how to

December 1, 2020

How to Find Solitude in the Great Smoky Mountains

Hikers on a bridge in the Smokies

Editor’s note: Please consult the CDC or your state health department for information related to the COVID-19 pandemic. When spending time outdoors, please recreate responsibly. Some locations within Great Smoky Mountains National Park may be temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Check with the NPS for current conditions. For the 76th year in a row, Great Smoky Mountains National […]

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October 21, 2020

Your Guide for Journaling in Nature

Micha Boxer reading journal content at Cowles Mountain, San Diego, Mission Trails

Whenever I need a break from everyday life, nature never fails me. The deeper into the forest I go, the more peaceful I feel. My worries fall off of me like a heavy coat, and I can focus my attention on the present moment. I notice the smell of fresh pine and cedar, the crunch […]

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March 9, 2020

Night Hiking Basics

Two hikers on a trail wearing headlamps at dusk

When the sun takes its daily dive below the horizon and delivers nighttime to your doorstep, there’s no rule saying you have to stay in for the evening. If you’re looking to extend your daily window of time for getting outdoors, here’s some inspiration and information to get you started on your after-dark adventures: Why […]

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September 11, 2019

How to Use Bear Spray

A person holding a can of bear spray at the ready

If you spend time outdoors in bear country, particularly grizzly bear country, bear deterrent spray should be on your never-leave-home-without-it list. But, carrying it is not enough to keep bears away. You need to know how to use bear spray effectively, and without hesitation, because an up-close encounter with an aggressive bear is no time […]

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July 31, 2019

DIY: How to Skip a Rock

Person skipping a rock

Connecting to nature and finding joy in the outdoors doesn’t have to mean climbing to the top of a remote mountain peak. There are all sorts of things to find—from right outside your door to just across town. Whether you’re spending time with kids outside or looking for an excuse to get some fresh air, […]

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May 21, 2019

How to Make Hiking Fun with Kids

A child rides on her parent's shoulder during a hike.

Going on a family hike is a great way to encourage kids to be active and connect with nature. But sometimes the reality isn’t Instagram-ready. Parents and caregivers, we’ve been there. There’s occasional whining, and getting through a hike may take a little bribery and a whole lot of cajoling. It doesn’t always have to […]

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April 5, 2019

How to Measure How Much Fuel is Left in a Canister

Person holds scale with a fuel canister dangling in front of a peaceful river.

Stoves that run on canisters are very popular, and for good reasons. They’re lightweight, easy to ignite and quick to boil water. But you may have noticed that it’s not easy to keep track of how much fuel is left in a partially used canister. In this article we’ll discuss two ways you can figure out how […]

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March 20, 2019

How to Set Up an Ultralight Tarp Shelter for Backpacking

A tarp shelter sits ready for camping.

Thru-hikers and minimalist backpackers love using tarps instead of tents because tarps are ultralight and take up very little space in a pack. And those backpacking tarp shelters are nothing like the big blue tarps at your hardware store; instead, they are made of a thin-yet-strong nylon or polyester that’s either waterproof or highly water […]

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August 3, 2018

DIY: Dog Bed

Dogs like to get cozy as much as their human companions (some even more so). This DIY uses an old foam pad and sleeping bag to make a lightweight dog bed so your pup is as comfy as you on your next backpacking adventure. If you don’t have old gear lying around, check out a […]

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