Avery Stonich

Avery Stonich is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado, who has traveled to more than 40 countries in search of adventure. Visit her website at averystonich.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @averystonich.

Support the Economy—Get Outside!

When you head out outdoors to play, do you ever consider how you’re fueling the economy? Think about it. Sure, there’s the gear you buy—jackets, shoes, gloves, base layers, water bottles, skis, bikes, kayaks, fishing rods, carabiners, crampons, binoculars, car racks or whatever it is you need to equip yourself for adventure. But that’s not…

What might you be reading if it includes quotes from Ronald Reagan, Jack Kerouac, Edward Abbey, Brigham Young, Thomas Jefferson, and Devon Williams (former basketball player)? Hmmmm, let’s think about it. Young and Williams might clue you into Utah. Toss in Kerouac and Abbey and you’ve got creative minds who care deeply about the landscape—and…

New Zealand—Land of Wild Adventure

Two of my great passions are outdoor adventure and travel. When I can combine the two, well, that’s heaven. I find it particularly entertaining when I’m in a foreign land and have to learn a new vocabulary and a different perspective on outdoor pursuits. Take New Zealand, for example. Kiwis are notorious outdoorspeople with a…

I’d put myself in the fairly adventurous category, but when it comes to backcountry skiing, I’ve never really given it a fair shake—despite having many “pinhead” friends who‘ve been trying to convert me for years. This perplexes me. Why the heck am I not ripping up untracked pow pow in the backcountry? By all measure,…

You know you work in the outdoor industry when your coworker announces that he’s spending eight days of vacation walking 82 miles alone through Utah canyon country, eating only quick boiled meals, salami, and Snickers. Then he knocks it out in six, charging 17 miles on the final day to retrieve the bike he stashed…

There’s something to be said for the outdoor industry: We have a lot of heart. Generally speaking, people are in this business because they love the outdoors and are passionate about creating products to enhance their adventures. And in my experience, it seems passionate people are caring people. So when Hurricane Sandy delivered a powerful…

Listen up, people: I need you to act on this by Dec. 14. The outdoor industry is looking for nominees for Outdoor Inspiration Awards, and we want to hear from you. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that if you’re reading this, you’re the outdoorsy type. You like to get outside…

Imagine heading out for an adventure in your favorite forest or park only to find it’s been shut down. Closed for business. Off-limits. Left to fall into neglect and disrepair. Sound bad? It would be. And it could happen—if Congress fails to get its financial house in order before the end of the year. You’ve…

Time in the Wild Restores Your Spirit

Do you ever feel like you need a good dose of the outdoors to clear the clutter from your head? Last week I was feeling scattered. Endless deadlines, to-do lists, and obligations had been filling my waking hours, leaving little time to get grounded and recharge. I’m sure you can relate. Luckily, I gather with…

Can you imagine coming back from fighting on the front lines only to feel like a stranger in your own country? Perhaps you’ve been wounded, are disfigured, or can’t walk. Or, maybe worse, you have such severe post-traumatic stress disorder that you can’t function normally even though you have no visible injury. Could you tackle…

Have you ever dreamed of a paradise so breathtaking you have to witness it in person to believe it? Welcome to Bora Bora, the “Pearl of the Pacific”—a stunning French Polynesian island that has been called heaven on Earth. Last week I ventured to this far-off land to see if it could live up to…

Picture this: You’re exploring a pristine backcountry area in a national park. You’ve been huffing up a ridge for some time and are eagerly anticipating the view. When you reach the top, you scan the sweeping valley below you … and see a cluster of houses. At first, you think you must have wandered outside…

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered good news for outdoor recreation by doing nothing. Yep, the justices just sat on their heels and said there’s no point in arguing any more. I’m talking about roadless areas, a federal classification that includes 45 million acres of U.S. Forest Service land. What does this mean…

What do you envision when you hear the word “adventure”? I think of excitement, challenge, the unknown, and probably a little adversity. The thing about adventure is that it gets you out of your comfort zone. And it makes you vulnerable—because no matter how carefully you plan, the fact remains that you don’t really know…

Think about the greatest adventures you’ve had. Chances are, they started as a dream, slowly incubated in your mind, and finally morphed into reality after careful planning and execution. At some point, pipe dream becomes possibility—usually when you mentally commit yourself to a goal. After all, you never get anywhere in life by sitting on…

Going Solo Can Open Your Soul

So much of our lives is filled with stimulation and distraction. We rush from one thing to the next, be it work, errands, paying bills, taking care of kids, exercising or spending time with friends. How often do you actually put on the brakes and take time to reflect—on who you are you, what you…

One of the inalienable truths about outdoor adventures is that things don’t always go as expected. Weather is one of the more fickle factors, with the power to make or break even the best-laid plan. This can be frustrating. But given that the very word “adventure” suggests the unknown, I always try to remain flexible…

I’m guessing that you’ve got a few favorite and well-loved trails in your neck of the woods. Maybe it’s time pitch in and help maintain them? This isn’t any sort of guilt trip, so you can keep reading. I’m the first to admit that I don’t roll up my sleeves often enough to contribute to…

Ease Your Kids Into the Outdoors

For parents, few joys compare to sharing a favorite activity with their kids—of rediscovering a thrill through a child’s eye. This especially rings true with outdoor experiences, where a budding adventurer might need a little nurturing to bloom. Take backpacking, for example. I think it is one of the most sublime activities. I love the…

It’s known as the most challenging bike race held on U.S. soil, and it starts next week. Seven days, 683 miles, and 50,468 feet of climbing—including three visits to 12,000 feet. Good lord. Who dreamed that up? It must be someone with a sick penchant for watching the world’s elite crack. Bring it on! Starting…

Four days, 360 miles, 51 riders, 20,000 feet of climbing, 15,000 calories burned per rider, ten flat tires, and a whole heck of a lot of fun. For some, it’s the biggest athletic accomplishment of their lives. For others, it’s time to step out of everyday life and reflect on why they chose to work…

There’s no better weekend than when you work your muscles to the max and spend the better part of your waking hours outside. Given that I’m a working stiff who sits at a desk five days a week, I’ve got to settle for this weekend warrior approach a lot of the time. One of my…

You might think that the outdoor industry is a bunch of tree huggers, and to some extent that’s true. After all, we’re in this business because we love being outdoors, and protecting natural resources and quality places to play goes hand-in-hand with that. But what if I told you that this collective concern for the…

To tap into the heartbeat of a land, you have to get up close and personal with it. This isn’t the kind of experience you can glean from a bus or train window as the scenery rushes past you. No, to really dig into a place, there’s nothing so intimate as a walking pace. Meandering…

No one attempting to climb Mount Rainier thinks it’s going to be easy, or even necessarily fun the whole way. The very notion of mountaineering means tackling challenging terrain in an unforgiving environment. Cold, wind, exposure, hunger, blisters, discomfort, and fear come with the territory. Suffering is almost guaranteed. Reaching the summit is never guaranteed.…