Adventure Quickies: Free National Parks, Adventuring in a Pandemic, and More

Each Friday I post a round-up of some interesting and unique stories from the past week that I simply didn’t have the time or space to share elsewhere. Here’s a few things you may have missed over that time span.

  • America’s National Parks are Fee-Free Due to Coronavirus: As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the health and economies of nations around the world, those impacted by the virus are looking for silver-lining wherever they can find one. This week, that silver lining came in the form of free entry into America’s national parks, which have opened the gates to visitors to come and go as they please, even as visitor centers, campgrounds, restaurants, and other facilities close. Remember, you can’t catch COVID-19 just by going outside, so don’t let it stop you from taking advantage of these opportunities.
  • Is it Responsible to Adventure During a Pandemic?: Much of the adventure and exploration world is shutdown due to the coronavirus, with Everest closed for the spring and the North Pole season in doubt. That isn’t keeping some adventurers from setting off on other expeditions though, but should they amidst a global crisis? That’s the question that Adventure Journal examined in an interesting article from a few days back.
  • ExWeb Reports From the Khumbu in Nepal: Wondering what its like in an all-but-abandoned Khumbu Valley in Nepal? Normally this time of year, scores of trekkers and mountaineers are en route to Everest Base Camp, but this season, do to the closure, most have been turned back. But a handful of mountaineers have made it into the country on visas issued prior to the closure. They are now trekking in the Khumbu and ExWeb has a report on what they’re finding there. Spoiler Alert: It’s pretty quiet.
  • Discovery Channel Inks Deal with Explorers Club: The Discovery Channel has signed a deal with the Explorers Club that will provide the New York-based organization with a much-needed influx of cash to renovate and update its aging facilities. The deal also gives Discovery access to the EC’s archives and the opportunity to work with members on promoting and filming upcoming expeditions. In a nutshell, the cable network gets potential content, while the Explorers Club get a steady stream of funding, but the deal isn’t without controversy as some members feel that the EC leadership has sold out the venerable institution.
  • REI Launches Annual Spring Sale: Even as its brick and mortar stores are shuttered through the end of March, gear retailer REI is pressing ahead with its annual spring sale. Again, going outside won’t expose you to the coronavirus in and of itself, so why not stock up on some new gear and go it the trail. Members also get a 20% discount on a wide variety of items and can use their annual dividend too.
  • GearJunkie Has 10 Inspiring Adventure Films for the ‘Self Quarantined’: If you’re going to stay at home and you’re in need of an adventure fix, our friends at GearJunkie have some advice on how to stay entertained. The team as put together a list of ten great adventure films that you can watch now to help keep your mind occupied and inspired.

That’s all for this week. Stay safe and healthy!

Kraig Becker