Backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park offers more than 265,000 acres of mountainous, snow-covered backcountry terrain. While much of this is skiable in winter, there’s just one problem: There aren’t any lifts. That means that if you want to ski inside the park, you must “earn your turns.” In other words, you gotta get up to get down. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding are very popular inside the park, offering both great exercise and incredible views of peaks that most only ever see in the summer. Plan properly, get equipped, and be ready for a workout. Climbing a mountain is even more fun in the snow.

Preparing for a day in the backcountry

Photo: Lilkin/Shutterstock

Before ever heading into the backcountry it’s important to properly train and equip yourself in the case of an avalanche, injury, or another unexpected incident. Always have an avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe on you, as well as a winter-specific backpack that can carry this gear. You’ll also need plenty of water, food, and appropriate ski or snowboard gear. And, critically, you must have a buddy with all of the same equipment. Never ski or snowboard in the backcountry alone.

Check with the Colorado Avalanche Information

Classic Indonesian dishes like soto ayam, gado-gado, sambal, and more

Lara Lee, author of the new Indonesian cookbook Coconut and Sambal, remembers the noise — a “cacophony” she calls it. The rickety ceiling fan spinning overhead, the squeak of the laminate tables and the mismatched condiment bottles and bowls, and the overlapping early morning conversations in between slurps of noodle soup. This is breakfast in Indonesia — a joyful, colorful, loud welcome to the day.

“What I love about Indonesia is the passion for food, it is full throttle,” Lee tells me. “I began to realize that Indonesians are always eating. So I would go to someone’s house, to learn to cook or to interview them, and there would be a platter of, you know, Indonesian sweets on the table or banana fritters. I really fell in love with that way of being — you know, always eating.”

Lee grew up in a mixed-race, working-class family in Sydney, Australia; her mother is Australian, and her father is Chinese-Indonesian. Traveling to Indonesia wasn’t an option, but her home growing up was filled with touches of Indonesian culture. Her father played Indonesian folk music, and her mother dressed her and her sister in batik for special occasions — but it

The best holiday gifts for outdoor adventurers in 2020

You know who they are: the person who is happiest climbing to the top of a mountain or speeding their way down it. The one who, when a long weekend rolls around, spends it sleeping outside. The diehard who sees a new sport, like foil surfing or squirt boating, as a new skill to master. Adventurers like this don’t want to unwrap a box of socks for the holidays (unless they’re Merino wool ski socks). From $20 to a few hundred dollars, here are the ultimate gift ideas for the outdoor adventurers in your life.

1. The Adventurist Classic and The Weekender, Adventurist Backpack Co. ($65-$85)

We love a backpack that can get us through the day, any day, worry-free. But peruse an outdoor catalog and it’s clear that, while there are a lot of backpacks out there, few producers take the time to actually innovate. What’s more, most backpacks are so specialized that you’d need a different one for every activity you do. Adventurist Backpack Co. is different. Its Classic and Weekender packs are durable enough for a day in the wilderness and practical enough to bring to work, under the seat on a

Where to stay along the Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii

The famed Road to Hana on Hawaii’s Maui island starts in Kahului, near the airport. It traverses 63 miles and a seemingly endless stretch of one-lane bridges and switchbacks — taking you past some of the planet’s loveliest waterfalls and hiking trails. It’s a drive that embodies the journey-is-the-destination mindset. So why not keep the journey going a little longer by breaking it up with some overnight stays? Add in some beachside camping and waterfall hiking without having to skimp your time in the destination itself.

This plan will be rewarded with some of Maui’s most memorable, off-the-resort-path lodging options. Accommodations along the route and in Hana range from campsites to luxury hotels, with everything in between. No matter which you choose, you’ll wake up surrounded by the beautiful scenery for which Maui’s eastern side is famous.

Where to stay by the Road to Hana’s best hikes and waterfalls

Photo: arkanto/Shutterstock

Upper Waikani Falls is located between mile markers 19 and 20, about halfway timewise along the route. Nearby along the route are Puohokamoa Falls, Makapipi Falls, Waiokilo Falls, Kopiliula Falls, and others, a handful of which require a hike in. There are also plenty of popular hikes —

What is squirt boating and how to try it

Squirt boating takes all the extras in kayaking and rips them away. All you are left with is thin, tight-fitting watercraft that floats — but just barely. That’s intentional. Squirt boating is kayaking in its minimalist form, playing with the most basic physics of buoyancy. The result is a craft that lets paddlers perform tricks much more easily than on a traditional kayak.

For the past several years, some of the sport’s most dedicated have taken this concept to new levels. The name “squirt” is said to come from the idea of how the boat shoots forward like it’s being squeezed through the water. Squirt boats barely stay afloat even in calm river conditions, but they’re agile enough that the paddler can easily turn right or left with the flick of their stick.

If you spend much time hanging by a whitewater zone, you may have already seen squirt boating in action. Remember that paddler that you thought was totally out of control, hull submerged and stern sticking straight up in the air? That’s not out of control. That’s some skillful squirt boating, right there. Here’s more on this weird but awesome sub-genre of kayaking.

How is squirt boating different

Best Black-owned resorts around the world

If you’ve made a commitment to buy Black or otherwise support the Black community, you may want to combine that effort with your vacation planning. While the travel industry is still expanding to allow for and embrace Black travelers and Black travel entrepreneurs, there are still plenty of choices for your resort season jaunt in a Black-owned resort. If you’ve ever forgone traveling and taken a real holiday, then you may already be familiar with the benefits of a resort. If not, don’t be too quick to discount them completely — when done right they can be great, particularly if you are looking to unplug, rejuvenate, and practice some quality regenerative rest and relaxation. Here are some of the best Black-owned resorts around the world to give you a little inspiration.

1. Negril Treehouse Resort — Negril, Jamaica

Located on the gorgeous, white-sand shores of Negril, Jamaica, Negril Treehouse Resort is dedicated to one thing: keeping guests comfortable in a lush setting. Though rustic and informal, The Negril Treehouse Resort has everything you could possibly want for a great vacation. There’s an ample private beach on silken, groomed sand; an onsite restaurant serving fresh seafood