Outdoor Library

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

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a camping shower in the woods

The 10 Best Shower Tents in 2021 – 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 in 2021 – 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 in 2021 – 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 in 2021 – 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…

USB Electric heated vest

7 Best Heated Vests in 2021 – Tested & Reviewed

    June 24, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Sometimes all you’re missing is the perfect accessory. The difference between a pleasant hike and a thorn in your side is as small as a little bit of fabric and metal. A good heated vest will do more than just warm up your pockets. They’ll vastly…

a man with a fishing rod at a lake

7 Best Tenkara Fishing Rods in 2021 – Tested and 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.

The 10 Best Campfire Cooking Tripods in 2021 – Reviewed

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 In 2021 – 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 in 2021 – 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 in 2021 (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…

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The 4 Best Outdoor Standing Fans – 2021 Reviews

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 in 2021

June 15, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents 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…

A camping shovel on the ground.

The 5 Best Camping Shovels in 2021 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 in 2021 (Buying Guide)

    March 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…

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5 Best Portable Trash Bag Holders in 2021 (Reviews)

Best Portable Trash Bag Holders Camping. Top-rated, best-value bins to keep your trash safely stored. Discover our quick-assembly, lightweight picks here:

A trail in the forest.

6 Best Long Range Trail Cameras in 2021

June 14, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents “Hands off” is a phrase that perfectly encapsulates the beauty of a long-range trail camera. No matter for what purpose you use them, trail cameras offer complete surveillance minus human supervision. With so many models designed with different purposes in mind, choosing the long-range trail camera that’s right for you…

A tent.

6 Best Screen Houses for Camping in 2021 Reviewed

Finding the perfect screen house for camping can be diffiicult. Find out where to looks and what to buy with our useful guide!

A person and two beach chairs on a beach.

7 Best Beach Chairs for Bad Backs (Buying Guide)

June 13, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents There’s nothing better than relaxing in a reclining camping chair in the warm sand on a breezy beach. Sadly, for the one-half of working Americans who report back pain symptoms each year, relaxing isn’t that easy. Whether it’s acute or chronic, the long-lasting result of a serious injury or a…

a map of the USA

All 63 USA National Parks Ranked Best to Worst

There are a lot of national parks in the USA, so it can be hard to choose which one you might want to go to. There are lots of factors in choosing which US national park is the best. Some of the things that go into the ranking of the parks are hiking trails, facilities,…

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10 Best Gazebos for Camping in 2021 – Reviewed

Craving some much-needed sun protection for those extra hot days at the beach? Perhaps you’re in need of shelter from the rain while camping? Quick set-up canopy tents make a great addition to all sorts of outdoor activities…

a map of the united states

The Ultimate US National Park Road Trip (Every Park)

America’s national parks are all beautiful in their own way. However, wouldn’t it be convenient to see them all on one trip? It’s possible to do; however, it takes a few months to accomplish and a lot of money to spend. It would be worth it to see the beauty the United States has to…

succulent plants

25 Common Types of Succulents & How to Identify Them

Succulent plants are really common kinds of houseplants because they are very low maintenance. Succulent plants are also very popular for outside decoration. However, not many people know what kinds of succulents they’re taking care of. It’s best to know what your plants are so you can take the best care of them, and that…

A red fox in the forest.

Browning Trail Camera Review: Which Is Best In 2021? (Buying Guide)

June 10, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Due to high demand for their equipment and accessories, the market is saturated with a vast range of Browning trail cameras, all equipped with a variety of technical features.  With so many models and options available, things can get a little confusing when it comes to choosing a…

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The 5 Best Camping Windbreaks in 2021 – Reviewed

June 10, 2021/Caleb Cole Table of Contents Nothing can spoil a day at the beach quicker than high winds blowing sand into your food, drinks, and eyes. To keep you shielded from the elements, you’re going to need one of the Best Camping Windbreaks. Use a windscreen to provide you with protection while cooking, stargazing…

hawaii

Best Hiking Shoes For Hawaii in 2021 (Buying Guide)

Discover the Best Hiking Shoes For Hawaii. In-depth review on the top-rated, hiking sandals, shoes, and boots for a Hawaiian outdoor adventure. Read more:

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The Best 10-Person Tents in 2021 Reviewed

June 8, 2021/Samantha Bos Table of Contents Love camping with a large group of friends or family members? Then you’re going to need a spacious shelter!  To help you navigate the market, we’ve created the following comprehensive Best 10-Person Tent overview. In this review, we’ve highlighted the best-value options currently available on the market.  Explore…

a camping tent in the woods

3 Season vs 4 Season Tents: What’s the Difference?

When you’re gearing up to buy a tent, there’s a lot to consider. Your needs can vary from trip to trip and season to season. It’s pretty unrealistic to think that you’re going to buy a tent for every single season. Not even the people trying to make money off of the tents are trying…

man wearing a hoody and walking in a forest

Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody Review

If you know anything about outdoor wear, you’ve no doubt heard of Patagonia and its well-deserved vice-grip on the world of hiking and backpacking gear. They straddle the line perfectly between high-end durability and affordability. A good Patagonia jacket is going to last you for years of regular wear, and the Nano-Air Hoody is no…

a girl in a hammock

3 Best Sleeping Bags for Hammock Camping Adventures

May 24, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents One of the best ways in the world to sleep while you’re camping is to lace up a hammock and slip into slumberland. They’re lightweight and comfortable, and if you’re smart about it, they’re every bit as good as sleeping underneath a tent. One of the key components…

A Sawyer water filtration tube on an isolated background.

Sawyer Mini vs Squeeze – Which is The Best Water Filter?

At a certain point, backpacking and hiking are all about the weight you have to carry on your back. You need to find a way to slot all your necessities and niceties into your backpack without overwhelming yourself so much that your trip becomes a slog. If you want to save on weight and space…

RV parked on the highway at night

The 5 Best Power Inverters for RV & Camper Trips 

May 24, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Taking your RV out on the road is an experience unlike any other. You have nearly every single creature you could ask for within arm’s reach. It’s truly a home on wheels. You get to see some of the most unique parts of your country when you hop…

Boy with Hydration Pack on His Shoulder Wearing White Shirt before Surfing,

7 Best Hydration Water Bladders in 2021 – Reviewed

May 24, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Water is the single most important thing in the world. It sustains us and gives up the strength to push through on a long hike. If you’ve ever been out under the sun, fighting your way to the top of your favorite hiking trail, then you know how…

a water bottle on a rock

8 Best Water Bottles for Hiking & Backpacking in 2021

May 24, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents A good water bottle is the kind of thing that changes your life. Getting a good amount of water into your body during your daily life is integral to maintain a steady, healthy lifestyle. A good water bottle looks different for everybody, but the most important thing is…

Woman and dog warm near campfire in forest

Best Tents for Camping with Dogs (Top 5 Reviewed)

May 22, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents If you have a dog and you love camping there’s no way in the world you’re going to want to leave your four-legged friend at home while you reconnect with nature. The trouble is that your dog and your human friends have different needs when it comes to…

Tents outdoors.

6 Best Heaters For Tent Camping in 2021

Finding the perfect camping heater can be difficult. Learn where to look and what to buy with this useful guide!

roaring fire with blurred flames from wood logs in a stone firepit

5 Stupid-Simple Ways to Start a Fire Pit

Whether you’re in the backyard or out in the sticks, starting a fire doesn’t have to be a painful process. There are countless ways to get your fire pit going, from the extreme survivalist DIY approach to the simplicity of a propane-fueled backyard fire pit. Of course, there are also a lot of methods in…

river Missouri smoothly flows between picturesque hills

The 10 Best River Float Trips in Missouri

Missouri is one of the hidden gems of natural beauty in the midwest, and these float trips will help you understand why. From nature-focused trips through the Mark Twain National Forest, to party trips, and family-friendly floats, Missouri has a lot to offer. There are many, many options for camping in Missouri. Or, take advantage…

Teens grilling sausages on campsite.

20 Family Camping Hacks to Keep Kids (& You) Happy

One of the most fun experiences you can have as a parent who loves the great outdoors is introducing your little ones to camping, hiking, and more. Learning to appreciate nature at an early age, as well as the basics of outdoor safety and survival, can set a child up for a lot of success. While…

Boy with Hydration Pack on His Shoulder Wearing White Shirt before Surfing,

7 Easy Ways to Clean & Dry Your Hydration Bladder

Cleaning your hydration pack’s bladder is probably the last thing on your mind right now. It’s one of those chores that’s remarkably easy to overlook and even the most experienced backpackers sometimes forget to scrub out the water bladder after every trip. Yes, you read that right, you’re supposed to clean your water reservoir after…

young woman is sitting with a mug of tea on a cliff overlooking the autumn mountains with fog

What to Wear Hiking in Cold vs Hot Weather

While you may want hiking to be somewhat of a challenge, battling the weather itself is usually not the experience you’re looking for. Being comfortable on a hike or backpacking trip makes it a lot easier to have a good time, appreciate the beauty around you, and even avoid some potentially dangerous situations. No one…

Close up of red down jacket, winter fashion outfit

What Is Down Fill Power & Why Does it Matter?

If you’ve ever bought outerwear made from down or other goose down products for winter weather camping, hiking, or snow sports, you’ve probably seen fill power ratings on the labeling. What is down fill power though? And does it matter for keeping you warm? Read on to learn all about down fill power before you…

merino wool

The Benefits (& Drawbacks) of Wearing Merino Wool

No one likes wearing wool. It’s uncomfortable, and it’s itchy. However, there’s a difference between traditional wool and merino wool. Wearing merino wool clothing is odor resistant, moisture-wicking, washable, and temperature regulating. While there are many benefits of merino wool, there are also some drawbacks! What Is Merino Wool? Merino wool is made from merino…

friends camping outdoors

50 Funny Camping Jokes & One Liners for Campers

Do you love jokes? Do you love camping? How about camping jokes? Camping jokes are a great way to relieve the tension during a difficult climb or just to laugh about while sitting around the campfire. Whether it’s a camping pun or a dad joke, you can’t help but laugh at the best camping jokes…

camping gear and an airplane in a field

How to Fly with Camping Gear Like A Pro

Sometimes good hiking locations are super far away, and it would cost more to drive than to fly. However, flying means consolidating your gear and paying for extra luggage by the weight of it. And maybe you’ve never flown with your gear before and want to make sure that it goes smoothly. Here are some…

a deer in the woods

Where to Shoot a Deer for One-Shot Kills

Let’s face it, tracking the blood trail of a wounded deer is exhausting. It takes forever for the deer to die, and it is easier if they die on contact with the first shot. Most hunters who look for a one-shot kill aim for the heart or lungs, but that is not the only option…

bullets

Basic Bullet Sizes, Calibers & Types (Explained)

Matching the right bullet sizes for your gun can be tricky. It’s never going to be an easy task, whether you’re just getting started buying guns or you’ve owned guns for a while. Bullets and guns are evolving daily, so it can be hard to keep track of it all. Here’s a guide to explain…

a group of people on a scenic hike

10 Crucial Hiking Tips for Beginners

Just like with any new hobby, there’s only one place to start, and that’s at the beginning. Experienced hikers have their own way of doing things, and they might have found that they don’t need to remember to do some things anymore because they automatically remember them. Going to them for advice isn’t always the…

A camping hatchet in a wooden log.

The 7 Best Camping Hatchets in 2021 – Reviewed

May 14, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents You might think that hatchets are just for the hardcore campers out there. Although hatchets might make you look seriously hardcore in a campsite they have so many uses outdoors, especially for adventurous campers looking to add a little extra utility to their gear collection. From splitting kindling…

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How to Save on Cycling Goggles

Are you in the market for MTB goggles? Are you searching for goggles for road cycling? Do you know which ones are best for you and your budget?   There are many questions to answer when it comes time to buy cycling goggles. Unfortunately, if you rush too far ahead of yourself, you may end…

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Top Tips to Foraging in the Wild Like a Pro

Traditionally, the spring and summer months don’t hold a lot of potential for hunting wild game. But why should that hold you back from hunting game on a different level? Why not think about hunting down flora instead of fauna this spring and summer season by foraging the woods for edible vegetal delights? We’re talking…

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The 5 Best Hiking Belts in 2021 Reviewed

May 10, 2021/Caleb Cole Table of Contents A quality hiking belt is an essential accessory for every outdoor-enthusiast. Whether you use it during day hikes, or for activities such as fishing or hunting, an outdoor belt will keep your clothing and gear safely secured at all times! In this best hiking belt overview, we’re highlighting…

Best Camping Tea Kettle

The 6 Best Tea Kettles for Camping in 2021 (Reviewed)

Best Camping Tea Kettle Review. Lightweight, durable, and highly-rated favorites for hiking/camping. Discover our top-rated products for 2019 right here:

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The Best Camping Dinnerware in 2021 (Top 7 Reviewed)

May 10, 2021/Samantha Bos Table of Contents When it comes to outdoor gear, there’s something every camper, hiker, and backpacker should invest in… Quality dinnerware. It might seem trivial, but packing the right plates, bowls, mugs, and cutlery on your trip can make a big difference to your camping comfort. Forget about disposable paper plates…

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The 7 Best Sleeping Bags for Tall People in 2021

Best Sleeping Bags For Tall People. Browse the top-rated, best-value XL-sleeping bags on the market. Ideal for those who needs some extra inches! Read more:

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10 Best Biometric Gun Safes in 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide

May 1, 2021/Caleb Cole Table of Contents A must-have for every gun owner? A biometric gun safe! This handy essential allows for safe storage of your handgun(s) and/or ammo, ensuring they don’t fall into the wrong hands. Whether you want to keep your guns out of reach of children or from burglars during a home…

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The 5 Best Camping Mattresses For Couples in 2021 – Reviewed

Best Camping Mattress For Couples. These are the top-rated products by outdoor enthusiasts for every budget and preference:

Dozens of colorful tents in a green field.

The Best Tent Brands on the Market

Campers almost universally prefer a tent that features a simple pole design and easy setup. These tents can be easily pitched using just one or two tent poles and will save you plenty of time in the long run…

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Places to camp near Boston

If you’re thinking of taking a vacation to Boston, camping probably doesn’t spring immediately to mind. Travelers tend to hit up the town for a cultural city break, take in the historic sites, or sail from Boston on an East Coast cruise. But Massachusetts is an absolutely fantastic camping destination, with some great campsites, and…

Backpacker eating freeze dried food

8 Best Freeze-Dried Foods for Camping & Backpacking

April 23, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents One of the most difficult choices you have to make when you’re packing your things for an extended backpacking trek is what kind of food you’re going to want to bring along for the ride. There are a lot of freeze-dried foods out there, but not all of…

Gas camping stove and pot in the mountains

Jetboil Zip vs Flash: Which Boiler is Best?

Jetboil is one of the best manufacturers of backpacking stove systems. If you’re looking for lightweight solutions to getting a hot meal on the trail, you can’t go wrong with any of Jetboil’s boilers, but if you’re trying to find the absolute cream of the crop it’ll come down to either the Jetboil Zip or…

A man opening a sleeping bag at the base of a mountain

Best 3 Season Sleeping Bags in 2021 – Tested and Reviewed

April 21, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Sleeping bags are one of the lynchpins of a good camping trip. Without a good sleeping bag, your trip to the mountains can quickly become a one-way ticket to misery. Getting a good sleeping bag is the key to getting good rest, and once you’ve figured out the…