Beginner’s guide to Peanut Island snorkeling

Once upon a time, I worked in Florida for four months every winter. When my then-boyfriend, now-husband came to visit, multiple people recommended we go snorkeling at Peanut Island. This sounded very cool but I’d never been snorkeling before and the ocean freaks me out a little bit. Of course, I immediately convinced myself I…

What to bring hiking when you’re just starting out

As a beginner, you’ll probably always have cell service and not be far from civilization, so you don’t have to be prepared for the apocalypse on your first hike.┬áBUT (there’s always a but)┬ábringing a few basic supplies will make sure you have a good time and can deal with minor mishaps. Here’s what I put…

Beginner’s guide to packing for trips of any length

Whether you’re going on a weekend getaway or taking a big trip to a foreign country, packing is truly the worst. Most of the burden is figuring out where to put everything, how the eff it’s all going to fit, and how in the world I’m going to find it again once I’m trying to…

Beginner’s guide to a winter long weekend in Ouray

Camping is great, but not in the winter. Staying in a hotel doesn’t make you any less outdoorsy, and you can keep enjoying Colorado year-round if you take advantage of the great indoors during the colder months. I spent a long weekend in Ouray, and this southwest Colorado town is the perfect winter getaway. When…

Outdoor Beginner goes ice climbing for the first time

The thing I love the most about Colorado is how everyone embraces winter, and I took that love of winter to a whole new level this weekend. I spent four days at the Ouray Ice Park for its annual ice festival in southwestern Colorado. The ice park prides itself on welcoming climbers of all abilities,…

Five ways for beginners to survive winter running

Staying motivated to keep running in the winter is hard. Here’s my (semi-serious) advice from one beginner runner to another. 1. A headlamp. Running in the dark is significantly more enjoyable if you can see where you’re going. Headlamps are a hell of a light brighter than your cell phone light, and let you be…

Beginner’s guide to running alone when you’re a woman

Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, I spend most of my Tuesday morning in the dark. So I stopped going through the park. I changed my route to not go down an alley. I run a slightly different route each time I go out. Just to be safe. Just in case. It’s a feeling any woman…

Best of 2017: Your most-read OB posts

2017 was a big year for the OB. I hit my 100th post after a year of being much more intentional about writing regularly, redesigning OB’s layout, and making things “official” with a logo (thanks, Lindsay!) and a Facebook page. This year has been full of learning about what I like to write about, what…

Beginner’s guide to skiing Copper Mountain

The US Ski Team trains at Copper, but suffice it to say I enjoy a substantially lower caliber of skiing there. I’ve learned from my mistakes, worked my way through the green runs at Copper, and finally took on my first blue last winter (tear-free!). I hope this guide helps you do the same.