Outdoor Library

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

Latest Articles

Man relaxing in sleeping bag enjoying sunset mountains landscape

7 Best Lightweight Summer Sleeping Bags in 2021

April 21, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Summer is easily the best season to hit the campgrounds. You’re always likely to post up in a survivable temperature, you don’t have to plan around the sky falling or the ground freezing. It’s the season of cool lakes and refreshing sweats. Even though the summer air is…

Mountain summit

Non-Technical Mountain Climbs: 10 Best Hiking Summits

Not everyone is an experienced mountaineer, and getting started can be hard. Let’s face it: climbing Everest sounds like fun until you realize you’ve never climbed a mountain before. And while you want to start off easy, you also don’t want to start on mountains no one has heard of. Here are some non-technical climbs…

constellation

7 Famous Constellations Everyone Can Find

Many people are amazed by the stars, even those who live in big cities and rarely see the night sky. However, it can sometimes be hard to figure out which set of stars you’re actually looking at. While they all appear during different times of the year, some constellations are easier to find than others.…

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3 Best Wood-Burning Tent Stoves in 2021 – Review

April 19, 2021/Samantha Bos Table of Contents As there is no shortage of products on the market to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of our 3 favorite wood-burning camp stoves to make the buying process a little easier. Be sure to keep reading as we take a closer look at these stoves and how…

A man pointing a flashlight at the sky

Best Lightweight Flashlight For Hiking & Backpacking 2021

If there’s one thing you can’t leave at home when you heading out to hike and backpack, it’s your flashlight. Your flashlight is one of the single most important tools you can pack away with your things. A good flashlight is going to get you out of a sticky situation. If you get caught out…

Silhouette of runner woman eating energy bar

8 Best Energy Bars for Hiking in 2021

April 19, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents The hardest part of a difficult hike, ironically, isn’t the difficult hike. Where people tend to struggle the most is with their hunger after being out on the trail for hours at a time. Your body needs fuel, there are no two ways about it, and when you’re…

camp fire

5 Ways to Start a Fire Without Matches or Lighters

So, you’re stranded somewhere and need fire to keep warm or you want to be more prepared in case that ever happens? Starting a fire without matches or lighters is a crazy idea to some people. But, sometimes it’s your only option. To be better prepared in survival situations, here are five ways to start…

tarp camping

Tarp Camping: Beginner’s Guide to Camping Without a Tent

Camping with a tent can be challenging at times. You might be camping with lots of people and not a lot of tents, so you could feel crowded. There’s an easy solution: tarp camping. It provides the same safety from the rain that tents do, and it gives you lots of room for lots of…

Folding saw stuck in tree in forest

Best Backpacking Saw in 2021 – Tested and Reviewed

When you’re backpacking the only things you can rely on are the tools on your back. That means if you’re clearing away wood for a big old-fashioned bonfire, then you’re going to need a saw. You can’t get big dry pieces to burn with just a machete and a hatchet, sometimes you need to break…

Man and woman hikers walking with backpacks on trail in green forest mountains.

7 Best Mountaineering Sunglasses of 2021

April 18, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents When you’re hitting the slopes or clawing your way to the top of a difficult mountain, you might not be immediately thinking of sunglasses when you’re packing your bags and getting ready to ascend, but that’s a rookie mistake. The snow up there is deceptively blinding, and you’re…

Hiker wearing hiking backpack and hardshell jacket on hike in forest.

10 Best Hardshell Jackets in 2021

April 18, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Hardshell jackets are a step up from a windbreaker, they’re the ultimate form of a rain jacket, and they’re incredibly durable, making them excellent for taking out on the trails. Hardshell jackets are made from long-lasting materials, they’re designed to keep the elements outside of your jackets, and…

A pair of hiking boots

How to Fix Heel Slippage in Boots

One thing every hiker needs is a good pair of boots. However, sometimes your heel falls out with every step you take. New shoes can be slippery, and the way your heel rubs the back of the shoe can give you blisters. Here are some ways to fix heel slippage in not only boots but…

A dangerous trail with a sharp cliff on both sides

10 Scariest and Most Dangerous Hiking Trails on Earth

One reason for hiking’s long-lasting and widespread popularity is the ability to choose whatever level of danger and challenge you want. So while some might prefer lazy day hikes, for others the best hiking trails are the ones full of switchbacks, drop-offs, and dead ends. The trails covered below offer some of the scariest challenges,…

Back view of young woman silhouette relaxing on orange hammock between two trees

Hammock vs Tent Camping – The Debate is Over

For most casual campers and backpackers, it would be wild to consider sleeping in anything other than a tent in the backcountry. While car and trailer camping are great options for people who need a little more comfort or want to cover serious ground, tent camping is the gold standard for spending a night in…

woman attaches a trailer to a ball-type tow hitch

The 5 Different Types of Trailer Hitches (Explained) 

With the growing popularity of tiny homes, RVs, and other alternative camping options, there’s a lot to explore in the world of trailers and trailer hitches. Whether you’re using a trailer hitch for the first time, trying to expand your options, or hauling with a new vehicle, understanding the difference between different types of trailer…

Man jet washing his fishing bivvy

How to Clean Your Tent (Plus 5 Tent Care Tips)

It’s a good idea to clean your tent every time your return from a camping or backpacking trip. You’ll also want to give it a quick clean when you first take it home and if you’re taking it out of storage after a lot of time has passed. Thankfully, tents are fairly easy to clean…

Prairie rattlesnake in Wyoming prairie

6 Poisonous Snakes in California (And How to Spot Them)

While California is a great destination for hiking, camping, fishing, and all things outdoors, there are some natural dangers you’ll need to look out for even in a place so close to paradise. After all, the beautiful weather and varied ecosystems that make California such a great place for humans, also make it a great…

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The 4 Best Baitcasting Reels in 2021 – Reviewed

    May 2, 2020/Caleb Cole Table of Contents Are you thinking of upgrading from a spinning reel to a baitcasting reel? Then you need to read this post! To help you navigate your way towards the top-rated options on the market, we’ve created a handy Best Baitcasting Reel overview. You’re welcome! We’ve included styles…

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The 7 Best Camping Showers of 2021 Reviewed

April 14, 2021/Caleb Cole Table of Contents Camping can be a great escape from our everyday lives, but it also means leaving behind a few modern conveniences. Camping showers give you the best of both worlds. Warm showers can be a blessing after a long day of hiking or hanging out at your campsite. In a hurry? Here’s the…

best tackle box

5 Best Tackle Boxes of 2021 Reviewed

With so many products available on the market, finding the right tackle box for your needs can be a bit overwhelming. For this reason, we’ve tested and selected the best-value, top-performing options on the market, guaranteed to enhance your fishing adventures.

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The Best 18650 Battery For Flashlights in 2021

April 13, 2021/Caleb Cole Table of Contents Tired of your flashlight burning out when you need it most? Looking for the best 18650 battery for flashlights?  Then read along with us as we take a closer look at some of the most top-rated 18650 batteries compatible with most LED flashlights on the market.  In a…

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The Best Outdoor TV Antennas for Rural Areas in 2021

April 12, 2021/Caleb Cole Do you live in a rural area with limited to no access to regular cable tv? Then a high-quality outdoor antenna that allows you to watch your favorite tv-channels without disturbances or interruption could be for you.  To help you find the best TV antenna suitable for rural areas, we’ve done…

A trail through the mountains with fog.

8 Best Wildlife Trail Cameras in 2021 – Reviewed

April 12, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents From assisting in hunting to home security purposes, trail cameras have many uses. When used in the bush, wildlife trail cameras can provide us with amazing insight into the behavior of wild animals.  Be sure to keep reading as we take a close look at some of the…

Backpacks and abandoned house camping outdoor Travel Lifestyle hiking equipment forest nature on background

9 Outdoor Camping Gear To Ensure You Have The Best Time

If you love to go on camping or are planning your first outdoor adventure, you should have the essential outdoor camping gear to ensure a great time. When you have all the basic camping items in your backpack, it can mean the difference between a peaceful vacation and facing an unforeseen emergency.  Regardless of the…

A forest.

12 Common Types Of Trees (Tree Species) And How To Identify Them

Tree species are such a common form of plant life that they often go unnoticed in our daily lives. Generally speaking, as they don’t have finite lifespans, trees live much longer than other plant life. Some tree species can even live for thousands of years. Trees are no stranger to our planet — they have…

Camelback Mountain in Arizona.

How Long Does it Take to Hike Camelback Mountain?

The ancient rock of Camelback Mountain calls out to hikers from across the world. Named for its resemblance to the hump and head of a kneeling camel, this incredible rock formation is located in Paradise Valley — a stone’s throw from downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Although hiking trails around Camel Back Mountain are rated ‘strenuous’, most…

Tactical Handgun and Gear including Watch, Bullets, Knife, Holster, Bag

The Best Concealed Carry Holsters For Your Firearm

The choice of how to carry your firearm is—and has always been—your prerogative. Provided the proper permits and, as state laws allow, you can choose to carry your gun openly or with a holster. Both have their pros and cons, and the debate can get as hot as a gun’s barrel after sustained firing. But…

Man standing in front of a waterfall.

The 7 Best Towels for Backpacking in 2021 – Reviews

    October 26, 2019/Riley Draper Table of Contents Backpacking works up a real sweat. For longer treks, inclement weather can soak hikers and  backpackers who are caught out in the elements. All sorts of situations can leave the outdoors enthusiast damp and in need of drying off. Campsite chores like bathing and washing dishes…

A toddler sleeping in a tent.

10 Best Bed Tents For Kids & Toddlers in 2021 (Reviewed) 

    November 16, 2020/Riley Draper Table of Contents You might never have heard of a bed tent, so we’re going to introduce you to this magical sleeping solution for kids today. If your young one is struggling with the transition from a cot to a bed, or just loves to build forts and have…

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8 Best Hiking & Camping Headlamps in 2021 Reviewed

    July 27, 2020/Samantha Bos Table of Contents A camping headlamp is a fantastic solution to light up your nighttime adventures, whilst keeping both arms free for the task at hand. Whether you’re pitching a tent in the dark, or love trail running at dusk: a headlamp is a handy accessory for all kinds…

A person on top of a mountain covered by snow.

The 7 Best Microspikes for Hiking in 2021 – Reviews

March 23, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Microspikes make hiking easier. Hiking is a wonderful activity. It allows us to see beautiful highs and exhilarating lows. From canyon valleys to high-altitude peaks, it’s a great way to see the world and give your body a superb workout. Not to mention a rewarding palate cleanse for…

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The 5 Best Coffee Mugs for Camping in 2021 (Reviewed)

    August 14, 2019/Caleb Cole Table of Contents One of our favorite moments during any camping trip is watching the sunrise whilst sipping a piping hot cup of freshly brewed coffee. That is exactly why a suitable coffee mug is an essential part of our gear, and one item we would never leave without.…

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The 3 Best Insulated Tents in 2021 Reviewed

    November 28, 2019/Caleb Cole Table of Contents Camping in cold weather conditions can be challenging, but also extremely rewarding. If you’re a die-hard camping enthusiast, chances are that a spell of bad, cold weather isn’t going to put you off from venturing into the great outdoors. But if you plan on doing a…

A view of Denver Colorado

10 Best Hikes Within Two Hours of Denver CO

The Mile High City of Denver, Colorado is surrounded by miles of gorgeous landscapes overflowing with natural wonders. With just a short drive out of town, hikers can reach mountains, waterfalls, canyons, glaciers, and meadows. This makes it an ideal location to layer up with some base layers for hiking and explore a wide variety…

A view of Seattle's sky line

10 Best Hikes Within Two Hours of Seattle WA

Did you know Seattle is known as the Emerald City? Unless you live in or near Seattle, it is very likely you immediately think of the Space Needle whenever you hear Seattle. The Space Needle is pretty cool, but just beyond the city lay stunning mountain views covered in lush, beautiful greenery, hence its nickname.…

catalina island

Backpacking the Trans Catalina Trail on Catalina Island

Nestled within the old-world charm of small island towns and rustic territory is the Trans Catalina Trail: a 38.5 mile-long backpacking trail located on Santa Catalina Island, California. A short hour-long ferry ride from mainland Southern California, the Trans Catalina Trail is an ideal escape for those not wanting to travel far to get both…

a bridge in pittsburgh

20 Best Places to Camp Within 2 Hours of Pittsburgh, PA

The city of Pittsburgh is an early 20th-century industrial capital, and its history can be observed by the buildings that are modeled after the Gilded Age. Three rivers run through and around Pittsburgh: the Ohio River, the Allegheny River, and the Monongahela River. Because of this, the environment around the city is full of wildlife…

Two people on a hike

50 Best Hiking Quotes to Inspire Your Next Adventure

Hiking is not without its challenges, no matter how experienced the hiker might be. Sometimes it may seem as though the trail is getting longer than it used to be, while you’re growing more and more tired. All that could be standing between you and your next adventure is a little motivation. Here are some…

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How To Identify and Eat Hickory Nuts In The Wild 

Hickory trees can be found all across the United States, and they’re a wonderful source of on-the-trail nutrition. The hickory is in the same family as walnut trees and produces delicious fruits that can taste like pecans. There are several different types of the hickory tree which produce edible nuts, some which taste better than…

Maui, Hawaii

10 Best Hikes in Maui HI – Ancient Maui Hiking Trails

Maui is one of the islands that belong to the state of Hawaii, and it’s filled with gorgeous trees and beaches. Maui is home to the famous Hana Highway, which attracts lots of tourists every year. The island also has the West Maui Mountains and the Haleakala Volcano on the east side of the mountain.…

Bend Oregon

20 Best Places to Camp Within 2 Hours of Bend, OR

Bend is a small city in central Oregon that offers beautiful landscapes and trails. One thing that attracts many tourists to Bend is the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Whether you live in or around Bend and want to get away or you’re traveling to Bend, everyone needs a place to lay their head. Here are…

Downton Austin Texas

20 Best Places to Camp Within 2 Hours of Austin, TX

The state capital of Texas is most well-known for its live music scene and beautiful scenery. The Colorado River runs right through the heart of Austin, and it creates a few lakes for people to swim, fish, or boat in. The downtown area has a lot of nightlife and shopping for everyone to enjoy. The…

Washington DC

20 Best Places to Camp Within 2 Hours of Washington, DC

The nation’s capital provides visitors and residents alike with plenty of activities to partake in while out and about. Being home to many sites to see, DC draws a large crowd of visitors every year. The states surrounding DC provide many places to camp and reconnect with nature. Whether you’re going to the city or…

A brown rock formation

20 Best Places to Camp Within 2 Hours of San Diego

With San Diego being known as “America’s Finest City,” it’s no surprise that it accommodates many kinds of hobbies for all kinds of people. San Diego has amazing weather that is perfect for camping almost year round. However, many of the campsites around the county are not year-round. There are many places around the city…

Man in jeans standing on a rock outside.

Everything You Need to Know about Hiking in Jeans

Jeans are one of the most universal items of clothing; almost everyone has a trusty pair of denim trousers in their wardrobe. Seen as a casual classic, jeans are a great clothing choice for many different occasions and activities. Originally, denim jeans were created as a durable pant for ranch work, as denim is a…

best heated glove holding compass

The 10 Best Heated Gloves in 2021 Reviewed

    March 16, 2020/Caleb Cole Table of Contents Heated gloves are a must-have essential for every outdoor enthusiast that often finds themselves in cold weather. No matter if you’re a hiker, backpacker, hunter, angler, or simply a 4-season camper: heated gloves are key to your comfort. The best part? Thanks to new techniques and…

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The Best 3 Room Camping Tents in 2021 Reviewed

Best 3 Room Camping Tents Overview. The top-rated tents for family camping and larger groups. Easy in set-up, outstanding in space and value. Read more now:

A glass of water on the background of filter cartridges

Sawyer Mini vs Lifestraw: Which is the Best Water Filter?

If you’re out in the wild for extended periods of time, then you know how useful a water filtration system can be. Hiking, backpacking, and extended road trips mean that you have to bring all of your provisions with you every time you get up and move. A water filter will save you a massive…

People with backpacks on a hike.

Osprey Atmos vs Aether – Which Backpack is Best in 2021? 

Osprey makes some of the most innovative backpacks available on the market right now. If you’re looking for high-performance gear that’s able to keep up with you on the trails, then Osprey is easily one of the best fits for you. They’re committed to cultivating a sense of adventure. They’re backpacks that are designed to…

Boy hitting tree with hatchet.

Best Lightweight Backpacking Hatchet in 2021 – Reviewed

March 17, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents When you’re backpacking, you’re playing a tight game with the space of your pack. You don’t want to carry around fifty pounds of wood just to have a campfire every night. If you want firewood, the best thing you can do for your shoulders and your sanity is…

Rows of plastic water bottles.

10 Best Water Enhancers in 2021 (for Flavor & Electrolytes)

March 17, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Water is one of the most important things on the entire planet. It makes up our oceans, it feeds all of the plants in the world, and it’s the thing our bodies rely on to keep our bodies functioning. It also doesn’t really taste like anything. Sure, there’s…

A man in a park wearing a knee brace

Best Knee Brace for Hiking in 2021 – Top 7 Reviewed

March 16, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents The human body is famously finicky. You can pull something out of place simply by exercising it too much. There are parts of our body that are machined so precisely that they’re just bound to fail based on sheer probability. Your knees are often one of those points…

A battery on an orange background.

Best Portable Battery Chargers in 2021 – Camping & Hiking

March 16, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Our world has quickly become more modernized. We’re increasingly surrounded by devices that need a trickle of electricity to keep working for us. They make our lives easier, and you’d be at a significant disadvantage if you’re just going to leave them at home because you’re going to…

Bears in the woods.

7 Best Lightweight Bear Canisters for Backpacking in 2021

March 16, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Bears get hungry. They’re just like any other mammal out there. When you’re backpacking, you’re probably bringing a decent amount of food with you. You’re spending a lot of time outdoors away from the world that can easily bless you with food and resources, you’re expending a lot…

A bear in the woods.

Best Bear Bags for Camping in 2021: Keep Your Food Safe

March 16, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Camping is one of the greatest pastimes in human history. The world is so full of untapped space and wide-open areas of freedom, solitude, and relaxation. Getting back in touch with nature is an amazing opportunity, but depending on where you’re ending up, you may have to take…

black and brown handled knives

10 Best Machetes of 2021 (Reviewed)

March 16, 2021/Riley Draper Table of Contents Although we often see them in movies being used by explorers to blaze trails through endless miles of vine-infested jungle, with a bit of careful honing, a machete can be sharpened to a razor’s edge and used for a variety of recreational and domestic activities.  As there are…

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The 5 Best Camping Stools in 2021 Reviewed

Best Camping Stool 2019. These are our favorite lightweight, very affordable, ultra-compact stools with amazing portability. Discover our Buying Guide here:

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5 Best Wool Blankets for Camping in 2021 – Reviewed

    April 3, 2020/Samantha Bos Table of Contents Looking for the best wool blankets for camping? Then you’ve come to the right place! Our team has rounded up our favorite woolen blankets for every type of camper. From heavy-duty 100% virgin wool blankets to lightweight wool blend options: our Best Wool Blankets for Camping Overview has got you, and your cold-weather camping needs, covered!  When you browse wool camping blankets, you’ll quickly discover there’s an…

A man making a belt.

6 Best Ratchet Belts For Camping and Hiking in 2021

Finding the right ratchet belt can be a hard task! Learn the pros and cons of our favorite belts with this useful buying guide!

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4 Best Mosquito Nets For Camping in 2021 – Reviewed

Best Mosquito Net For Camping. Our top-rated picks to keep insects out, maximizing comfort & camping enjoyment. Browse our in-depth Buying Guide now:

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The 4 Best Pet-Friendly Ice Melts in 2021 Reviewed

    March 10, 2021/Samantha Bos Table of Contents Looking for the best pet-friendly ice melt? Our team at Outdoor Command has got your defrosting needs covered! Whether you’re an actual dog owner, or simply want to do your bit to keep the environment safe from harmful chemicals: choosing a pet-friendly ice melt product is…

A man at his campsite with a generator.

15 Best Camping Generators in 2021 (Tested & Reviewed)

    March 1, 2021/Mike Brady Table of Contents Adventures in the great outdoors can last longer with a good reliable power source. When camping, generators allow you the comforts of home while you’re in the wild. You can charge your phone to keep you connected. You can keep your fridge stocked with cold beers…

A hammock next to a tent with a mattress in it.

5 Creative Ways to Blow Up an Air Mattress Without a Pump

An air mattress is a perfect way to rest comfortably when you’re roughing it in the great outdoors. Sometimes in the frenzy of packing all the tents, food, and other camping gear, items get forgotten. If you’re bringing an air mattress, the pump is one of the easiest things to forget. Even if you’re using the…

Two logs on a fire with a car in the background.

How Much Firewood Should You Bring Camping?

Campfires are a central element of camping. They tie the campsite together, providing warmth, light, and heat for cooking. In many ways, the campfire is the backcountry equivalent of a dining room table. If you run out of fuel for your fire, you lose out on all this. Determining how much firewood to bring depends…

Teens grilling sausages on campsite.

15 Fun Camping Activities for Teenagers

So you have finally carved out some time to hit the open road and explore some of the wonderful scenery of The Great Outdoors. While you may be relishing the idea of some time to disconnect from the world and enjoy the peace and quiet, your teen might very well be thinking, “Why on Earth…

A view of niagara falls american side from the canadian side

10 Best Places to Camp Within Two Hours of Niagara Falls

So you have finally decided to explore all of the wonderful scenery of Niagara Falls and the rest of New York State. In general, it is good to know that “Niagara Falls” is a city on the Niagara River. The city is best known for the actual Niagara Falls, which are on the border with…

Beautiful landscape morning sunrise over stream and pine tree camping in lake

10 Best Lake Camping Spots in Washington

Camping can be a truly incredible experience in the state of Washington. With cool rain forests, rugged backcountry and coastal areas, and breathtaking mountain views, we think that the scenic campgrounds in Washington will be of extraordinary appeal to campers and hikers of all types.  If you are looking at backcountry camping, a resourceful survival…

Modern Gasoline Powered Generator Running Next to Camper Van

How to Get Electricity During Your Camping Trip

For a lot of people, going camping or backpacking is the perfect opportunity to disconnect from the modern world and really “live off the land” for a few days. If you’re one of those people, you may not really see the need for camping electricity at all. Just load up a few propane tanks and…

A man in a white t-shirt lyring in a hammock.

How to Stay Warm Sleeping in a Hammock

Hammock camping is very different from other types of camping because you are generally going to be suspended in the air for long periods of time. This has many advantages, such as being out of the reach of crawling bugs and being better protected from other potentially dangerous animals. However, one major disadvantage is the…

Sunrise from Hanauma Bay on Oahu, Hawaii.

The 5 Best Camping Spots in Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu is the Hawaiian island that is home to the most people in the state, but it is also one of the most popular vacation destinations for tourists. Although there are plenty of hotels, condos, vacation homes and condos all over Oahu, there are also many places where you can pitch your tent and sleep…