L’Shana Tovah: 5779 In Review, 5780 Preview

5779 saw the publication of our book, The Kosher Backpacker, the launch of our Appalachian Trail app, and this website. It was a big year of developing specifically Jewish content for the outdoors.

So what is 5780 going to be like?

Organized Jewish Outdoor Excursions

This year, we’re going to work more aggressively for organized outdoor activities. Backpacking trips, canoe trips, and more. We’re going to have workshops on kosher one-burner cuisine, how to properly keep and remember Shabbos in the woods, and minor holiday observances outdoors.

We’re going to work with the Maine Israelite Outdoor Society, a new local organization headquartered in the Jewish community of Bangor, Maine, for trips in New England. We’re also going to see if we can find partners elsewhere, to start refining a national, and hopefully someday, worldwide program offering.

Environmental Stewardship

There are so many challenges facing our world from climate change. Though unabashedly apolitical, The Kosher Backpacker recognizes that climate science is real, and there are meaningful ways that we can participate in environmental advocacy and action.

We’ll look to partner with the AMC and other groups this year for Shabbos-respecting trail crew volunteer work, and participation with the Sierra Club in some of their activities. In Maine, we’ll work on joining the Maine Chapter of the Sierra Club on regional clean-ups.

New Content, New Apps

We’re working on a Pacific Crest Trail app for release prior to this year’s hiking season. Like all of our apps, it will not be a replacement for some of the better guide apps, but we do want to ensure that we offer features specific to Jewish hikers, regardless of their style of observance.

We’ll be working on more gear reviews, more recipes, and more trail listings with the shomer mitzvot traveler in mind.

5780 Will Be Exciting…With Your Help

The Kosher Backpacker welcomes writers from all walks of Jewish life. This site isn’t being about a better Jew, or pushing traditional observance on people. This site is about relating Jewishly to the outdoors, and there are a million different ways to do that. We do settle on the “frummest common denominator,” but when we write advisory or instructional content, but you are under no obligation to pay any mind to that if you write for us.

We can’t really pay you yet, as we ourselves are committing to this as a labor of love, but we will be grateful for your contributions.

In the meantime, we wish for you a great new year, easy fasts on Yom Kippur, and excellent wilderness experiences in 5780.

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