Outdoor Library

Browse hundreds of articles, guides and reviews (organized by category).

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How to Charge Your Phone While Camping

Out in the wilderness, it can feel nice to disconnect from the outside world and forget about your mobile phone for a while. On the other hand, it can be incredibly useful and convenient to have full use of your phone in the backcountry. When you’re out in nature, power outlets can be hard to…

A tent with an air mattress in it and a green hammock in the woods.

Camping Cots and Air Mattresses: What’s Best for You?

Camping trips are always a whole lot of fun during the day time when campers are out on the trails backpacking, playing guitar at their base camp or any of the other fun things campers can do out in the backcountry. Then when night falls, the camping trip can be ruined by campers who don’t…

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How to Avoid Ticks When Camping

When we think about a camping trip pleasant ideas come to mind: fresh air, spacious environments, calmness, etc. We do not think about disgusting little vampires that can make our life miserable, of course… But, if you are reading this article, you are already one step ahead in making your outdoor adventure a great one:…

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How Much Water to Bring Camping

When camping one of the key supplies to pack is water. As we all know, water is key to our survival in any situation. When in the outdoors that is even more important as you may not be near a ready water source at all times. You want to make sure that you and everyone…

Four people in the mountains.

The Best Walkie Talkies for Hiking

Walkie talkies, or two-way radios, may seem to some hikers like too much technology to carry along in a rucksack on a hiking trip into the backcountry. Part of the reason many hikers go on these excursions is to be off the grid, incommunicado and able to reap the health benefits of peaceful ventures into…

Get a good backpacking tent to reach great sights.

The 6 Best Backpacking Tents

Oh, the great outdoors. Nothing like spending the day walking around some trails with friends, a couple of laughs and a few good views. You reach some lakes, you cross some streams, at one point you hear the squish of the mud beneath you as you press firmly into your boots. Your body becomes tired…

Get out there and explore some nature alongside friends and a helpful hydration pack.

6 Best Hydration Packs for Hiking – Reviews

Ahh, water. The source of life, covering the majority of our planet and even contributing to the largest portion of our body mass. We cannot really overstate its importance, considering it is the most essential thing for virtually all life forces on the planet, and when searching for life on other planets like Mars, we…

A man wearing a yellow shit and camping hot, looking at a canyon.

The 7 Best Hiking Sun Hats Reviewed

When hiking in the winter, many of us wear a beanie or other warm winter hat, to keep our heads warm and provide a bit of protection from the elements. The same is necessary for the summer, for different reasons, but it’s equally important. A wide-brimmed sun hat is recommended for hiking during the summer,…

Pairs of gray socks around a sign.

The Best Hiking Socks to Prevent Blisters

Blisters are a hiker’s worst enemy, these tiny little annoyances can ruin some otherwise amazing treks. There are a number of steps anyone can take to prevent blisters while hiking so that your feet stay happy and can carry you on adventures to come. Blisters can be caused by a number of reasons, from ill-fitting…

A large white tent in the mountains.

The Best 5 Person Tents – Top 6 Reviewed

November 10, 2019/Riley Draper Table of Contents When camping in larger groups, it’s nice to have accommodation with enough room for everyone. For family camping and group trips, a reliable and high-quality 5-person camping tent is the ideal backcountry home. From huge cabin tents to space-saving free-standing designs, there are many different 5-person tents available…

A person hiking in the mountains.

How to Attach Sleeping Bag to Backpack

We all know that backpacks can end up a bit overstuffed before setting off for a trip, there’s so much to remember to bring with you. One of the bulkiest items a backpacker needs is a sleeping bag, almost all campers need to travel with one of these, but they take up an enormous amount…

Person walking on a snow covered slope.

How to Adjust a Trekking Pole

Hikers and trekkers who frequently tackle different terrain or regularly traverse difficult types of terrain know about the knee and back pain that can develop after repeated bending of the upper body to scramble over rocks on otherwise flat terrain or going uphill just to go downhill later on mountainous trails. Well-seasoned hikers have probably…

Pair of brown hiking shoes with fall leaves.

How Should Hiking Boots Fit?

Backpackers and hikers often penetrate deep into the backcountry, probing and exploring, recording what they find or simply taking in the regality of nature’s beauty. Hikers are frequently only stopped by their own physical exasperation or a limited amount of time afforded them by circumstances back home. In fact, except in the most extreme cases,…

Cooked egg dish on a pan.

9 Camping Recipes for the Great Outdoors

After a long day spent hiking and exploring the great outdoors, campers often gather around the campfire for stories, songs, hot food, and some well-earned respite. Camping food is often relegated in the collective unconscious to dishes like hot dogs, marshmallows, and similar foods that can be roasted over the campfire on a skewer. This…

Three backpacking backpacks in the bed of a truck.

The Best Time to Buy Camping Gear

Just as there are advantages and disadvantages to camping in different seasons, so are their strategic times to buy all the outdoor equipment campers will need on their camping trip in the backcountry. Whether you’re an ultralight camper who carries as little camping gear as possible to a primitive camping campsite or a glamping enthusiast…

Person wearing winter clothes in the sunlight by a body of water.

7 Best Hiking Gloves On The Market Today

As the summer sun starts to fall and the temperatures too, it’s easy to bundle up and hibernate for a few months. Much like the brown bear with whom we share the grounds of several of our national parks, why putz about in the snowy terrain when we could just lay about with a good…

Man sitting by a bonfire in the woods.

Best Places to Camp in California

California, the Golden State, is the third-largest in the United States in terms of land area and home to 110 state parks and nine different national parks – more national parks than any other state in the country. With that much space, it isn’t hard to find campsites all over California. The beauty of the…

A person wearing hiking boots outdoors.

The Best Hiking Boots Reviewed

To any outdoor adventurer, hiking boots are a critical piece of equipment. They can make the difference between the perfect hike and a backcountry nightmare, so it’s important you get the right pair. The best hiking boots will protect your feet while offering additional support, and prevent blisters and other injuries. On the other hand,…

Body of water in a canyon in Texas.

The 9 Best Places to Camp in Texas

Camping in the lone star state offers more opportunities than the avid camper could possibly wish for. In this state you’ll find an incredible range of ecosystems, from mountains to desert gorges, you can go fishing for bass in monumental lakes, or help protect endangered sea turtle species along the Padre Island seashore. And one…

Two men by a blue lake in Arkansas.

The 9 Best Places to Camp in Arkansas

Arkansas’ motto is “The Natural State,” and anyone who visits one of the many campsites will soon see why. Often featuring such natural features as rivers, lakes, and forests, it will be the natural beauty of Arkansas that leaps out at campers and stays fondly in their memories for years to come. Birthplace to such…

A buffalo in the middle of the street.

The 10 Best Places to Camp in Oklahoma

If diversity of landscape is what you’re after, then Oklahoma will have you covered for your next camping trip. From the Great Plains to hills, lakes, and forests, there are so many different options for landscapes in this state that it’s difficult to know where to start. So we’ve compiled our top recommendations for the…

A lake in Belle in Plain.

Best Places to Camp in Minnesota

Not only the home of Bob Dylan, Minnesota also contains over 10,000 lakes and has some of the best camping spots in America. Minnesota, in the midwest of the U.S., borders Canada and Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes. We think that some of the most breathtaking of the camping experiences in Minnesota…

A bald eagle.

6 Best Places to Camp in Maryland 

Although comparatively, it’s quite a small state, Maryland offers the modern camper a diverse range of habitats and ecosystems to explore, from the rocky mountains of The Appalachians and the Appalachian Trail in Western Maryland to the numerous wetlands and marshes created by the many tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Despite being one of the…

Several mountain climbers climbing up a mountain.

The 11 Best Hiking Vacation Locations

The world is full of natural wonders so beautifully unreal that it’s likely the bucket list of hikers in the United States line up pretty nearly with bucket lists of hikers in Africa and Asia. The top-tier names in hiking trails, those famous for grueling trekking, insane weather, and the most spectacular views in the…

A man standing by a river.

The Best Hiking Watches Reviewed

A watch is a simple tool and accessory that many people choose to wear every day, from simple analog timepieces to high-tech smartwatches. For hiking, a watch can be an incredibly useful tool. Other than showing you the time and date, a hiking watch might inform a wearer of altitude, location, air pressure, and many…

Man stands on top of a mountain.

The Best 1 Person Tents – Top 6 Reviewed

Camping alone is a wonderful adventure. It’s the truest way to test your limits and really see what being in the wilderness is all about. A solo trip to the backcountry requires different preparation and different equipment than an expedition with friends; firstly, you only need a 1-person tent. When you’re alone in the backcountry,…

A horse in a field.

The 13 Best Hiking Trails in Texas

Vast and filled with an impressive diversity of landscapes, the erstwhile republic and current second-largest state in the United States by area, Texas is prairie and hill country, canyons and bigtooth maples, the land of cowboys, federales, and oil derricks. Nevermind the popular conception of flat, desolate expanses with tumbleweeds and prairie dogs. The variety…

Grey concrete buildings and a park in New York City.

Best Hiking Trails in New York

“Take a hike” is a New York City pejorative greeting you’re bound to hear if you spend any time at all wandering the streets of that dazzling metropolis. Whatever the Brooklyn cab driver or Bronx delicatessen owner who hurls out the phrase might mean by it, the underlying wisdom of this Empire State proverb will…

A silhouette of a man with a hat on.

The 6 Best Hiking Hats Reviewed

There’s the iconic scene in Anchorman when Ron Burgundy, the once disgraced news reporter played hilariously by Will Ferrell, is in a stupor after losing his job, roaming around San Diego. In a heap of despair and with an unkempt beard, he turns to the heavens and goes, “it’s so dang hot!” It’s a classic…

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How Many Miles Can You Hike in a Day?

If you love hiking and can’t get enough of it, or maybe you’re totally new to hiking but are looking to hike as much as you can while visiting someplace that runs through the Appalachian Trail. Either way, odds are that you’ve wondered how many miles you can possibly hike in one day.  The good…

Two pairs of feet on a rock ledge with hiking sandals.

The Best Hiking Sandals Reviewed

In one of Ella Fitzgerald’s iconic tunes, she opens the Porgy and Bess number with the line, “Summertime, and the living is easy.” Well sure, it’s easy if you’re able to escape the heat, stay cool and acclimated to the sweltering weather around you! For example, let’s say you and your friends are headed to…

Photos between pair of brown leather boots on the floor photo.

Hiking Shoes vs Boots: Which is Better for You?

Yes, we backpackers and outdoors enthusiasts will go and fling ourselves into wild long-distance mountaineering no matter what, and whatever should cover our feet seems secondary compared to the thrill of the journey. Hang back one moment in the planning of a hiking trip and you’ll realize the hiking trails in Arizona differ wildly from…

Forest during daytime photo.

The 6 Best Hiking Trails in New Jersey

Ahh, New Jersey. Sometimes overlooked as just the distant cousin away from New York City, or maybe even the afterthought on the way to Philadelphia. If you drive through the turnpike, you may even mistake it for one of the ugliest states in the union. Certainly, the turnpike won’t win any beauty contests, probably wouldn’t…

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Fun Things to do While Camping – Ideas to Make Memories in the Great Outdoors

Camping with the people you love is the perfect way to spend a weekend or a holiday. Taking to the mountains, setting up camp in a cozy valley or pitching tents by the waterside to take advantage of rivers and lakes is an ideal way of making the most of time with your family and…

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The Difference Between Hiking & Backpacking (plus the best places to do both!)

If you’re a fan of being in the great outdoors, or even if you’ve just toyed with the idea of spending some days and nights exploring the wilderness and all its beauty, you will have heard of the terms ‘hiking’ and ‘backpacking’ numerous times. Many people associate one word with the other, and insist they…

Arial view of the sea and beach with a road.

9 Best Hiking Trails in Florida

Although the Sunshine State is famous for its hundreds of miles of beaches and coastline, people don’t often mention the incredible variety of habitats and hiking opportunities here. We think that one of the most underrated trails in the whole of the United States is the Florida National Scenic Trail. We always hear people harking…

Three people sitting on a grey surface in front of a waterfall photo.

The 8 Best Hiking Trails in North Carolina

When people think of North Carolina, there are a few immediate images that come to mind: Michael Jordan, Dean Smith and the intense legacy that is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tarheel basketball team. Pulling outside the gymnasium culture, the tobacco fields and its southern cultivation are one of America’s infamous cash…

A colorful tent and a brown rock.

The 5 Best Inflatable Tents – Reviewed

October 25, 2019/Riley Draper Table of Contents An air tent, sometimes referred to as an inflatable tent, is a tent that is erected by pumping up inflatable beams. Instead of using traditional fiberglass tent poles, the air-filled beams form a strong but lightweight structure that acts like a normal tent, only often easier to assemble.…

Silver and orange headlamp photo.

Best Headlamp for Hiking (Buying Guide)

Trekking and trailblazing on a long hike usually brings to mind wide vistas of bright vibrant colors or winding one’s way through forest paths with sunshine pouring through the trees. But a whole new world is out there for hikers and backpackers, right in the same place at a time when the hot afternoon has…

Body of water and a mountain in Colorado during sunset.

The 9 Best Hiking Trails in Colorado

Colorado is a state of dramatic and varied landscape, with the snow-capped Rocky Mountains encompassing almost the entire area. It’s a hiker’s paradise, with arid deserts and river canyons to explore, as well as countless peaks to summit. Hiking trails in Colorado are abundant, with so many miles to meander through while you take in…

Family camping near a body fo water during the daytime.

The Best 12 Person Tents – Top 6 Reviewed

October 24, 2019/Riley Draper Table of Contents The best 12 person tents are a god-send for big families or large groups venturing out into the great outdoors. These shelters can make the camping experience less intense, with dividing walls or separate rooms to give you privacy. If you’ve been camping with a heavy snorer, or…

Body of water near island with trees and lighthouse photo.

The 8 Best Hiking Trails in Minnesota

Minnesota is one of the most beautiful states for hiking and offers fantastic views and outdoor experiences for any range of voyageurs and outdoorsmen. As the land of 10,000 lakes and even more beautiful views, the country is ripe for exploring whatever your capabilities, from cross-country treks to afternoon trots. And once the brutal winter…

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Hiking Safety Tips – Making Memories the Safe Way

Whether you’re going out alone, or bringing along your loved ones, ensuring your own safety is a top priority will ensure your trip is memorable for all the right reasons (instead of reasons like ending up in the hospital!). We’ve got all the top hiking safety tips that you need to know to keep you…

On dog on a cliff looking at the mountains.

Hiking with Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Hiking with your furry companion is an excellent pastime, it gives you valuable pet-owner bonding time, and it’s good fun and great exercise for dog and human alike. Any hiker who owns a dog knows the joys of taking man’s best friend on the trail; they’re the perfect hiking companion. However, before hiking with your…

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Can You Pitch a Tent Anywhere? Everything You Need to Know About Wild Camping

Camping is the ultimate salvation from the long working week and allows you to be at one with nature. You can feel liberated out in the wild with no one to answer to, and free of tedious technology clogging up your days and nights. Wild camping has become a sort of cult movement, with more…

Man standing on a brown rock looking at the water.

The 9 Best Backpacking Water Filter

Along the many paths and trails that course around the world, streams and rivulets trace the track traversed by backpackers in search of a connection with the natural world. Rivers often cut through the route and lakes feature into backpackers’ most hallowed destinations, rest stops, and camping sites. No matter if they’re at their intended…

A mountain under a cloudy sky.

Best Hiking Trails in California

California is an excellent state for hiking. From camping in Southern California to the Redwood Forest, there are countless miles of hiking trails winding throughout every county in the state. Yosemite National Park alone holds a breathtaking 77-mile section of the famous Pacific Crest Trail. Californian backcountry is diversely varied, from the majestic mountainous coastline…

A person walking in a forest.

The 13 Best Hiking Trails in America

To say the hiking trail system in the USA is gargantuan would be an understatement; there are hundreds of thousands of stunning routes all over the country. America’s national parks give us millions of acres of land, all ready to explore, and epic trails show you the very best views and sights. With more jaw-dropping…

Person walking on brown wooden boards in the woods.

8 Best Hiking Pants

Hiking is made up of countless infinitesimal minute details that together create that feeling of wonder and satisfaction familiar to hikers and anyone else who has been out trekking even once. From the planning and preparation stages to the real, physical task of hiking, the small necessities are what make hiking an enjoyable skilled activity.…

A hand holding a black smartphone.

The 6 Best Solar Chargers for Backpacking

Backpacking is an invigorating way to travel. Not just for outdoor adventures, backpacking can open up worlds of possibilities, introducing you to a light and nomadic way to see the world. With backpacking trips, you get a true feeling of independence, as all you need is packed away neatly and taken with you. One option…

A griddle with food on it.

The 7 Best Outdoor Griddles – Reviewed

In the popular imagination cooking at a campsite is often wholesome, healthy, and hassle-free, a quick and easy bonding moment around the campfire just before a spontaneous collective Kumbaya is sung. Anybody who’s ever been camping knows just how fraught with trouble and possible missteps cooking really is, especially in larger groups. Maybe four people…

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The 4 Best Camping Toilets – Reviewed

October 16, 2019/Samantha Bos Table of Contents Want to upgrade your camping comfort? We’ve got you – and your behind – firmly covered with this handy Best Portable Camping Toilets overview. Our experts have compromised a list of our favorite, top-rated styles to comfortable go number one and number two, without digging holes or uncomfortable…

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10 Best Hikes in Yosemite National Park

One of the most populous of the United States, California is an incredible place to visit for many reasons. Not only is Los Angeles filled with many great places to go hiking, but Yosemite National Park in Northern California is also chock full of great places for day hikes, enjoying wildflowers, some of the best…

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The Best Water Shoes – Tested & Reviewed

Looking for the Best Water Shoes? Our team has got you – and your feet – firmly covered! With so many options on the market, it can be a challenge to find water shoes that live up to expectations. That is exactly why we’ve bundled our top-rated, best-value options that deliver on quality, durability, and comfort in a handy Best Water…

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The Best Hikes in Virginia

Virginia has it all. From the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Mountains to Virginia Beach and historic Richmond and everything in between, you’d be hard pressed not to find something you love in Virginia – especially if it’s hiking. Virginia has thousands of beautiful hiking trails and is a great place to hike because of…

A shoe in a window.

Everything You Need to Know About Bunk Beds for Camping

Portable bunk beds, or camping cots, offer an innovative solution to the problem of limited space on group camping trips. Taking the kids camping is a very popular way to spend your summer vacation, and it’s important to make sure everyone sleeps comfortably. Portable bunk cots are one way to optimize your camping setup, by…

A fire.

7 Best Fire Starters (Buying Guide)

Fire starters are an all-important piece of kit, one that everyone should carry at all times in the outdoors. Backcountry adventures are a fun and enriching pass time, but the nature of trips into the wilderness means there are some dangers involved. In emergency situations, having a fire starter can make a big difference. Along…

A pair of hiking boots on a rock.

9 Best Camping Shoes

Trailblazers, explorers, and record-breakers who made history from the Amazon Rainforest to the surface of the moon all had to put their shoes on in the morning. Neil Armstrong famously waxed poetic about footprints in his “One Small Step for Man” quote. Long before, Lao Tzu left us his adage that a journey of a…

A girl on a mountain in Badia, Italy.

The 8 Best Hiking Apps 

Long gone are the days when the only option for hiking was marking out a route on a map manually, and following it with a compass, or only following marked trails in national parks. With most of us now carrying smartphones wherever we go, the world of hiking possibilities just opened up. There are apps…

A Nalgene water bottle.

The Best Camping Water Bottles

Quenching thirst is one of the most central human drives. Any physical activity, especially while laboring in the great outdoors to furnish the essentials around the campsite, will tire you out and have you reaching for the nearest water. Do your part to keep nature free of plastic water bottles by equipping yourself with a…

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The 3 Best Fans for Camping Trips in 2021 (Reviewed)

    October 11, 2019/Samantha Bos Table of Contents Looking for a tent fan to upgrade your camping comfort? We’ve got you – and your airflow needs – covered! To help you navigate your way towards the top-rated options on the market, we’ve created a handy Best Camping Fan overview. In this overview, we’re highlighting…

Two hands forming a heart around the sun.

6 Best Solar Panels for Camping

Many of us can no longer survive without mains electricity for a whole trip. It’s hard to live without a charged phone to contact friends and family, a go pro or camera to take pictures of a stunning hike, or a GPS to find your way. But instead of having to stay at an ugly…

A tent lit up outside.

The 6 Best Portable Power Packs for Camping

October 11, 2019/Riley Draper Table of Contents Many campers choose to go completely off the grid on their trips to the backcountry, using limited or no electrical devices. On the other hand, plenty of RVers and tent campers use portable power packs to give them a little more freedom and comfort on their camping trips.…

Deck chairs and towels in Encuentro Guadalupe, El Porvenir, Mexico.

The 8 Best Camping Towels

October 11, 2019/Riley Draper Table of Contents Commonly backgrounded in favor of tools that seem tougher, a good camp towel is a vital item for camping, backpacking, hiking, and many other outdoor activities. No matter what your pursuit, there is always a chance of rain, spills, and dirt. They’re useful for necessary chores like washing…

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The Best Hikes in Los Angeles: See the City of the Stars from a Whole New Perspective

Los Angeles, also known as home to America’s booming film industry, is also a great place to go hiking when you’re ready to get out of downtown LA. While hiking may not be the first thing that comes to a person’s mind when they think of Los Angeles, this city in Southern California is filled…

The Grand Canyon.

8 Best Hiking Trails in Arizona

Arizona is home to some of the most arresting desert vistas in the southwestern United States. Standing looking at the bend of a river in a canyon, a waterfall hidden at the end of a trail, a butte rising out of the red rock, or the cholla and cacti growing along the ribbons of the…

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5 Best Compact Binoculars

Want to upgrade your gear with a pair of compact binoculars? Then you’ve come to the right place! Our handy Best Compact Binoculars overview contains the top-rated, best-value choices, as rated by experts and other outdoor enthusiasts. Zooming in on the best products available on Amazon, to instantly navigate you towards binoculars that are worthy…

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The 23 Best Countries to Backpack

Nowadays, worldwide travel is more easily attainable than ever. International flights are cheaper, countries that previously could never be visited are open to tourists. It’s easier than ever to see the world, and many are choosing to backpack from country to country. This style of travel allows backpackers to see the real culture of different…

Arizona, United States.

The 15 Best Camping Spots in Arizona

There’s so much to see and do in the state of Arizona. From wild west historic sites to world-known wonder the Grand Canyon, this state has a lot to offer to campers. The spectacular rock formations and cactus-dotted deserts make Arizona a great camping destination, with so many of the spectacular views we camp to…

A man sitting by his tent outdoors.

6 Best Camping Utensils

Portable sets of utensils have become a must-have for the eco-friendly. Having one in our bag means we never have to use disposable plastic cutlery, or even straws, again. On a camping trip, a utensil set can make or break your dinner around the campfire. Although many opt for a spork, due to its portability,…