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 17, 2019

Do I Need Cycling Socks?

Cycling Socks

If you enjoy riding your bike but don’t consider yourself a hard-core cyclist (yet), you might wonder if you need cycling-specific socks. Can’t I just wear basic workout socks and be done with it? Yes, you absolutely can. But, just as there are welcome details like subtly padded zones in hiking socks, certain characteristics in […]

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July 10, 2019

How to Diaper on the Trail Like a Pro

A mom putting a diaper on a smiling toddler wearing a purple fleece

When I first started hiking with my infant son, I quickly learned that the farther we went, the more poop became a problem. Digging a cat hole or finding an outhouse is one thing, but when you’re hiking with a kid in diapers, it’s another story. Trust me when I say there are a million ways […]

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June 11, 2019

What Is a Hammock Underquilt and How Do You Use One?

Hammock underquilts are the best way to stay warm during cold campouts.

If you’ve grown to love hanging out in your hammock, perhaps you’ve contemplated sleeping overnight in your outdoor cocoon. Two obvious needs for overnight comfort are bug netting and a rain tarp, which you can buy separately or may come included as parts of a hammock tent system. One often overlooked issue, though, is how […]

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June 11, 2019

The Best Snack Hacks for Any Outdoor Adventure

Snack Hacks for Any Outdoor Adventure

Few things inspire as much passion as adventure snacks. They’re a great way to motivate and reward yourself, friends and kids during your outdoor adventures. We asked REI employees and members how they get creative with trail snacks and they delivered. Use these ideas to spice up your next outdoor excursion, or to come up […]

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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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May 14, 2019

Your Guide to Last-Minute Backpacking

Campsite with backpacking gear set up

Whether you’re an experienced backpacker or just getting started, it can be difficult to find the time to get out. With work schedules and busy lives, many of us have only one or two days per week to spend nights outdoors. By the time a day off rolls around, it can be tough to find […]

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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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