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Outdoor Basics Articles

(80 results)
  1. Buying Guides

    What FSC Certification Is and Why You Should Look for It

    Learn what Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is, why it’s important and the types of products on which you might see the FSC logo.

    rated 5 out of 5 with 4 reviews
  2. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Binoculars

    Numbers on binoculars can be a little confusing; this article explains basic specs, why prices differ so much and how to choose based on your end use.

    rated 4.75 out of 5 with 776 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 4.5 out of 5 with 1540 reviews
  4. Buying Guides

    Understanding Recycled Materials in Outdoor Clothing & Gear

    Learn how to shop for recycled materials in outdoor gear and clothing so you can lessen your impact on the planet.

    rated 4.75 out of 5 with 23 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 994 reviews
  6. 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 178 reviews
  7. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Insect Repellents

    Learn how to combat mosquitoes, ticks and flies with DEET, picaridin and natural lotions, air-emitted repellents and permethrin-treated clothing.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 145 reviews
  8. 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 953 reviews
  9. 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 386 reviews
  10. 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 213 reviews
  11. 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 184 reviews
  12. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Batteries

    This battery guide lists pros and cons of the batteries (NiMHs, lithiums, alkalines and more) that power your outdoor devices.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 178 reviews
  13. 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 4.5 out of 5 with 223 reviews
  14. 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 460 reviews
  15. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Solar Chargers and Portable Power

    Our article helps you pick the solar charger or portable power technology that’s best suited to your adventure, travel and power needs.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 132 reviews
  16. 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 429 reviews
  17. Buying Guides

    What is bluesign®?

    Learn what bluesign-certified materials are, who the bluesign group is and what they're doing to produce clothing and gear more sustainably.

    rated 4.5 out of 5 with 29 reviews
  18. Buying Guides

    What is Organically Grown Cotton?

    Learn what organically grown cotton is and how you can find it in outdoor gear.

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

    How to Choose Two-way Radios

    Two-way radios let you keep in touch while hiking and skiing. Before you buy, read up on channels, wattage, range and other tips for use.

    rated 4.25 out of 5 with 179 reviews
  20. 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 206 reviews
  21. 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 778 reviews
  22. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Knives and Tools

    Knives and multi-tools come in a variety of styles and materials. Read this article to get tips on how to choose one that works for you.

    rated 4.25 out of 5 with 44 reviews
  23. Buying Guides

    How to Choose and Use a GPS

    Learn the capabilities, basic functions and key features of handheld GPS receivers and get tips on how to use your new GPS unit.

    rated 4.25 out of 5 with 152 reviews
  24. Buying Guides

    Animal Welfare and Outdoor Gear

    Learn how animal welfare issues, like the Responsible Down Standard and Responsible Wool Standard, relate to outdoor gear and clothing.

    rated 4.25 out of 5 with 39 reviews
  25. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Speed and Distance Monitors

    Learn about speed and distance monitors, GPS fitness trainers and heart rate monitors so you can choose the right one for you.

    rated 4 out of 5 with 15 reviews
  26. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Sustainable Clothing and Gear

    What are the environmental impacts of making clothing and gear? We explain what they are and how brands work to reduce those impacts.

    rated 4 out of 5 with 26 reviews
  27. Buying Guides

    How to Choose First Aid Kits

    Learn how to choose and resupply a first-aid kit for the outdoors or make your own from scratch.

    rated 4 out of 5 with 155 reviews
  28. Buying Guides

    Fair Trade Food and Clothing Basics

    Learn about Fair Trade and how it helps farmers, workers and the environment and how you can choose Fair Trade products when shopping.

    rated 4 out of 5 with 54 reviews
  29. Buying Guides

    How to Choose Energy Food and Drinks

    Learn how energy foods and drinks can help you excel in your sport, whether you're looking for sustained nutrition or just a quick boost.

    rated 4 out of 5 with 34 reviews
  30. Buying Guides

    What is Reef-Safe Sunscreen?

    Chemicals in some sunscreens are harmful to coral reefs, leading sunscreen makers to offer "reef-safe" formulas. What does "reef-safe" mean? Find out.

    rated 3.75 out of 5 with 9 reviews