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 […]

Leave No Trace Principles

If you spend much time in the great outdoors, you’re likely to hear the phrase “Leave No Trace” as often as you hear “the Ten Essentials.” What does it mean? Simply put, it’s the best practices we should follow to enjoy and protect our natural spaces. With well over 100 million visitors on more than […]

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 […]

Camping for Beginners

Even if you’re the most urban of creatures, the urge to get out of the city—to camp out, in fact—can seize your imagination at any time. If you find yourself contemplating car camping for the first time, but also find the gear and the prep to be a little daunting, don’t despair. We’re here to […]

How to Choose Tents for Camping

Car camping with family or friends is a summer pastime for many of us. Whether the campground itself is the main attraction or it’s simply your base camp for nearby activities, this article will help you find the right camping tent—your home away from home. (Prefer backcountry camping? See Backpacking Tents: How to Choose.) Tent Sleeping Capacity […]

The Ten Essentials

Packing the “Ten Essentials” whenever you step into the backcountry, even on day hikes, is a good habit. True, on a routine trip you may use only a few of them or none at all. It’s when something goes awry that you’ll truly appreciate the value of carrying these items that could be essential to […]