Outdoor Library

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

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Man fishing on jetty at dawn.

8 Best Shimano Spinning Reels

Shimano is renowned all over the world for the precision of its reels. All of their reels are durable and reliable for a long time, but anglers in the know particularly favor Shimano spinning reels because they’re easy to use and effective at hauling fish out of the water. Many standout features make the spinning…

fire pit for camping

5 Best Portable Propane Fire Pits

Fire pits make building a campfire much easier and safer. When the fire is lifted up off the ground, it can get more oxygen and presents less of a wildfire hazard. Plus, campers using fire pits impact the campsite less, so if you’re trying to Leave No Trace then this is a must-have piece of…

toe room in hiking boots

How Much Toe Room is Needed in Hiking Boots?

Hiking boots are an integral part of any backpacker’s gear and equipment and can spoil any hiking trip. There are no universal measures for the perfect amount of toe room in hiking boots. However, there are some clever suggestions to help you pick the correct size of hiking boots. Why is toe room in hiking…

thru hiking

What is Thru Hiking and How Do You Do It?

A thru-hike is walking a long-distance hiking trail from start to finish without leaving it for any extended period. If you complete the entire trail within 12 months, your endeavor will qualify as a thru-hike. An example is the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, which covers an elevation gain of almost 500,000 feet over 2,650…

8 types of fishing rods

The 8 Types of Fishing Rods & Poles (Comparison)

Choosing a fishing rod is not as easy as it might sound. Fishing technology has advanced in strides, and the rod that best suits your needs will take careful consideration and some level of knowledge about each rod, along with its pros and cons. An explanation about the eight different fishing rod types might make…

what to put in tackle box

What to Put in Your Tackle Box (18 Fishing Essentials)

For most anglers, their tackle boxes are as essential as a mechanic’s toolbox, to each his own. Although every person might be unique in some of the items they regard as crucial contents in their tackle boxes, many bits of tackle and tools are essential in any tackle box, including tackle, tools and more. Fishing…

fishing tackle box

What is a Fishing Tackle Box?

As an angler, your fishing rod and reel are crucial pieces of equipment. However, a fishing tackle box is an equally essential item. The list of problems you might encounter while on a boat or a riverbank far from home is endless. A stocked-up tackle box is all you need to resolve any typical problems…

bass fishing lure

10 Best Bass Fishing Lures

Many anglers consider bass fishing an art form, and it can be at times. To make fishing into art, you need the right supplies, which means having great bass fishing lures. And, you might not know which lures will be the best bass lures for you. There is a type of lure for every water…

a man fishing with a fishing rod on a boat

10 Best Fish Finders

Quality equipment can be hard to find, but a high-quality fish finder shouldn’t be difficult. It should have map navigation, sonar technology, side scan, radar, and 3D images. Your fishing gear isn’t complete without a portable fish finder, which is why many anglers have one. Also, having a fish finder will ensure that you catch…

what size reel for bass fishing

What Size Reel is Best for Bass Fishing?

Although there is a whole range of reel sizes, five sizes are most suitable for bass fishing. Each reel size has pros and cons and questions to ask yourself before making the final choice. What reel sizes are suitable for bass fishing? The sizes of reels are referred to in one of two ways. Some…

What Size Test Line is Best for Bass Fishing

What Size Test Line is Best for Bass Fishing?

Black bass is the most popular gamefish in North America. The collective term “Black bass” includes spotted, Guadalupe, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and more. Anglers who are experienced in bass fishing say it is essential to have the right equipment for finding, hooking and catching more and bigger bass. According to them, the most critical…

jig fishing

What is Jig Fishing? Learn the Basics

The term jig fishing is all about an ingenious fishing technique that fools large fish like bass into believing the angler’s lure is an injured baitfish. Mastering the process is challenging but worth the effort. After all, challenges form a significant part of the fun of fishing, right? What is a jig? A jig is…

telescopic fishing rod

10 Best Telescopic Fishing Rods

Not everyone has the ability to properly store fishing rods when they go on fishing trips. They need to be kept in a certain position to prevent any damage, but that’s not possible all the time. If you find yourself constantly worried about the possibility of breaking your fishing poles, you should look into telescopic…

portable washing machine

10 Best Portable Washing Machines for Camping & Such

Not everyone thinks about portable washing machines or how handy they can be when they go camping. You’ll have to do laundry at some point if you’re planning a camping trip that will take place over several weeks or months, and not all campsites will have access to laundry facilities. Also, you don’t want to…

best time to go fishing

What is the Best Time to Go Fishing?

If you have always wondered how to figure out the perfect time to go fishing, then this is for you. There are multiple factors that you must consider if you want to have the ultimate fishing trip. There are three methods you could follow, taking time, weather and other factors into consideration. Method 1 –…

drift fishing

What is Drift Fishing? Learn the Basics

Novice anglers might be surprised to see how much there is to learn. Fishing is a whole lot more than putting a worm on the hook, casting the line and waiting patiently for a fish to bite. One of the techniques used by experienced anglers is drift fishing. Once you understand the do’s and don’ts,…

game fishing

What is Game Fishing? Game Fish vs Non-Game Fish

Fishing is a fun activity for all ages. For some, it becomes a hobby, often pursued with high levels of competitiveness. Serious anglers invest significant amounts in equipment and developing the skills necessary to catch better and bigger fish. If you enjoy it as a fun family activity and not yet a quest to collect…

tackle bag

5 Best Tackle Bags for Fishing

Looking for a new tackle bag? Then you have come to the right place.  When you start looking for your next tackle box, you may be overwhelmed by all of the options that are out there. And if you’re new to the sport, you may be wondering which fishing tackle bag is the best to…

clean canopy tent

How to Clean a Canopy Tent

Many people believe a bit of brushing and dusting of their canopy tents is enough before packing it away until the next time. However, the fabric of canopy tents needs special care if you want to preserve the waterproofing properties and UV protection. Can I wash my canopy tent in a washing machine? Never wash…

anchored canopy tent

How to Anchor a Canopy Tent on Concrete

Canopy tents have come a long way, and the modern ones are so easy to set up that they are now the choice of many campers. However, as quickly as setting it up, it can be blown away by unexpected strong winds. This is more likely to happen if your canopy tent is assembled on…

dry ice

Should You Use Dry Ice When Camping?

Nothing can spoil an otherwise perfect camping holiday other than food going soggy or even rotten. Have you ever considered using dry ice? It could solve your food storage problems, but beware of the dangers dry ice pose. Let’s look at the pros and cons of taking dry ice on your camping trip. What are…

Fishing Ultralight reel and rod at freshwater

10 Best Ultralight Fishing Rods

Ultralight fishing rods can be hard to get right. Balancing weight with stability, functionality, and endurance is no easy task. While some need ultralight fishing gear for trekking and backpacking, others may just like the challenge of fishing with the lightest gear possible. Ultralight fishing rods can be fun and effective, but finding the right…

camping by the numbers

How Much Does Camping Cost? By the Numbers

There is camping, and then there is camping. When considering the cost, there is an almost endless list of variables. You could camp for free by choosing pioneer camping, dispersed camping, boon docking or backcountry camping with no amenities or hookups, or you could spend a lot of dollars if you decide to go to…

pioneer camping

What is Pioneer Camping & What Should You Bring?

If you really want to experience nature in the way your forefathers did, Pioneer camping is the way to go. The pioneers could not head for camping sites because that was long before Forest Service camps were established. They traveled until they found shelter, shade and running water, and set up camp right there. How…

dispersed camping

What is Dispersed Camping & Where Can You Do It?

Our lives have become so rushed that many people find the only way to enjoy a rest break is to seek the peacefulness, fresh air and open skies of nature. However, with ever-increasing numbers of people heading to developed campgrounds, chances are such breaks will take you from one overcrowded life to another. How much…

camping tent on mountain

How to Fold Your Pop-Up Tent Step-by-Step (With Video)

Pop-up tents might be easy to set up, but they’re not super easy to take down. It can be very confusing to fold it back the correct way. And after a long camping trip, the last thing you might want to do is clean and put up a tent. However, it’s very important to fold…

camping tent

Tent Fabrics 101: Which Material is the Best?

You might think that tents are all the same, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. All of the materials used to make tents are extremely different, which means that they have different advantages and disadvantages. The type of tent you pick depends on what you personally need. Also, there are tents made for…

Fisherman in action with trophy in hand. Catching pike fish from snowy ice at lake.

What to Wear Fishing in Hot vs Cold Weather

What you wear fishing can make or break your fishing trip. You could freeze or get a sunburn. It is best to learn about what you need to wear so that you do not become either of these things. There are a few basic things that you should really wear every time you go fishing,…

fishing rods

How to Store Fishing Rods the Right Way

Storing your fishing rods the correct way could mean the difference between keeping them for a while or having to get new ones. The life of your rod is very important because buying fishing poles can be very expensive. Anglers take great pride in their fishing reels and rods, and they take care of their…

Tent Footprint

What is a Tent Footprint & Do You Need One?

Do you love camping and soaking in the wonders of nature? If you do, your tent and other camping equipment likely cost a pretty penny, right? That, right there, is where the tent footprint comes in. A tent footprint is what some people call a groundsheet. It is a sheet in the shape of the tent’s…

fishing boat on the ocean

Inshore vs Offshore Fishing: Everything You Need to Know

Most people think that inshore and offshore fishing are more similar than different, but that’s not true. There are lots of differences that separate inshore and offshore fishing. Not only the location of where you are, but the type of fish and type of bait are different as well. All the differences do depend on…

old anchor on a fishing boat by the sea

The Major Danger of Anchoring a Fishing Boat From The Stern

When going out fishing, safety should be one of your primary goals. The last thing you want to happen is some sort of awful accident where you’re stranded, or have your boat capsize. That’s why knowing when and where to properly lower your anchor is such an important step in boat safety. In this article,…

a person fly fishing in a river

Fly Fishing 101: Everything You Need To Know

Fly fishing is an amazing outdoor sport that any angler can pick up. The calming sounds of running water and enjoying a beautiful day outdoors cannot be matched. However, fly fishing is a bit different from its simple cousin. There are specific fishing techniques as well as equipment that you need in order to make…

Close up of a fishing by permit only sign attached to a large tree in the winter sun

How Much Does A Fishing License Cost?

If you’re someone who’s eager to become an angler and reel in some trophy fish, you may want to slow things down just a touch. Something you might not know is that many states require fishing licenses. Barring a few exceptions, a fishing license is an important part of becoming an expert fisherman. In this…

Fishing with a neodymium magnet

Magnet Fishing 101: What Is It and Why Is It Dangerous?

If you’re a lover of outdoor hobbies, then it’s quite possible that you’ve heard of magnet fishing. It is a fairly new hobby that can be a lot of fun for almost all ages. Kits to start off the hobby are fairly cheap too and there’s plenty of interesting things to be uncovered. However, there…

Hands of a man in a Urp plan hold a fishing rod

How to Put A Line On A Fishing Reel (7 Easy Steps)

Have you ever been wrangling in a trophy fish, only to have your precious monofilament or braided line get horribly messed up or damaged? And now you’ve got a spool full of twisted, knotted, and otherwise unusable lines that you’ll have to cut up and get rid of? Even worse, you’ve never had to do…

Steaks cooking on a grill.

7 Best Camping Grills for Outdoor Cookin’

July 19, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Grills are the ultimate piece of camping kit if you’re looking to impress. With a camping grill, you can set up and get cooking in a matter of minutes. And you can cook some surprisingly tasty dishes too, far better than you would expect to eat in a…

Inside of a tent with a tent cube.

8 Best Cube Tents for Modular Camping (Tents That Connect)

July 19, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Camping is the best way to get away from the worries of the world. When you’re out there, it’s usually just you, the provisions you brought along. That can be lonely sometimes, though, what happens if you want the roommate experience, or if its time to bring along…

Solar panels during sunrise.

7 Best Solar Panel Trail Cameras – Reviewed

July 19, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Solar-powered trail cameras make life so much easier. Many trail cameras require multiple AA batteries to give them juice. Although this is a viable option for trail cameras, expectably those that aren’t cellular trail cameras, it can get frustrating. Especially considering the fact that the joy of using…

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5 Best Saltwater Lures For Surf Fishing

July 19, 2021/Caleb Cole Table of Contents Psst… Want to know the secret to find the Best Saltwater Lures For Surf Fishing? It’s simple: use our handy overview and learn how to catch gold! We’re navigating you towards the top-rated saltwater fishing lures on the market. We’ve dived in deep, selecting the very best lures…

An SUV with a tent attached under the stars.

10 Best SUV Tents (Reviewed) – Tents That Attach To SUVs

July 19, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents As car camping increases in popularity with every coming year, the technologies and equipment available for it grow. Many SUV drivers love to take camping trips in their car, as these vehicles are very well designed for such use. You might not know that SUV stands for, “Sports…

A stack of bars of soap.

7 Best Soaps for Camping (Buying Guide)

July 19, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents The strongest testament to the necessity of soap at a campsite is most likely to come from campers who have been out in the wild with somebody who didn’t bring any. Even on a brief backpacking excursion, the chores that fill a long day can leave an unpleasant…

Person sitting in a tent with orange leaves around him.

The Best 2 Person Tents – Reviewed

    July 19, 2021/Riley Draper/Last Updated August 5, 2021 Table of Contents The following list is a compilation of some of the best two-person tents available on the market. Regardless of which tent you choose, they are all more than capable of providing any hikers, backpackers, and campers with shelter from any weather conditions Mother…

best pop up canopy tent

5 Best Pop Up Canopy Tents – Reviewed

If you’re in need of some additional sun protection or shelter from the rain, then a pop-up canopy tent could be just what you’re looking for. The best canopy tents are easy to set up, sturdy enough to withstand windy conditions, and spacious enough to provide…

A man fishing in the wilderness.

The Best Bass Attractants

July 14, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents The use of plastic lures with scented and flavored attractants is heavily popularised amongst American anglers. If a scent can give you that extra bite, it’s worth exploring what the best options are. Adding scent to lures has huge benefits, as bass can smell from long distances, and…

Best Inflatable Camping Couch

5 Best Inflatable Camping Couches Reviewed

Best Inflatable Camping Couch overview. The best-value, high-performance options as rated by other outdoor enthusiasts. Discover our Buying Guide here:

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The Best 4-Person Tents – Tested & Reviewed

July 14, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents A 4-person camping tent is always a great investment, no matter if you’re a solo camper or a family camper. Whether you need space for your family, your camping gear – or simply want some extra room to stretch out: a 4-person tent has got you covered! Ideal…

Best-Portable-Air-Conditioner-For-Camping-Wireless-Tent-AC

4 Best Portable Air Conditioner Units for Camping

Finding the perfect portable air conditioner unit for camping can be hard. Learn about the best products and where to find them with this guide!

a camping shower in the woods

The 10 Best Shower Tents – Reviews and Buying Guide

June 28, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Just because you’re enjoying yourself in some remote part of the backcountry doesn’t mean you won’t need a bit of privacy now and then. Pop-up shower tents are an ideal way to install a fast shelter for showering, changing, or answering nature’s call. Public campsites may have tons of…

a group of people in a camping tent

7 Best Large Camping Tents – Tested & Reviewed

June 27, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Camping is better with people. We know there’s a pure kind of joy to be found in taking a solitary sabbatical, but the real fun is sharing that joy with friends and family. If your companions don’t have a tent of their own, it’s nice to be the…

Warm shoes and orthopedic insoles.

The Best Heated Insoles – Top 5 Pairs Reviewed

June 26, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Wearing heated insoles in your hiking boots or walking shoes helps keep your feet comfortable so you can stay out on the trail longer and recuperate faster afterward. In cold environments, keeping your feet warm helps circulation and likely makes you more sure-footed. Walking along rough terrain with…

man relaxing in camping tent

The Best Tent Cots – Top 5 Reviewed

June 24, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Tent cots are a great way to lift a tent to give yourself a more comfortable sleeping surface, keep water from entering through the bottom of the tent, and regulate the temperature within the tent by reducing heat loss from ground transference. These aren’t the small cots that…

Pair of alpinist boots in crampons on ice

Yaktrax vs MICROspikes Review: Which is Better? 

If you’re going to be encountering the cold, you’re highly likely to run into ice. When you’re out there in nature you’re surrounded by water, shade, and mud. The trio works together in the winter months to create some nasty terrain for hikers and backpackers. Fortunately, there are simple, lightweight solutions that can slot right…

a man with a fishing rod at a lake

7 Best Tenkara Fishing Rods – Tested & Reviewed

June 24, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Forget about baseball, America’s real pastime is fishing. From bonding with your parents to reconnecting with nature, Americans have ingrained fishing so deeply into their culture that we’re practically blind to how much we really value it. Fishing is also one of the most reliable ways to trap…

man holding fishing rod over lake

8 Best Saltwater Rod & Reel Combos for the Money

June 24, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents There’s nothing like saltwater fishing, especially if you’re able to get out on a boat and dredge up some real deep-sea monsters. Saltwater fishing feels like the ultimate fishing experience in a lot of ways, it’s quiet, it’s challenging, and it’s a whole lot of fun. You’re going…

Two marshmallows roasting over fire flames.

Can You Roast Marshmallows on a Propane / Gas Fire Pit? 

A backyard fire pit can be a lot of fun, and there are many advantages to using natural gas. In particular, it can be a cost-effective, reliable, and environmentally friendly fuel source. This is great for an outdoor fire pit where reliability is especially important. Some people prefer wood fire pits for the ambiance but,…

citronella anti-mosquito candle

Do Citronella Candles Actually Work on Flies? 

Citronella candles can be a great addition to your patio, garden, and yard. They repel mosquitos and other bugs, smell nice, and avoid some of the dangerous chemicals in other bug repellents. The downside, however, is that citronella candles only work effectively in certain conditions (like low wind). Thankfully, you have a lot of other…

Successful hiker enjoy the view on mountain top cliff edge

How to Fix / Prevent Heel Slippage in Boots

New boots can be a blessing and a curse. All hikers are familiar with the process. You get a new pair of hiking boots, they feel awful for a bit, maybe give you blisters, and before you know it, they’re your favorite pair of boots. The bad news is that discomfort and adjustment are part…

Cooking in cauldron from cast iron on the tripod over the open fire.

10 Best Campfire Cooking Tripods

June 20, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Cooking over a hot campfire is one of the best parts of camping. To get a more even amount of heat on your food or cookpot, you can use a cooking tripod, which is typically constructed of three legs meant to support the weight of a pot or…

Using a pocket chain saw to cut tree branch

7 Best Pocket Chainsaws – Tested & Reviewed

June 20, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Getting out on the trail and making it back home in one warm, dry piece means that you’re probably going to need to start a fire or two. Starting a fire means getting a suitable amount of wood.  Axes can be a little cumbersome at times, you’re never…

outdoor ivy plant

12 Types of Outdoor Ivy Plants & How to Identify Them

Outdoor ivy plants are climbers that are covered in green leaves, and the different types of ivy require different care routines. Most have different leaf shapes and different leaf colors, but all of them are very low-maintenance plants. Because they are climbing vines, ivy plants need something to climb, like a trellis, wall, or whatever…

pine tree forest

13 Common Types of Pine Trees (Species) & How to Identify

Pine trees are very common in North America, but there are so many kinds that they’re hard to differentiate. There are over 100 species of pine trees, and lots of them look very similar. Whether you live somewhere that has lots of pine trees or you’re interested in planting a pine on your property, you’ll…

rain

21 Tent Games You Can Play When It’s Raining

While you can check a weather report to see if it’s going to rain, you can never know for sure whether or not it will rain during your camping trip. A rainy day can either make or break your camping fun, but you shouldn’t let it. Whether it’s a card game, a board game, or…

Pile of A Lot Of Wood or Firewood

What is a Rick of Wood – And How Much Does It Cost?

If you’ve been camping very long you probably know some of the basics of firewood. You know that seasoned firewood works better than unseasoned, you know the differences between softwood and hardwoods, and you know how to store firewood effectively. Even the seasoned among us, however, may still be confused about firewood measurements. This can…

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The 3 Best Tents For Tall People – Reviewed

Best Tent For Tall People 2019. Discover our top-rated, best-value choices in camping gear, perfect for car campers and backpackers up to 7ft! Read more:

A Glock pistol.

5 Best Universal Sight Pushers (Tested & Reviewed)

June 15, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents If you have a handgun you’re going to want to get to know it inside and out. You don’t have to become a professional gunsmith in order to customize some of the parts you use the most. Your sights, for example, can slide right off with the right…

fan2

The 4 Best Outdoor Standing Fans

June 15, 2021/Caleb Cole Table of Contents One of the easiest ways to cool down on warm days? An outdoor standing fan! This accessory delivers a cool breeze of air, allowing you to relax and unwind – even on hot and humid days. Whether you take an outdoor pedestal fan camping or use it in…

A large tent by a lake.

The Best BIG Tents for 16 to 20 People

June 15, 2021/Riley Draper More often than not, the most memorable camping trips are not solitary reflective individual excursions but rather the camping trips that we take with large groups, like family members and friends. A big tent suitable for 16 to 20 people is a great way for large groups of campers to connect.…

A camping shovel on the ground.

The 5 Best Camping Shovels Reviewed

June 15, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents A camping shovel makes tons of essential tasks possible that newcomers to camping might never have considered. With the right shovel, you’re able to turn over embers in a campfire in the fire pit, dig a latrine, and bury organic waste to prevent animals sneaking into the campsite…

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The 6 Best Backpacking Trowels

June 15, 2021/Samantha Bos Table of Contents It’s time to talk about an essential piece of backpacking gear, that some campers are reluctant to discuss in public. Yes, we’re talking about finding the Best Backpacking Trowels to dig a hole to poop in.  In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:…