Blogs

You may already own a boat, a hard-shell canoe or kayak that spends most of its time languishing in the backyard due (at least in part) to the hassle of getting it to the water in the first place. Or perhaps you’ve avoided buying that great albatross of outdoor gear, recognizing that a boat is…

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Winter camping is fun. In a frosted bug-free landscape devoid of crowds, you experience sparkling tranquility. Snow-draped woods, crystalline views, and glittering night skies await. But winter’s less friendly aspects lurk as well: heavy snowfall, blustery winds, and nose-nipping cold. To experience it comfortably, you’ll need a quality four-season tent to keep you safe and…

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Frigid fingers are unpleasant. Numb wooden hands are far worse, and potentially dangerous in the chilly backcountry. Prevent the fingertip blues this season and keep your dexterity, enjoyment, and digits intact with these handy tips. IF THE GLOVE FITS In a properly fitting glove, your fingers should almost, but not quite, touch the tips. The…

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You are stranded, injured and alone. Night is falling, conditions are deteriorating, and there is no way out until the next day. Or longer. Are you equipped to survive? Your chances will be vastly improved if you carry these essential items and know how to use them. STAY DRY AND WARM Hypothermia will kill you…

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Sure, headlamps make you look like some sort of cyclopean beambrain. But it’s a small price to pay for the convenience of hands-free lighting, whether in camp, on the trail, or in the depths of your gear closet. Headlamp design has made a quantum leap in recent years, incorporating bulbs and battery-sipping LEDs into an…

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For many of us, heading into the backcountry for a multi-day trip means that we’re carrying more than just a loaded backpack. The monkey of caffeine addiction rides along as well, and you’ve got to feed it or face the logy, headpounding consequences. And, hey, coffee tastes good anyway. So what’s the best way to…

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A long-distance journey by bicycle slows the hyperactive human experience, allowing you time to investigate the places and cultures that surround you. It demands a certain level of fitness, but keeps you active, energized, and refreshingly alive. And when planned well, a multi-day bicycle trip even provides a good deal of leisure time. So what’s…

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In 1946, the U.S. Army created N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide. Commonly known as DEET, it is the most widely used insect repellent in the world today. It’s also caustic enough to melt plastic, a concern for many outdoor enthusiasts who regularly slather it on their skin. A variety of alternatives are available, including several natural compounds, but how…

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For years, hikers only had three real options when it came to treating water in the backcountry: boil it, filter it, or add iodine. Now a broad array of weaponry is available to exterminate all the aquatic baddies looking to take up residence in your gut: bacteria, viruses, cryptosporidia, and especially parasitic enemy number one,…

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If you were on the trail for hundreds of days and thousands of miles, what would be your most cherished piece of gear? To help answer this question of packing priorities, we queried dozens of AT thru-hikers for their hard-won thoughts on the matter. Some answers you’d expect. Others may surprise you. Light is right…

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