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 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 […]

How to Read a Topo Map

You probably know that a magnetized compass and a paper map are part of the Ten Essentials. Learning to read that paper topo map (short for topographic map) is every bit as essential. Your map will then be able to tell you a richly detailed tale about the terrain you’ll be exploring. This article covers these […]

How to Choose Binoculars

When shopping for binoculars, you’ll discover wide price ranges on similar-looking styles. Understanding binocular specs, such as magnification, objective lens diameter and exit pupil will help you narrow down which pair works best for your needs. Binocular Size Binoculars come in a variety of sizes (defined by the objective lens size) for various outdoor pursuits. […]

How to Build a Campfire

For many, the campfire is a beloved and indispensable outdoor tradition—a kinetic, luminous, dreamlike force of nature that for generations has served as the centerpiece of backwoods gatherings. This article explains the key steps for building a successful campfire, as well as fire etiquette tips, whether you’re car camping or backpacking. 1. Find or Build […]

How to Set Up a Tent

When the sunrise comes streaming through the tent window after you slept soundly through a gale-force night, you’ve got yourself a well-pitched shelter. If you’ve never set up a tent before, it’s been a while since your last campout or you’d just like a few ideas on how you can smooth out the process, this […]