How to Make Delicious Cold Brewed Coffee (and Perfect Iced Coffee) at Home

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Getting my morning cup ready on the patio.
Sweet, sweet cold brew!
"I don't know how people live without coffee. I really don't." (Martha Quinn)

Truth. Though some drink it for the caffeine, I just love the way good coffee, real coffee, tastes. At home, I start the process by grinding beans, boiling water in my favorite kettle, pouring the water into a Melitta Ready Set Joe brewer, and finish with a splash of almond milk. Away from home, especially if I'm camping, taking fresh grounds and using a Press-Bot is my favorite method.

But when summer rolls around, drinking something hot, even if it's coffee, can be downright uncomfortable. Iced coffee is a refreshing alternative to hot java and until recently, I never attempted to make it at home. I'd opt to find my iced coffee at a local coffee spot, and that isn't always ideal.

Interview: An Inside Look at the Trust for Public Land, Its Mission, and How You Can Help

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If you have access to places like this,
you know how important they are!
Can you imagine a world that didn't have any parks or outdoor places to play? I can't, and neither can the folks who work and volunteer for the Trust for Public Land (TPL). But sadly, for some, outdoor spaces aren't as accessible as they could be, and the TPL is working toward changing that.

The TPL is a San Francisco-based non-profit organization working to protect the places people care about and create close-to-home parks—particularly in and near cities, where 80% of Americans live. I sat down with TPL representative Carrie Gotch in an effort to better understand the organization, its mission, and how we can all work to further their goal of ensuring anyone can walk to a park or natural area within ten minutes from home.

Gear Review: Women's Asolo Shiver Trail Shoes and Sierra Trading Post Giveaway

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The Asolo Women's Shiver Trail shoes and I
on Mt. Modanock in New Hampshire.
If I've learned nothing else in my outdoor life so far, it's the importance of finding really, really good footwear. And all trail shoes are not created equal. Your trail kicks need to fit, they need to perform well in a variety of situations, and they need to last.

From what I'd heard prior to this review, Asolo's footwear options excel with respect to those criteria. The company is best known for producing technical mountaineering boots, but Asolo also produces footwear for more leisurely adventures and for everything in between. As part of my participation in Sierra Trading Post's #TeamSierra blogger network, I had a chance to put Asolo's Shiver Trail Shoes to the test on Pennsylvania's rocky trails and on New Hampshire's Mt. Monadnock.

Four To-Do's to Prep for Hiking and Backpacking Season

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On one of my favorite trails in Pennsylvania. I can't wait to get out
hiking and backpacking this year!
With spring in full swing and summer around the corner, it's time to start thinking about preparing
for your favorite warm weather activities, if you haven't already. I always look forward to getting out hiking and backpacking this time of year, and when it comes to being ready for anything, there are a number of things I do to prepare.

Partake in Some Good Old Fashioned Spring Cleaning

When you live in an urban environment like I do, storage space is at a premium. I find myself envious of outdoorspeople with garages and basements for storing things like bikes, for example. My road bike and mountain bike, which live in a small spare bedroom in my apartment, double as drying racks for laundry, coat racks, and decorative room accessories when guests visit.

Book Review and Giveaway: "The Other Side of the Ice: One Family's Treacherous Journey Negotiating the Northwest Passage," by Sprague Theobald and Alan Kreda

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“Have I brought us all together just to lead us to our deaths?"

If this line from the prologue of The Other Side of the Ice: One Family's Treacherous Journey Negotiating the Northwest Passage was any indication of where the authors intended to take me, I had a feeling I was in for a wild ride. And that feeling was spot on.

Sprague Theobald narrates the story of his journey from Rhode Island to Seattle via the Northwest Passage, beginning with his lifelong passion for sailing. His first “lesson” came at age six when his mother sent him off to fend for himself in a twelve foot sailboat off the coast of Maine. He “figured out” how to make his way across a small cove and safely back home, a journey that marked the start of a relationship with boats that would last a lifetime.