Over 50, Outdoors

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    Koreans love the outdoors like Americans love spectator sports

    Koreans love the outdoors like Americans love spectator sports

    Twenty-five years ago, when Koreans were known for having the world’s longest work week (nominally six days, often longer), they still found time to get outdoors. Hiking clubs were a big deal. Camping was less popular because it requires a couple days of leisure in a row, but it was still popular.   Over the...
    People in glass lookouts shouldn’t throw the first stone

    People in glass lookouts shouldn’t throw the first stone

    Sometimes that old wine just can’t be decanted into a new bottle.   Case in point: you have some property near Yellowstone. You want to make some money off it, so you build high-end cabins. You put in wi-fi and a flat screen TV and queen beds—equipping them like a modern condo in downtown Seattle...
    No service, no sequester

    No service, no sequester

    You’ve got two weeks off, America, and there’s gas in the station wagon. The tent is packed, along with your camp stove and a jug of DEET. You were thinking of maybe Yellowstone or Yosemite. But now you’re anxious, which is exactly how you’re supposed to start your vacation. But this is a more acute...
    Badlands glamping in Canada

    Badlands glamping in Canada

    Canada has badlands. I know. Big surprise.   And they look pretty bad. Weirdly capped hoodoos and pointed hills and sharp banded walls where a river has cut through the landscape over the millennia. Also, scorching hot. Plus, as a bonus, Alberta’s badlands come with many, many huge dinosaur skeletons. (Some assembly required.)   In...
    New glamping option looks like a Tylenol capsule. Or candy.

    New glamping option looks like a Tylenol capsule. Or candy.

    It’s hard to believe that the hotel industry is threatened by glamping. For two reasons: one, it feels like a fad, a flash in the pan. And two, even though the media finds it a catchy subject, not that many people are going to give up the Super 8 or Hyatt for a night in...
    Ultralight in the ultra-cold?

    Ultralight in the ultra-cold?

    Camping in summer is perfect: a chance to shake off the stale atmosphere in your (probably) air-conditioned home. You live simple, work hard, sleep well and wake up a little sore. And camping in winter seems deranged. Correction: winter camping in the north, or at altitude, seems mad. This is true when you’re twenty, and...
    Keep the camping fire going over the winter

    Keep the camping fire going over the winter

    If you live at my latitude, these are the weeks hope, when every trip to the basement reminds you that the camping gear is still there, still not packed away for the season. Part of you wants to believe you might get out again this year, but you know the odds get slimmer with each...
    L.L. Bean AT 55 Pack: built for speed and some comfort

    L.L. Bean AT 55 Pack: built for speed and some comfort

    Backpacks are like golf clubs. You make your selection based on your size and how far you’re going. The first part is easy: you get a pack that fits your frame. The second changes constantly, which is why golfers lug around 14 clubs and why it’s not uncommon for hikers to have more than one...
    Tent with a view

    Tent with a view

    You might have a favorite campsite on a windswept precipice over the Pacific. Or a special, mosquito-net window on the Grand Canyon or the Chilkoot Trail. Very dramatic. But how pleasant is this scene of North Dakota badlands in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, with the Little Missouri flowing slowly under cloudy skies. This is a...
    More campsites opening in NYC’s “urban outback”

    More campsites opening in NYC’s “urban outback”

    Spending the night outdoors in New York City doesn’t necessarily mean glamping on the “wraparound terrace of a penthouse suite” with scented candles. Or huddling under a bridge. You can actually pitch a tent and lay out your bedroll in the Gateway National Recreation Area, an expansive (26,000-acre) urban outback that’s spread across parts of...
    Mother Nature’s drive-through

    Mother Nature’s drive-through

     Can it be that Americans prefer to enjoy the outdoors from the climate-controlled womb of their cars? That’s one way to read recent stats from the National Park Service, as relayed by USA Today. Overall, visits to the parks are up, but the time spent in each park is down by about 15 percent. In...
    Gear videos are a mostly justifiable time-suck

    Gear videos are a mostly justifiable time-suck

    When you’re outdoors, gear isn’t everything. It just enables everything. Good gear usually equals good performance: it lets you go farther, faster, with less exertion. It also, often, embodies admirable design. And it’s reliable, which matters always and especially in sports where an equipment failure can mean injury or death. Gear also gives you something...