Outdoor Reads: Government shuts down websites too; and backpack hydration products banned

Find out just what the government is shutting down and how getting outdoors could mean finding some jewels.

What did the SNEWS team read this week that other industry insiders might find interesting? Read on to find out.

  • As if it weren’t a big enough slap in the face to shut down the government – including our beloved national parks – and put hundreds of thousands of people on furlough, they went on ahead and shut down the websites for all national parks too. This Outdoor Women’s Alliance story gives the low down on how the government shut down has affected all people, but especially those who rely on national parks tourism to pay the bills.
  • The government shutdown has not only led to furloughs of government employees, but outright layoffs of some private company employees that depend on recreation in national parks, according to this Review Journal story. Three boat instructors were recently laid off in Callville Bay Marina off Lake Mead in Las Vegas because no boats are even allowed in the water right now. Meanwhile, both members of Congress and the President are receiving regular paychecks.
  • Forget all the energy bars, chews and gels, the best meal on the trail is a good homemade sandwich. You know the ones, summer sausage and cheese on French bread, or even a simple PB&J hits the spot. Well, now you can find and share the best sandwiches for the outdoors at That’s right, an entire website dedicated to people taking pictures on the trail with sandwiches. It’s a beautiful thing.
  • What happened at the Boston Marathon last April was tragic. Even though it wasn’t a runner who planted the bombs, runners will get extra scrutiny at some upcoming popular marathons like the Marine Corps Marathon and the New York City Marathon, both events which banned CamelBak and backpack-like hydration products. Though we don’t personally think you need those products for the actual race (training is another story) we fully support the runner’s right to run with whatever they feel they need. This isn’t really fair, we say. Check out the story here.
  • A few seasons back, the bag company Haiku had a line inspired by the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, where the colors are abundant and the people measure “gross national happiness” versus “gross domestic product.” We were intrigued then and now want to visit Bhutan even more after reading this Adventure Woman story about the kingdom.
  • As with a lot of important issues, when it comes to getting enough exercise there’s a whole lot of talk but not a lot of action. But not so much in Boston. This blog post written by a doctor said that when patients are given an exact exercise plan and told how long he or she needs to walk, run or hike, they are more likely to do it. The program is called Outdoor Rx, and the program trains physicians and health professionals to write prescriptions for activities sponsored by the Appalachian Mountain Clubs.
  • One sure way to avoid a traffic jam when you’re going to have a baby? Bike to the hospital like one St. Paul, Minn. woman did. Read the story before you judge her though. She was two weeks overdue – which is never pretty – and she rode her bike with her doctor’s consent. Is maternity cycling clothes up next, Mountain Mama?
  • GoPro has made it possible for those of us who are not adrenaline junkies or ultimate thrill seekers to experience some pretty cool stuff without having to leave the office. Our latest experience was through this video we found on Gear Junkie that shows a kayaker going down a concrete drainage canal into Lions Bay, British Columbia at 34 miles per hour.
  • Ah-ha! We’ve found the solution to getting people outdoors: Tell them they might find a bag of jewels! This Discovery News story tells the tale of one climber who found an abandoned box of jewels valued at $332,000 in the Alps. He gave them up to authorities and they haven’t been claimed as of yet. We bet he hopes this is a finders-keepers situation.
  • If you’re like us, you got into Breaking Bad later in life. So late, in fact, that you’re still trudging through Season 5, hoping nobody tells you how the series actually ends. We stumbled upon this Outside story about a tour of the show’s Albuquerque haunts that many uber fans might be interested in. Suggestion? They should have included a list of some local places to recreate. When we lived in Albuquerque we were a fan of La Luz trail on Sandia Peak.

Did you read anything awesome this week? Email it to us because we want to read it too!