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This week’s adventure: At a State Park near you

We’re off until our Aug. 8 paddle at Pettigrew State Park. In the meantime, we don’t want you to go adventure-free, so here are some recommendations for outings at your local North Carolina State Park.


  • GEG.Jockey
    Jockey’s Ridge (photo courtesy N.C. State Parks)

    The Pamlico Blue Crab, 10 a.m., Goose Creek State Park, Washington. Discover methods used in harvesting blue crabs, including the various pots, traps “and hopefully live specimens.” More info: 252.923.2191.

  • Digital Dune Trek, 10 a.m., Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Nags Head. Explore the dunes of Jockey’s Ridge navigating with a GPS and searching for points of interest. More info: 252.441.2588 (free, but reservations required).


  • Carnivorous Plant Hike, 10 a.m., Carolina Beach State Park, Carolina Beach. A park ranger leads you through the park’s unusual world of meat-eating plants: sundews, bladderworts, butterworts, pitcher plants and the Venus fly trap. More info: 910.458.8206.
  • Beat the Heat Exercise Hike, 7 a.m., Jones Lake State Park, Elizabethtown. A great way to start the day and beat the blistering mid-day heat? With a 4-mile,  hike around Jones Lake. More info: 910.588.4550.


  • Merchants Millpond (photo courtesy N.C. State Parks)
    Merchants Millpond (photo courtesy N.C. State Parks)

    Hansel & Gretel Hike, 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m., Dismal Swamp State Park, South Mills. Follow ‘breadcrumbs’ (clues) along a quiet trail as you learn interesting facts about local wildlife” on this self-guided hike. More info: 252.771.6593

  • Basin Trail Hike, 8:30 a.m., Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, Kure Beach. Mile-and-a-half-long hike explores the various habitats of this coastal environment and its significance. More info: 910.458.5798.
  • Canoe The Pond, 1 p.m., Merchants Millpond State Park, Gatesville. Two-hour paddle through the 760-acre millpond takes you under cypress and tupelo in this swamplike environment. Free, but preregistration required. More info: 252.357.1191.

Gear of the week: MSR Windboiler Stove

The MSR Windboiler: Hot coffee within two minutes of waking.
The MSR Windboiler: Hot coffee within two minutes of waking.

For the next few weeks, our gear recommendations will come Lindsey and Andrew in Great Outdoor Provision Co.’s store in Greenville. Their suggestions come from their upcoming through-hike of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, scheduled for this fall. This week: the MSR Windboiler Stove.
The MSR Windboiler Stove is like the little brother to MSR’s classic Reactor stove. This stove will heat water in a flash! The quick boiling time comes from the increased surface area of the “fins” added to the bottom of the pot, where it connects to the stove. While it doesn’t have a piezo ignitor, it is easy to light with a match and the pot attaches very quickly. There is enough temperature control to do some cooking (think simmering water, not frying pancakes!).  The stove and fuel can pack down into the pot for a compact package when in a pack.  The construction makes it perfect for any weather (nearly windproof!), and it’ll boil water faster than a Jetboil (we checked)!  Add on a few accessories (additional pot, coffee press), and you have the perfect multi-person multi-day setup! Cost of the stove: $129.95

Tip of the week: Don’t stay thirsty, my friends

GEG.WaterbottleOur friends at the American Hiking Society remind us that it’s important to stay hydrated on the trail year round, but in the summer, sometimes drinking water isn’t enough. “Sweating out salts diminishes your body’s ability to regulate liquids,” according to AHS. “Munching on GORP (good old raisins and peanuts, a k a trail mix) or another salty snack can help avoid this problem, but sometimes you need a little extra help. Sports drinks containing salts, potassium and electrolytes are effective at staving off this problem, but be wary of drinking too much since they often contain large amounts of sugar. In a quick pinch, a dash of salt and sugar can be added to a water bottle for similar results.”
For more tips from the American Hiking Society, go here.

Resource of the Week: Hiking our National Parks

GEG.SmokiesSignWe’re always looking for recommendations on great hikes. When it comes to hikes in our national parks, National Geographic has some thoughts: 20, to be exact. You can find their recommendations here. You can find other hiking recommendations on the site as well.

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Comments? Suggestions? Deep thoughts? Touch base at