Adventure Quickies: America Invests in its National Parks, Tips for Taking Kids Camping, and More

It’s Friday, which means it is also time for my weekly rundown of some outdoor, adventure travel, and gear stories that you might have missed. Even though there are few stories of exploration, mountaineering, and adventure taking place at the moment, there are still some fun and interesting things that are worth mentioning. So, without further ado, here’s what caught my attention recently.

  • U.S Congress Passes the Great American Outdoors Act: The current administration in the White House—and its Republican allies in Congress—haven’t exactly been the most progressive leaders when it comes to protecting the environment and America’s national parks. But, yesterday they all took a large step forward in this area with the passing of the bi-partisan backed Great American Outdoors Act. The bill, which is expected to be signed into law by President Trump, provides more than $6.6 billion in funding earmarked for maintenance and repairs in U.S. national parks. It is seen as a significant step towards protecting those magnificent landscapes and protecting them for future generations to enjoy too.
  • Sierra Club Disavows John Muir: John Muir is usually viewed as the “father of America’s national parks” and a luminary in the early days of conservation. He is often quoted amongst outdoorsy people and has done a lot to inspire many to get outdoors. He was also quite racist. A point that the Sierra Club—the venerable organization that Muir helped found—is well aware of. This week, the club made a move to distance itself from its founder and his troubling history.
  • Men’s Journal Has Tips For Taking Your Kids Camping for the First Time: Getting started camping with kids can be a challenge, as the needs of the smallest members of the family are often different from our own. If you’re considering making that first camping trip with your children, you should read Men’s Journal‘s tips for how to make the experience a smooth and happy one.
  • GearJunkie Names the Best Men’s Hiking Boots of 2020: Speaking of hiking, if you’re planning on hitting the trail soon and are in need of some new footwear, GearJunkie has you covered. The site has sifted through all of the boots that are currently available and came up with its list of the best men’s hiking shoes for 2020.
  • Lynx Travel 2000+ Miles, But We Don’t Know Why: Wild animals have been known to make epic migrations, usually in an effort to find food and water. But at National Geographic tells us, a Lynx may make a journey of more than 2000+ miles (3200 km), but researchers aren’t really sure why. It is a fascinating story to say the least and further evidence that “all who wander are not lost.”.
  • Aloha Wanderwell Was the First Woman to Drive Around the World: If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, not to mention a sense of awe and someone else’s adventures and accomplishments, look no further than this story from Adventure Journal. It tells the tale of Aloha Wanderwell, a badass woman explorer who once drove around the world. That’s a significant journey today, but was especially challenging when she did it back in the 1920s.
  • Did Humans Reach North America Sooner Than Previously Thought: A report out this week indicates that the discovery of ancient tools in a cave in Mexico is evidence that humans may have arrived in North America much earlier than historians had previously believed. Generally speaking, most researchers believe that humans first arrived on the continent around 15,000 years ago, although the new tools could double that estimate. The crude instruments were found in a layer of rock, sand, and dirt that has been carbon dated back to 25,000 to 32,000 years ago, adding at least 10,000 years to current estimates. The report isn’t without controversy however, as some scientists have indicated that tools found it caves could have been sifted downward by geological forces, causing inaccurate dating. Get the whole story here.
  • 2021 Ford Bronco First Edition Sold Out: We’ve shared some videos of the new 2021 Ford Bronco over the past couple of weeks following its much-anticipated unveiling. The return of the iconic off-roader has generated a lot of excitement in the outdoor community thanks to its rugged styling and robust features. In fact, the new vehicle has been so popular that Ford has already sold out of the limited number of “First Edition” models, even after increasing its production numbers.

That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend!

Kraig Becker