how to

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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July 31, 2019

DIY: How to Press Flowers

Flowers

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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August 1, 2018

10 Camping Items to Add to Your Emergency Kit

If you’re preparing an emergency plan, whether for a major earthquake, devastating storm or a relatively minor inconvenience like being snowed in for a day or two, you’re going to have to accept a level of uncertainty: Will the power go out? Will the roads be drivable? Will your phone work? The unknown is enough […]

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May 24, 2018

DIY Van Life: Build Your Own Kitchen and Storage

People preparing food in a van retrofitted with a kitchen.

[Editor's note: This story is part of our van life collection—articles that offer do-it-yourself projects, tips and hacks for retrofitting your adventure mobile for life on the road. Be sure to check out how to create a sleeping platform for your van.] A nomadic lifestyle offers freedom and spontaneity, but it’s much more enjoyable when […]

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