Skip to search results

Outdoor Basics Articles

(79 results)
  1. Expert Advice
  1. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Binoculars

    When shopping for binoculars you'll discover wide price ranges on similar-looking styles. Specs will help you narrow down your choices.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 2867 reviews
  2. Skills

    The Ten Essentials

    You’ll probably never fully appreciate the value of the Ten Essentials until you really need them. Bring these on every outdoor outing.

    rated 4.25 out of 5 with 1368 reviews
  3. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Base Layers

    Choosing the right underwear (base layer) is essential—learn how moisture-wicking materials, fabric weight and fit affect comfort in the outdoors.

    rated 4.25 out of 5 with 970 reviews
  4. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Sun Protection (UPF) Clothing

    Sun protection can come from more than just sunscreen. Learn what UPF ratings are and how to choose sun protective clothing.

    rated 4.25 out of 5 with 910 reviews
  5. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Rainwear

    Learn about the types of rainwear, including waterproof/breathable technology, and how to choose the jacket that will best serve your needs.

    rated 4.25 out of 5 with 902 reviews
  6. Checklists

    First-Aid Checklist

    Our first-aid checklist for the outdoors includes wound coverings, medications, treatments, tools, personal care items and much more.

    rated 4 out of 5 with 742 reviews
  7. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Sunglasses

    Sunglasses are a necessity whether you’re camping, climbing or cycling. This guide will teach you about sunglass fit, frames and lenses.

    rated 4 out of 5 with 715 reviews
  8. Care & Repair

    Rainwear: Durable Water Repellent (DWR) Care

    Learn how to test your rainwear’s durable water repellent (DWR) coating and how to revive existing DWR or apply new DWR.

    rated 4.25 out of 5 with 690 reviews
  9. Skills

    How to Lace Hiking Boots

    Increase comfort on the trail by learning simple boot lacing techniques that help you deal with heel slipping, pressure points and toe pain.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 541 reviews
  10. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Flashlights

    Learn about types of batteries and bulbs, lumens, beam distance, run time, modes and more to help you choose the right flashlight.

    rated 4.25 out of 5 with 410 reviews
  11. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Between a PLB and a Satellite Messenger

    Learn the difference between a personal locator beacon (PLB) and a satellite messenger, and which emergency signal device might be right for you.

    rated 4.25 out of 5 with 383 reviews
  12. Skills

    How to Use a Compass

    It's one of the Ten Essentials, but do you know how to use your compass? Learn the basics of declination, bearings and how to use them.

    rated 3.5 out of 5 with 382 reviews
  13. Skills

    Leave No Trace Principles

    Learn about Leave No Trace Principles for protecting and preserving outdoor spaces so you can be a responsible hiker and camper.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 373 reviews
  14. Skills

    Layering Basics

    Learn the basics of layering clothing so you can stay comfortable outdoors. Includes info on base layers, middle layers and shell layers.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 367 reviews
  15. Skills

    How to Get Started Geocaching

    Geocaching, a type of high-tech treasure hunt, is a fun way to get outdoors and use your GPS receiver. Learn how to play and what to bring.

    rated 4.25 out of 5 with 348 reviews
  16. Skills

    Backpacking in Bear Country

    Before backpacking in an area where black bears or grizzlies live, learn what precautions you can take to protect you and the bears.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 308 reviews
  17. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Insulated Outerwear

    Can't decide between down or synthetic insulation? Learn to compare the compressibility, warmth and weight of insulated outerwear options.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 283 reviews
  18. Skills

    How to Read a Topo Map

    A topo map is an indispensable navigational tool, but only if you know how to read it. In this article, we'll teach you the basics.

    rated 4 out of 5 with 283 reviews
  19. Skills

    Blister Prevention and Care

    Learn the conditions that cause blisters, how to prevent blisters from happening and how to treat them after they form.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 239 reviews
  20. Skills

    How to Go to the Bathroom in the Woods

    Before you gotta go, make sure you know where to go and how to Leave No Trace when you do.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 225 reviews
  21. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Headlamps

    Our guide to headlamps helps you understand light output, beam distance, run time, size and weight so you can choose the right one for you.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 225 reviews
  22. Skills

    Bear Canister Basics

    Planning a backpacking trip with a chance of bear encounters? Learn the pros and cons of bear canisters and how to use them correctly.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 202 reviews
  23. Buying Guides

    How to Choose and Use Sunscreen

    Learn how to use sunscreen to guard against UV radiation. Topics include ingredients, SPF, UVB, UVA, broad spectrum, and water resistance.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 200 reviews
  24. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Daypacks

    Choosing a daypack can be daunting. Learn how to find the right one by looking at how you plan to use it, plus capacity, features and fit.

    rated 4.25 out of 5 with 199 reviews
  25. Skills

    How to Adjust the Declination on a Compass

    Declination, the difference between magnetic north and true north, is key to accurate navigation. Learn how to adjust for it on a compass.

    rated 4 out of 5 with 195 reviews
  26. Skills

    How to Identify and Treat Altitude Sickness

    Learn about altitude sickness, acute mountain sickness (AMS), high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE) and high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE).

    rated 3.75 out of 5 with 179 reviews
  27. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Hydration Packs

    Which hydration pack is best? Learn about reservoir size, gear capacity and other key pack features for cyclists, runners, hikers and more.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 174 reviews
  28. Buying Guides

    How to Choose a Compass

    This clear, concise guide helps you understand features, terms and technology to find the right compass for your needs.

    rated 4.25 out of 5 with 164 reviews
  29. Buying Guides

    How to Choose a Hammock

    Hammocks are a comfortable and popular way to hang out in Nature. Some are also great for backpacking. Learn how to choose one that's right for you.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 163 reviews
  30. Skills

    How Does Waterproof Raingear Work?

    Find out what makes GORE-TEX and other rainwear technologies tick. Learn exactly what water resistant, waterproof and breathable mean.

    rated 4.75 out of 5 with 162 reviews