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Uncategorized - Archive - The Frugal Hiker

The GOP Has Turned Its Back on Conservation
thefrugalhiker.com

It’s hard to believe in 2018—when every day brings news of a fresh attempt by the Trump administration to roll back environmental protections—that the Republican Party has a deep tradition of environmental stewardship. Ulysses S. Grant created Yellowstone National Park. Benjamin Harrison created the first national forest reserves, the precursor to our national forests. In the 20th century, Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency by executive order and signed into law a dozen big environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act. President George H.W. Bush moved aggressively, and despite howls by industry, to stem acid rain.

(Courtesy Harvard University Press)

That legacy now seems very long ago. Why, and how, did the Grand Old Party turn its back on the environment over the past 40 years? Those questions form the subject of an upcoming book, The Republican Reversal: Conservatives and the Environment from Nixon to Trump, out October 15 and available for preord..

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What Hurricane Hugo Can Teach Us About Florence
thefrugalhiker.com

All signs point to Hurricane Florence causing immense damage when it impacts the East Coast somewhere between Georgia and Virginia on Friday. But just how extensive could it be? Well, the region has a model for just such an event. Its name was Hugo.

Like the forecasts for Florence, Hugo was a category four hurricane when it made landfall just north of Charleston, South Carolina, shortly after midnight on September 22, 1989. And, also as is anticipated for Florence, Hugo tracked inland, bringing wind and rain far beyond the coastline.

When Hugo made landfall, its sustained winds measured 135 to 140 miles per hour. That was bad enough to flatten entire forests. But what caused the most damage was Hugo’s immense storm surge, which measured 19.8 feet in Bull’s Bay, north of Charleston—the highest surge ever recorded along the East Coast. This decimated coastal property and infrastructure in the storm’s path.

As it moved inland, Hugo carried hurricane force winds as far as Charlotte, ..

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The Future of Fire
thefrugalhiker.com

To reduce the intensity of megafires in America, we'd need to treat and burn about 50 to 80 million acres of forest. So, how do we do it? What would it cost? How long would it take? Is it possible? In this episode we look at whether or not there's anything we can do about wildfires in the West—and the likelihood that we'll take action on potential solutions.

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Review: Hanchor Marl Backpack
thefrugalhiker.com

Hanchor is a Taiwan-based cottage gear company that specializes in daypacks, climbing packs, messenger bags, chalk bags, and hiking packs. For nearly two full seasons, a new Hanchor Marl backpack sat in my garage, waiting for the right opportunity to be taken out. Last month, it finally got called up for an off-trail nine-day route in Yosemite National Park. It was the perfect pick, and I will definitely use it again on similar outings.

Review: Hanchor Marl

The Marl is ideal for small but dense three-season kits. If your food and water often weigh as much as or more than the rest of your kit (for example, if you’re a thru-hiker crossing a desert or going a week between resupplies), this pack is worth a look.

In my case, I left the trailhead for my first loop carrying 30 pounds: a 15-pound base weight, two-pound bear canister, food for five and a half days, and two pounds of water. (My pack weighed just 22 pounds when I left for the second loop, which was shorter.) This load didn’t p..

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Sue Johnston Is an Ultrarunning Pioneer
thefrugalhiker.com

When Sue Johnston reached the peak of Mount Isolation on December 26, 2016, she opened a bottle of champagne and quietly celebrated with her husband. There was no entourage or photographers. Johnston, an ultrarunner and mountain climber from Vermont, hiked all 48 peaks above 4,000 feet in New Hampshire’s White Mountains every month for a year. Again, that's 48 peaks. Every month. For a year.

The challenge, called the White Mountain Grid, would be a lifetime achievement for most hikers to complete once and usually takes years of diligent effort.

“I think she is a pioneering athlete on the women’s side for doing this kind of adventure running,” says Peter Bakwin, founder of FastestKnownTime.com, a site dedicated to documenting mountain and trail running speed records.

Beyond the grid challenge, Johnston put up some staggering numbers that year. She hiked or ran more than 3,100 miles (about 8.5 miles a day), summited 599 peaks, and climbed more than 1 million vertical feet durin..

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‘Ode To Muir’ Trailer
thefrugalhiker.com

This fall, Teton Gravity Research will release their feature film Ode to Muir. It follows snowboarders Elena Hight and Jeremy Jones on a 40-mile human powered expedition through California’s High Sierra.

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Disaster in the Alps
thefrugalhiker.com

At 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 29, 2018, a group of ten skiers set out from a secluded mountain hut more than 9,000 feet up in the Swiss Alps. Perched on the top of a rocky hill surrounded by towering peaks and mountainsides, the Dix hut is a quirky, three-story stone building with a beautiful, south-facing terrace. It’s a popular stopover for skiers traversing the Alps on multiday tours that combine backcountry skiing with a surprising level of overnight comfort.

The sky was just getting light as the group put on their skis and headed for the Cabane des Vignettes—another alpine refuge, about six hours away, across high-alpine terrain filled with glaciers, cols, peaks, and magnificent slopes of unbroken snow. It was the fourth day of a planned six-day tour between Chamonix, France, and Zermatt, Switzerland.

Ski touring has been a popular sport in the Alps for a long time. The Haute Route, as the Chamonix-Zermatt crossing is sometimes called, was first skied in 1911 and remains the mos..

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This Village Still Hunts Whales as It Has for Centuries
thefrugalhiker.com

Photo Gallery: This Village Still Hunts Whales as It Has for Centuries

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Is Rob Bishop Becoming an Environmentalist?
thefrugalhiker.com

Up is down. Black is white. Two plus two equals…five? Hold onto your hats, folks, because Rob Bishop (R.-Utah) is becoming a champion of the environment.

On Thursday, the House Natural Resources Committee, which Bishop chairs, has moved forward with two landmark bills: one would fund the National Park Service’s $12 billion maintenance backlog and the other would do the same for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The bills will now move to the House for a vote.

Together, the two proposals could have monumental effects on our public lands. That they have Bishop's backing is even more consequential. Not only does his support make it more likely that the two bills will clear the GOP-controlled Congress, but it also removes what was previously the largest obstacle to LWCF funding: Bishop himself.

To recap, Bishop (a politician many environmentalists consider public enemy number one) has a long history in Congress of working against public lands. He advocated to roll back the..

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