Day Hiking Checklist

Heading out for a day hike is a delightful way to explore nature with friends and family, or even by yourself. Whether you want to go deep into the mountains or stay closer to home, the places to go are numerous; many state and national parks offer broad networks for trails, as does national forest […]

First-Aid Checklist

If you’re headed outdoors, you should always carry either a prepackaged first-aid kit or a DIY kit that you can create using our list as a guide. Knowing how to use the items in a first-aid kit is as important as having them, so consider taking a training course. This list is a good starting point. […]

How to Choose Headlamps

When you’re setting up your tent at night, trail running at dusk, or just looking for something in your attic, you can’t beat the hands-free lighting convenience offered by a headlamp. Headlamps today use LEDs almost exclusively as their light source. LEDs are rugged, energy-efficient and long-lasting. So, what sets one headlamp apart from another? […]

How to Choose Sun Protection (UPF) Clothing

One of the great joys of being outdoors is basking in the soft, warm glow of the sun. But like so many of life’s pleasures, it’s best done in moderation. Sunlight includes rays of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and exposure to those rays can lead to sunburn, premature skin aging and skin cancer. Choosing clothing that […]

How to Choose and Use Sunscreen

Whether the sky above is a bright blue or steely gray, the sun’s rays are raining down billions of photon particles per second on us. And, in addition to the warmth and light we crave, those kaleidoscopic rays contain ultraviolet (UV) radiation, the source of sunburn, premature skin aging and skin cancer, which more of […]

How to Choose Sunglasses

Sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, reduce eyestrain in bright conditions and protect you from flying debris and other hazards. Finding the right pair is key to your comfort, whether you’re driving to work or climbing a mountain. Most sunglasses block 100% of ultraviolet light. UV protection information should be printed on […]

How to Choose Between a PLB and a Satellite Messenger

While many people consider unplugging to be an essential part of immersing themselves in the natural world, it’s also true that there might come a time when one truly needs to call for help. Smartphones, which are seemingly in-hand 24/7, are a tempting solution, but 911 networks offer limited connectivity in Ma Nature’s domain. When you’re on an […]

How to Choose and Use a GPS

This article is part of our series: Intro to Navigation. Once revolutionary, GPS technology is in everything from drones to dog collars now. Nonetheless, a handheld GPS receiver remains a valuable outdoor tool for hikers and other backcountry explorers. A GPS can give you vital information about where you are, where you’ve been and where you […]

How to Choose a Compass

The ability to navigate with map and compass is a crucial skill, one that can literally save your life. Your compass and map can also do other helpful tasks like telling you where you are, what’s around you and the best way to get where you want to go. In the Ten Essentials, the compass and map […]

How to Use a Compass

This article is part of our series: Intro to Navigation. Finding your campsite, a spectacular viewpoint or your way back out of the wilderness won’t always be simple tasks. That’s why a magnetized compass and a paper map—and the navigational knowhow to use them—are part of the Ten Essentials. This article covers the following concepts: Identifying the […]