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Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.
rini sugianto | 05.07.2019

What does a year of new adventures look like? And how might those adventures change throughout the months and seasons in a calendar year? With our 12 Months of Adventure content series, we'll be diving into exactly that.

For each month throughout 2019, we'll be highlighting a different outdoor activity/focus and inviting you to follow along and take on a new adventure (or 12). Tapping the expertise of our knowledgeable Contributors, we'll be providing educational resources, how-to tips, and trip ideas and excursions—so you can get out and start racking up adventure time, pronto.


Trail running beneath the looming presence of Mount Adams in the Goat Rocks Wilderness. Shane Kucera.


12 Months of Adventure: May - Trail Running

April: Mountaineering + Climbing | June: Vehicle-Based Camping


Summer is on the horizon, flowers are blooming, and the trails are clearing up from the heavy snow season. It’s time to swap our skis with trail running shoes and go for an adventure, to feel the wind on the winding, narrow trails, and take in the amazing views that the great outdoors provide.

“I run,” said Dean Karnazes, an accomplished ultramarathon runner, “because, long after my footprints fade away, maybe I will have inspired a few to reject the easy path, hit the trails, put one foot in front of the other, and come to the same conclusion I did: I run because it always takes me where I want to go.” Winner of the Badwater in 2004, a record-setter who ran 350 miles in 80 hours and 44 minutes, Karnazes knows a thing or two about running the trails.

Running strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system, but trail running does all that and more. Technical terrain along the trail requires a runner to use different muscles and practice their balance and coordination. Such a challenge sharpens a runner’s focus, requires them to live in the present, and provides them a break from their daily routine and the stress that comes with it. Just by putting one foot in front of the other, a runner pushes his or her body and tests how far it can go.

We don’t need much to run—a pair of shoes and gritty determination will take us a long way. Running is all mental, they say, whether a 5-mile trail or a 50-mile ultra. But ultramarathoner and Ph.D. candidate in philosophy Sabrina Little cheekily reminds us, “People who say running is 90% mental should know that 100% of the time we also use our legs.”

"It hurts up to a point,” says Ann Trason, 14-time winner of the women's Western States Endurance Run, “and then it doesn't get any worse."

One thing is certain: There is a special exhilaration we feel when our feet pound packed earth, the wind whistles past our ears, and the trees pass by in a blur. Our hearts race in lockstep with the rhythm of our footfall, and if we hold our breath, if only for a moment, it feels as though we float down the trail on a cloud.

So where do you want to run this season?

How Tos + Gear

Adventure Recommendations

We hope you get inspired by 12 Months of Adventure and are able to take on some new adventures this year. Don't forget to let us know about your spring photo adventures by tagging your photos #12MonthsofAdventure ​​​​​​ on Instagram and by adding a comment/photos in the comments section below. Happy trails!

The 12 Months of Adventure:

From mountaineering to outdoor photography, from paddling pastimes to environmental stewardship, 12 Months of Adventure aims to cover a breadth of interests that connects everyone in a deeper way with the outdoors. Follow along each month with a new 12 Months of Adventure focus:

  1. January: Snowventures
  2. February: Adventure Training/Fitness
  3. March: Photography
  4. April: Mountaineering
  5. May: Running
  6. June: Vehicle-based Camping
  7. July: Paddlesports
  8. August: Mountain Biking
  9. September: Hiking + Backpacking
  10. October: Wildlife + Fishing
  11. November: Conservation, Stewardship + Volunteering
  12. December: Skiing + Snowboarding


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