Outdoor Skills

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Your Annual Hunting Season Reminder: Wear Orange

Break out the fluorescent orange vests and hats. Here are a few safety reminders for hiking, mountain biking, trail running, or any activity that gets you out in the woods during hunting season.

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The Lure of a Long Trail: Planning a Thru-Hike (Part 1 of 4)

Planning a thru-hike? Sorting through a deluge of advice and wondering which to pay attention to? Successful backpackers can tell you what really matters. In the first of four columns, PCT veteran Barbara Egbert talks to other thru-hikers about gear decisions, training, and preparation (Originally posted in October 2009).

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Hiking and Camping Safely in Bear Country

Whether you hit the trail for a day or a week, entering the land of grizzlies and black bears comes with great responsibility. Assure a safe trip by taking proper precautions, respecting bears’ space, and having a firm grip on how to handle yourself.

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How to Seam Seal a Tent

Dew, rain, or a sudden downpour—water potentially can find its way into any shelter through your tent’s seams or an accidental hole or tear. Luckily, the seam-sealing process is straightforward and fairly simple.

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How to Fuel Up on the Trail

Whether you are trail running, hiking, fastpacking, or backpacking, you need to fuel yourself properly before, during, and after your time out on the trails. Eating the right foods at the right times will keep you on your feet, gears cranking, and all four cylinders roaring.

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How to Hydrate on the Trail

Whether you’re hiking, backpacking, trail running, or fastpacking, it’s important to monitor your fluid levels. Poor hydration — before, during, or after your outdoor activities — can cause dehydration and ruin a day on the trail.

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Backpacking with a Teen

For parents who have taken their child along on backpacking trips from an early age, the teen years are the reward: a youngster who can keep up with Mom and Dad (and is probably faster), share camp chores, help choose routes and campsites, and handle an emergency. The teen years are also a good time to introduce someone to backpacking.

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Backpacking with a Grade-Schooler

Backpacking with a grade-school-age child can be a magical experience. But keeping that child safe and happy calls for a little forethought on the part of parents, friends, and Scout and youth leaders. Whether it’s a weekend overnight or a thru-hike, keep three concepts in mind: packing, playing, preparing.

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Trail Running 101

Trail running is easily accessible for any outdoor enthusiast, whether or not you’re already a runner, and it offers a variety of scenery, terrain, and challenges. Equipped with some simple advice, a little gear, and a passion for the outdoors, you’ll soon be ready to hit the trails.

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Backpacking with a Toddler or Preschooler

How many miles should you backpack with a toddler or preschooler? As many miles as your child wants to walk. And that’s probably a lot farther than most parents would think.

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Backpacking with Baby

Taking a baby along on wilderness excursions can be both safe and enjoyable. Parents will need to make adjustments, but the result is a child who is comfortable in the outdoors, strong, and self-confident. And a family that can engage in its favorite activity together.

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Outdoor Etiquette: Respect Landowners

Here’s an outdoor etiquette tip for everyone. If you’re passing through someone’s land and are asked to stay on the trail, then please stay on the...

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Backcountry Water Treatment Part 4: Methods for Making Water Safe

Whether you choose to treat your water by boiling, filtering, chemical treatment, or UV radiation depends on a number of factors, like convenience, cost, and what might be in your water.

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Backcountry Water Treatment Part 3: What is in Backcountry Water?

Biological, chemical, and aesthetic contaminants can be found in any water source, even in the backcountry, potentially ruining a trip. And you can’t tell just by looking.

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Backcountry Water Treatment Part 2: Keeping Your Water Supply Safe

Keep water sources clean and uncontaminated whenever and wherever you camp, whether it’s summer or winter, wilderness or front country, for the sake of you, other hikers, and wildlife.

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Backcountry Water Treatment Part 1: Proper Hydration

Stay sufficiently hydrated while hiking, backpacking, or climbing to avoid dehydration's dangerous effects and a ruined trip.

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Safe Hiking During Hunting Season

Break out the fluorescent orange vests and hats. Here are a few safety reminders for hiking, mountain biking, trail running, or any activity that gets you out in the woods during hunting season.

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Outdoor Skills: Tell a Scary Ghost Story

It’s a dark and stormy night, and you want to scare the bejezus out of your friends around the campfire.

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Gregory Founder Shows How to Fit a Backpack

Get a pack that fits you. Inevitably you hear that advice when talk turns to pack selection. In the following video, Wayne Gregory, founder of Gregory Mountain Products, offers some advice on how to properly fit a pack.

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The 10 Essentials: Emergency Shelter

While a comprehensive packing list depends on many factors, certain outdoor gear is considered essential whether you’re heading off on an extended backcountry...

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The 10 Essentials: Hydration

While a comprehensive packing list depends on many factors, certain outdoor gear is considered essential whether you’re heading off on an extended backcountry...

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The 10 Essentials: Nutrition

While a comprehensive packing list depends on many factors, certain outdoor gear is considered essential whether you’re heading off on an extended backcountry...

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The 10 Essentials: Repair Kit and Tools

While a comprehensive packing list depends on many factors, certain outdoor gear is considered essential whether you’re heading off on an extended backcountry...

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The 10 Essentials: Fire

While a comprehensive packing list depends on many factors, certain outdoor gear is considered essential whether you’re heading off on an extended backcountry...

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The 10 Essentials: First-Aid Supplies

While a comprehensive packing list depends on many factors, certain outdoor gear is considered essential whether you’re heading off on an extended backcountry...

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The 10 Essentials: Illumination

While a comprehensive packing list depends on many factors, certain outdoor gear is considered essential whether you’re heading off on an extended backcountry...

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The 10 Essentials: Insulation

While a comprehensive packing list depends on many factors, certain outdoor gear is considered essential whether you’re heading off on an extended backcountry...

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The 10 Essentials: Sun Protection

While a comprehensive packing list depends on many factors, certain outdoor gear is considered essential whether you’re heading off on an extended backcountry...

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The 10 Essentials: Navigation

While a comprehensive packing list depends on many factors, certain outdoor gear is considered essential whether you’re heading off on an extended backcountry...

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The 10 Essentials for Backcountry Travel

Certain outdoor gear is essential whether you’re heading off on an extended backcountry bushwhack or exploring the trails in your local woods.

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Welcome Spring...Make That Mud Season

Today is the first day of spring, though you wouldn’t know it from the several feet of snow still on the ground here in Maine.

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Q&A: Tent Condensation

Occasionally we receive outdoor gear questions from readers. Since we figured others would find them useful too, we’ll share some of those Q&A’s...

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How to Sharpen Your Ice Screws

While most climbers sharpen their own crampons and ice picks (a topic that deserves its own how-to article), sharpening screws is trickier. Ask your trusted fellow climbers or local climbing shop for recommendations for sharpening services.

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Got Your Hunter Orange? Hiking Safely During Hunting Season

It’s hunting season here in Maine, as in many other places, and that means it’s time to break out the fluorescent orange vests and hats every time...

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Q&A: How to Find Discontinued Gear

Occasionally we receive outdoor gear questions from readers. Since we figured others would find them useful too, we’ll share some of those Q&A’s...

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Q&A: How to Buy Green Gear

Occasionally we receive outdoor gear questions from readers. Since we figured others would find them useful too, we’ll share some of those Q&A’s...

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Getting Kids Geared Up for Outside

There's no need to hang up the backpacks when Junior arrives. The early years are a great time to share the joys of the backcountry with a new generation.

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Hiking and Backpacking with Kids

Hiking and backpacking with kids of any age can be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone. There are many variables when hiking and backpacking safely with kids, but the following tips should start you out on the right foot.

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Leave No Trace

You pack out your trash, camp in designated areas, and dig a hole when nature calls. But do you really leave no trace?

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How to Sleep Warmly

Some people just sleep warmer than others. They are the ones who climb into their bag with barely a stitch on, neglect to zip themselves completely closed...

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How to Care for Your Boots

Now that you've shelled out money for your new boots, you want to make sure they'll support you for countless miles on and off the trail.

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