The gorge!

As many of you know the devastating fires in the Gorge this summer have forced many of the beloved Gorge trails to be inaccessible. Don't worry though! Not all of the trails are closed and there are still many places you can go to experience the Gorges beauty. Here is a list of the trails that are still open:

Here is a list of the hikes that are closed. They give updates as to when they will be open though, so not a bad place to check and see when you will be able to return to your favorite hikes. 

Cold weather camping tips

Tip 1: prepare well

Make sure you research your destination well before you go. Have a good navigation system and know where you're going. Make sure to check the weather forecast and road and trail conditions. Be prepared for whatever the conditions are. 


Tip 2: creating ambiance

Don't be afraid to bring some lights and candles to create a nice atmosphere. Bring LED lights. Extra batteries are always a good idea. Also, lithium batteries are always a good idea because their batteries won't die in the cold. Make an outdoor living room. Bring a tarp or two to keep dry, set up some camp chairs, light a fire, play some music, and enjoy the company of others.

Tip 3: cooking

The last thing you want when you're cold and wet from a long day of hiking or whatever you've been doing is to cook for hours. Think ahead and do as much prep as possible at home. Chose meals that will taste good after a cold long day. Don't be afraid to load up on carbs because your body burns them faster when you're cold.  Dutch oven pizza is great for cold weather camping. Be sure to bring lots of snacks as well. 

Tip 4: clothing

Layers are the most important thing when it comes to staying warm and dry. Bring extra layers too. Start with a base layer of wool. Avoid cotton because cotton never drys and will only make you colder. Have a mid layer next, something that will keep you warm. Next have either a warm insulated jacket or if it's raining, a shell. Make sure you wear a hat as well, and even gloves if you want. Make sure you have waterproof shoes and wool socks to ensure your feet stay dry and warm. Extra socks are never a bad idea. 

Tip 5: sleeping well

Nothing is worse than getting no sleep all night because you're freezing in your sleeping bag. Here are a few things that will help you get a better night sleep, and leave you with more energy for your day. Invest in a good sleeping bag, one that will keep you warm. Go to bed in socks and a hat, to conserve your body heat. Do some jumping jacks or high knees before getting in your sleeping bag. Getting your heart rate up will make your sleeping bag warmer. Drinking a warm drink before bed will also help. Use two sleeping pads. Use one uninflated one underneath your blown up one to maximize warmth.  When you're setting up your tent be sure not to set up under a tree. Even hours after it stops raining you will have raindrops falling on your tent. That being said, make sure you have a rain fly on your tent and be sure to secure your tent on the ground with stakes in case the wind and rain pick up during the night. Also when setting up your tent, think about having the opening facing where the sun will rise. this will make it much easier to crawl out of your warm sleeping bag to start your day.