The following are a few outdoor-related stories that I've come across recently that I think you'll enjoy as much as I did. This week's theme, in part, will be beer and bears:
* Backpacking may never be the same again. In fact, we just may soon see the largest increase in the activity since Daniel Boone crossed the Cumberland Gap. Early next year, Pat’s Backcountry Beverages will begin offering dehydrated beer. The concentrated liquid is poured into their plastic carbonator bottle and mixed with a carbonating agent and water to create a tasty (we assume!) brew.
* But it keep it away from the bears! A bear and her three cubs completely destroyed a cabin in Norway after drinking 100 cans of beer they found inside. There's an unconfirmed report that those bears actually knew Keith Moon.
* This story just might be as scary as the Sandman in Metallica's hit song: Last month a Minnesota Man awoke from a nap while hiking along the Superior Hiking Trail to find a bear hovering over him - face to face!
* Sadly, on August 24th, a solo backpacker was mauled by a grizzly bear in Denali National Park. I wanted to point this out because this was the first known bear mauling fatality ever recorded in the park. Given the concentration of grizzlies in Denali, I would've thought incidents like this have happened more often.
* Here's another classic example of the law of unintended consequences when government tries to engineer a specific outcome. National Public Radio recently published a very interesting series of articles on how the U.S. Forest Service's "takeover" of America's forests in 1905 has led to more, not fewer, forest fires. Fire historians call this the "Smokey Bear Effect".
* Check out the amazing photos from Leigh McAdam's hike to the Abbott Pass Hut on the Alberta-British Columbia border. She was part of a team invited by a media group representing Travel Alberta. A short video of their journey for the Travel Alberta website will be released later this fall.
* Here's an extremely interesting stat: since its creation, 99% of the Appalachian Trail has been moved from its original location!
* Next year the Glacier Park Lodge, just outside of Glacier National Park, will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. Big plans for the historic log structure are already being made. Here are a few old photos of the lodge.