Hiking & Trekking

Skyver Ortovox Backpack Scooter

outdoor gear guide s Skyver Ortovox Backpack Scooter follow me on pinterest button Skyver Ortovox Backpack Scooter Back in 2009, we reviewed the Bergmönch—a scooter that transforms into a backpack.

In 2011, one of the stars of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Show was the Skyver Ortovox—a scooter that transforms into a backpack.

Yes, everything old being new again. But Spot Cool Stuff is thrilled to see the Ortovox get such attention. (And we’re happy to lend our voice to it.)

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The Matterhorn’s Boutique Hiking Hut

There may be no country in the world as into hiking and mountaineering as Switzerland. The Alpine nation is criss-crossed by trekking trails and dotted with remote hiking shelters.

Most of those shelters are basic—a roof, a few beds, an outhouse, perhaps a wood burning stove. But one Swiss shelter is very much not basic: the Monte Rosa Hütte. It’s been nicknamed the Bergkristall (mountain crystal) and those who have visited are calling it “the mountain hut of the future.”

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3 Cool Alternatives to the Inca Trail

The Inca Trail is probably the most renowned trek in the world. It sits alongside Everest Base Camp, The Annapurna Circuit and Kilimanjaro a must do for traveller bragging rights. But with spaces limited and busy trails, what are the alternatives for the growing band of anti-populist travellers who don’t like to follow the crowds? How can you get to Machu Picchu through the back-door?

Back in 2008 entry to the epic Inca Trail became controlled by a limited permit system. These permits tend to sell out at least three months in advance and the problem is exacerbated in the peak summer months. Even if permits are available not everyone relishes the prospect of trekking such a well-worn path in the company of so many others.

Luckily Machu Picchu is surrounded by fantastic trekking and the Inca Trail isn’t the only option on the table, there are now an ever growing number of alternatives for your dose of Incan culture and mountains. And although none of them can serve up the wonder of crossing through the Sun Gate for that first glimpse of the majestic ruins, they are all worthy alternatives.

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A Two Minute (YouTube) Walk Across America

Is it possible to walk across the United States, from New York City to San Francisco, in two minutes? It is through the magic of stop-motion photography and the trickery of time-lapse video. There’s even time along the way to snap a few photos of Washington D.C. monuments and to take in Mt Rushmore.

Here’s the video of how such a journey would look . . .

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The Dunes of Lake Michigan

Picture outdoor travel in the upper midwest of the United States and an image probably comes to mind of flat forests and flat fields—if anything comes to mind at all.

In fact, the region is home to a variety of unexpected natural treasures,. Among those: the world’s largest freshwater dune system.

These dunes scattered along the shores of the five Great Lakes—Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario—were formed 3,000 to 6,000 years ago (recent in terms of geological terms) when the water level of the lakes was 40 feet (12 meters) higher than it is today. Every U.S. state and Canadian province that borders a Great Lake has at least one sand dune preserve area, including Indiana where there are some wonderfully scenic dunes not far from the powerfully unscenic blighted industrial town of Gary.

Arguably the coolest place to experience the Great Lakes dunes is at the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area in western-central Michigan.

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Lose Weight While Traveling:
Three Fun & Cool Trips

A vacation is a wonderful time to get away from the normal day-to-day. But you needn’t spend it sedentary and immobile, sipping cocktails and grazing at the buffet.

To combat vacation hangover and dreaded weight gain here are three fun trips that will challenge your mind and your body. You’ll return home from each of these trips in better shape than you left.

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Cool Caribbean: Dominica

Many people, even those well-traveled, have never heard of the rugged, tropical nation of Dominica. Tourism does not dominate here in the way it does many other small Caribbean islands where development often crowds out ecological concerns. Much of Dominica is green, wild and untouched. No wonder Dominica was chosen as the filming location for the “remote feeling” outdoor scenes of Pirates Of the Caribbean.

If you are looking for a Caribbean destination with magnificent diving, fantastic hiking and lush jungles, you should choose Dominica too. The natural beauty of this place makes it one of Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite island nations. Spend some time here and you’ll come away wondering why more people haven’t heard of this paradise.

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Thailand’s Best Islands

Thailand has over 250 islands, from deserted specks of land to tourist havens with mega resorts to everything in between. Regardless of what you are looking for in a tropical island, chances are that Thailand has at least one to fit your tastes.

Here’s the first of our two-part rundown of Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite Thailand islands. Continue reading on or click on an island category that meets your fancy:

Best Thailand Islands More of Thailand’s Best Islands
The Best Overall Thailand Island Best For Tropical Forests
Best For Honeymoons Best Island Close To Bangkok
Best For Scuba Diving Best Nearly Undeveloped Island
Best For Rock Climbing Best For Wild Parties
Best For Chill Parties
Best For Families

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