Homeless people are the ultimate endurance athletes and outdoor adventurists, I discovered. They hike for miles every day and camp out under the stars each night. They can start a campfire with a single match and a few twigs, and they can forage for food and wild edibles better than most mushroom-gathering hippies. They are thru-hikers without a Katahdin, trudging daily through rain and snow in search of their next meal or job interview.
It’s because these are the things that matter, that give meaning to our lives. The river is where I find purpose. It’s one of the few places that allows me to experience that balance between incompetence and confidence.
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Not only were we able to pin down some of the region's top outdoor towns, but we also spent the last month conglomerating what our experts say are their top gear picks. The mission: find out what gear changed their lives this year, and feature it here for you to feast on – better than Thanksgiving dinner for many of our readers.