow muscles grow…

  • You will not look like a man.
  • You will not accidentally become a bodybuilder.
  • You WILL love what you become…

What more muscle means to YOU….

  • Your body (mass) takes up less SPACE (Muscle takes up less space than fat pound for pound)5 lbs of muscle and 5 lbs of fat BOTH weigh 5 lbs on the scale BUT the muscle takes up a lot less space than fat. So basically YOU LOOK BETTER, TIGHTER, SMALLER and MORE TONED
  • Your metabolism works better. The more muscle you have, the more calories you use at REST
  • You have less aches and pains. The more functionally fit you are , the more muscle you have, the LESS you feel pains in your joints

To build muscle:

  • DECIDE it is happening. Your AGE, your (insert whatever self imposed stop and belief you have here) are NOT going to get in
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Inside America's Biggest Ski Factory

“The conditions were pretty awful, to be honest,” says Thomas Laakso, referring to his time testing ski prototypes on Mount Hood at the tail end of this summer. He continued, “but that’s a good thing for us. Skiing variable conditions like crud helps evaluate what works and what doesn’t a lot faster.”

As the VP of Product and Operations at DPS Skis, and a 20-year veteran of the ski industry, Laakso has taken more than a few pilgrimages to endless season outposts like Oregon’s Timberline to test skis. “We’re close to a final design—the last three days were focused on A/B testing of two similar models, to pick the best one,” says Laakso, holding back on further specifics. “We just feel fortunate to be skiing and to be able to test at all, under the circumstances.”

Andy Cochrane

Laakso (pictured above) cut his teeth as a product manager at The … Read more

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The Best RV Mattresses for Cross-Country Road Trips

From skiing the Alps to backpacking across South America, COVID-19 has caused many international winter plans to come to a screeching halt. However, over the past few months, RV travel has increased exponentially and the winter season affords many opportunities to explore the American landscape. And choosing the right mattress for cozying up in your RV is crucial.

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“Make sure you’re getting a true RV size mattress,” says chiropractor Rick Swartzburg, head of product development for popular RV mattress brand Snuggle-Pedic. An RV queen size is usually 60 x 75 inches and an RV king size is usually 72 x 75 inches, whereas a standard queen and king is 60 x 80 inches and 76 x 80 inches, respectively.

Comfort is also a big factor in selecting a new mattress for your RV. “As an avid camper … Read more

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Indoor Surf Pool Makes a Splash in New Jersey's American Dream Mall

This article originally appeared on Surfer.com and was republished with permission.

New York and New Jersey have a reputation.

Actually, we have a couple of reputations. And one of them is honesty.

Brutal honesty.

Granted these are sweeping generalizations but that chill West Coast ever-positive demeanor doesn’t always jive with reality. Folks in New Jersey and New York tend to tell it like it is.

When the waves, the weather, the pizza or the Giants suck, we say they suck. (The rest of the country could take a lesson on mini-mall pizzerias.)

But when conditions do line up, we will be the first to wave our arms and claim epic.

After 15 years of hearing about an indoor wave pool, Skudin Surf at American Dream in East Rutherford, NJ, is open and the locals are calling it as it is.

“It’s not the biggest man-made wave. It’s not the longest. … Read more

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Drew Smith on Chasing 'Cheap Thrills' and Becoming a Professional Adventure Photographer

If you’re a rock climber, or any sort of adventurer for that matter, chances are you’ve seen adventure photographer Drew Smith’s work. From the big walls of Yosemite to first ascents in Patagonia to ice climbs in Kyrgyzstan, the man has been everywhere. And he has the photos to prove it.

These days, you’re likely to find Smith’s work spread across the glossy pages of Patagonia’s beloved catalog or capturing the epic expeditions of The North Face athletes in remote corners of the world. Undeniably, he’s carved out his place as one of today’s most talented adventure photographers, thanks to his ability to keep up with elite climbers and document their exploits with breathtaking imagery.

End of the Everglades?

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Having success at what many would consider a dream job—being paid to travel the world and take pictures—aspiring photographers often ask Smith for tips on how to establish … Read more

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Todd Snyder’s Legent Whiskey Collab Denim Jacket Is Bourbon Style Defined

Todd Snyder isn’t getting into the whiskey game, but he’s definitely bringing it some style with a new denim jacket, made in collaboration with Legent Bourbon.

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According to the brands, this one-of-a-kind jacket “redefines denim, a classic American staple, using the finest whiskey-hued Japanese woven fabric. Produced on old shuttle looms in Okayama and cut and sewn in the USA, the birthplace of blue jeans, the Bourbon Selvedge Denim Jacket is as unique as the bourbon that inspired it.”

Legent is a Beam-made Kentucky bourbon finished in a series of wine and other casks, as blended by Suntory master blender Shinji Fukuyo. Beam Suntory has never been in the sourced whiskey game, but we have to admit they do a damn good job sourcing these style partnerships. Meanwhile, Snyder is no stranger to great collaborations (just check out his line with L.L.BeanRead more

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