Malee Baker Oot

Malee is a freelance writer, outdoor enthusiast, and overzealous amateur photographer. She currently lives just outside Washington, DC with her sassy coonhound Cash.

Why an Inflatable SUP Might Be Right for You | Salamander Paddle Gear

So, you’re considering buying a stand-up paddleboard (SUP)? Good decision. Whether you want a core workout, a board to ride ocean waves, or a way to explore a local lake, a stand-up paddleboard is the perfect adventure accessory. The hard part is deciding on the right SUP to suit your needs. When you’re shopping for a board, you should consider several things, including the shape, length, and construction of the board. Plus, you should take into account the types of paddling you prefer, whether

Chasing Winter: 7 Best Places to Hit the Slopes When It’s Summer in the States

For some folks, finding powder year-round is what it’s all about. Fortunately, the arrival of summer in the United States doesn’t have to mean shelving the skis for the season. When it’s warming up in the Lower 48, there’s still plenty of snow to be found in the Southern Hemisphere. From the high Andes to the Southern Alps, here are seven of the best places on the planet to hit the slopes when it’s summertime in the U.S. Nestled in Australia’s Snowy Mountains within the bounds of Kosciuszko Nat

Red Wolves: Hanging in the Balance

Gravel crackles under my tires and horseflies ping off the windows as I slow to a stop beside a mound of black bear scat, near the northeastern edge of North Carolina’s 152,000-acre Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. I turn off the engine and scan the dew-slickened pasture beside the road, hoping to see the flash of a cinnamon-colored coat. But other than the turkey vultures circling overhead, it’s still. Just as I’m about to start the engine, I notice some movement. In the distance, three dark blotches hover at the edge of a grove of loblolly pine. When I blink, the smudgy splotches sharpen into distinct shapes, a black bear and two cubs, ambling toward the road. I watch them for a moment, but they are not who I’m after. I’m looking for one of the rarest creatures on earth — the red wolf.

10 of the Best Day Hikes in America

For hikers, America offers a scenic smorgasbord. It has 419 national park system sites scattered throughout the country and it’s home to some of the planet’s most celebrated long-distance footpaths, including the Appalachian Trail in the East, and the Pacific Crest Trail in the West. The U.S. is also brimming with epic day-hikes, from the high peaks of the Sierras to the blue-hued summits of the Smokies. For all those hikers who can’t spend months tackling an epic long-distance trail, here are a

The Roving Dolphins of the Potomac River

The Roving Dolphins of the Potomac River A significant number of bottlenose dolphins frequent recovering East Coast waterways, but researchers still know little about them. In the early 1600s, English explorer John Smith described the Potomac River as an Edenic waterway teeming with wildlife. Early colonists also reported gargantuan sturgeon and massive schools of fish – and at his waterside estate, Mount Vernon, George Washington himself had three commercial fisheries on the Potomac River. O

How to Pack for Your First Safari

Whether it’s a visit to the Serengeti for the annual wildebeest migration, a trip through the Okavango Delta in a dugout canoe, or a mountain gorilla spotting trek in the Virunga Mountains, an African safari is an unforgettable experience. But, packing for your first safari can seem like a formidable task. While every trip is unique, there are a few gear essentials that will ensure you stay comfortable, healthy, and make the most of your inaugural safari. Forget about being fashionable on safar

Why You Should Visit a State Park This Year (Plus a Few of Our Favorites)

While America’s national parks deservedly draw attention, the country’s most iconic protected areas can also be flooded with visitors. State parks, on the other hand, are often overlooked. But these natural assets protect some of the country’s most spectacular features, from the biodiversity-rich waters of the Florida Keys to the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, and are filled with recreational opportunities. With alluring options in all 50 states, state parks may not get the attention of t

In the midst of a prolonged drought, Zimbabwe is undertaking a massive wildlife relocation

In the midst of a prolonged drought gripping southern Africa, Zimbabwe is undertaking a massive relocation in an effort to save imperilled wildlife plagued by water scarcity. The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority reported that more than 200 elephants have died over the last two months at drought-afflicted protected areas, including Hwange and Mana Pools national parks. In mid-November, the agency announced plans to move 600 elephants along with 2,000 impalas, 50 buffalo,

5 Must Hike Long-Distance Trails in Europe.

Get those backpacks packed and get ready to hit these epic long distance trails in Europe. From the foothills of the Alps to the chiseled cliffs of the Adriatic Coast, Europe is crisscrossed with options for day-hikers and backpackers. Serving up an abundance of adventures on foot [from windswept tracks threading regions rich in archaeological wonders to alpine circuits navigating seas of cloud-steeped peaks]. With the profusion of trails lacing the continent, it’s hard to pick just one trek,

The Best Trails and Ales Near Philpott Lake

How to Experience the Best Trails and Ales Near Philpott Lake Southwest Virginia's Philpott Lake is a hidden gem for outdoor lovers. The 3,000-acre lake spreads into Franklin, Henry, and Patrick counties, backlit by the mountains of the Blue Ridge and surrounded by nearly 20,000 acres of mixed hardwood forest. A landscape left largely wild and undeveloped, the area around the lake is peppered with recreation areas, nature preserves, and the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway, providing a smorgasbord of

Here’s How to Take On the Trek to Everest Base Camp!

Climbing Mt. Everest is a serious alpine challenge that’s only for the most experienced high-altitude climbers. It takes a commitment of time and money that most people don’t have. But travelers to Nepal can still get a taste of the experience by making a trek to Everest Base Camp, the starting point for most who seek to reach the summit. The trek to Base Camp offers an up-close encounter with the planet’s highest peak while traversing the Solu Khumbu region and showcasing Sagarmatha National Pa

5 Best Places to Go Sailing in Scandinavia

In Scandinavia, water is everywhere. The Scandinavian Peninsula is etched with approximately 17,625 miles of coastline, and dappled with more than a half-million lakes. Naturally, the region has a rich sailing history. Scandinavians were using sails by the seventh century, and the region’s storied Vikings famously scoured the seas of northern Europe from the end of the 8th century until the second half of the 11th century. And these days, being on the water is still a way of life in many parts o

Best Areas for Pocono Leaf Peeping

When it comes to fall leaf-peeping, Pennsylvania’s colorful seasonal display is the longest and most varied in the entire country. The Pocono Mountains region, in particular, is home to over 120 different varieties of trees, plants, and shrubs—including birches, maples, oaks, aspens—making it one of the best places in the state to admire the seasonal transition. And with more than 260 miles of trails, two national parks, and nine state parks, there are plenty of ways to revel in the stunning se

Bikepacking the Blue Ridge

Driving along the western edge of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, there’s no doubt we’re in horse country. Shards of morning sunlight illuminate wildflower-freckled pastures, and the roadside is dotted with equine-friendly accommodations. There’s even a diner called The Hitching Post. But, the 125,000-acre recreation area spread over northeastern Tennessee and southeastern Kentucky has also emerged as one of the Southeast’s premier mountain biking destinations – thanks in

How to Eat Your Way Through Florida’s Adventure Coast

Florida’s Adventure Coast is renowned for outdoor pursuits, from pristine paddling along the Weeki Wachee River to avifauna-rich hikes in the Withlacoochee State Forest. But one of the region’s best-kept secrets is its vibrant dining scene. From perfectly smoked barbeque to freshly caught seafood to hand-dipped ice cream that wraps up the day on a sweet note, there’s something to please every palate. There are plenty of options for adult beverages, too, from craft brews to vineyards (yes, vineya

An Angler’s Guide to the Best Fishing on Florida’s Adventure Coast

Florida has been hailed as the Fishing Capital of the World, and the Adventure Coast is one of the state’s sweet spots for casting a line. A pristine paradise for anglers, the region offers a wide array of experiences, from exploring the ecologically rich waters of the Gulf of Mexico to kayak fishing the picturesque Withlacoochee River. And in the summer, visitors can join in the local tradition of scalloping: Since all you need is a mask, snorkel, and Florida Saltwater Fishing License to explor

10 of the Best Swimming Holes in the United States

America’s swimming holes are national treasures. When temperatures begin to climb, jumping into these refreshing oases is more than just a great way to cool off: It’s a beloved summertime ritual that’s equally sweet in its simplicity—all you really need is a swimsuit and a bit of insider savvy to find the best spots. Fortunately, the country is sprinkled with an abundance of natural swimming holes, from far-flung plunge pools to rapid-rippled natural waterslides to serene springs for soaking. Gr
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