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How to Summer

An ode to our favorite season—and your handbook to making the most of it



Eat

It's easy, fun, and shockingly good. Let's all start screaming now.

No, you don't have to eat freeze-dried food in the woods

Use these tips to create light, healthy, and packable summer meals

It's called a water smoker. And while you're off having fun, it will slow-cook the best chicken, ribs, and fish you've ever had.

Potatoes, popcorn, paella, and apple crisp—all of these, and more, can be made using a smokeless fire pit

Forget your Weber for a weekend. Here's a low-tech option for cooking whole legs, shoulders, rib racks, and more.

Good for the planet, better for your innards, vegan and vegetarian hot dogs are a win-wiener

Plus, our four favorite cans of summer

Freeze your brain and melt your inhibitions with one of these delicious frozen-drink recipes for adults

There's time for one or two more gatherings around the flames before summer is officially over. Here are some libations to end the season right.

Five athletes on their favorite summer drinks

Play

Our Sweat Science columnist takes efficiency very seriously in the backcountry. Here are his secrets for a flawless canoe trip.

Plan your next adventure on one of the nation’s most resplendent waterways with the help of Gaia GPS

All you need is a rod, a license, and a good attitude to catch your first fish

We cover the necessities, plus a few extras and friendly pointers

Our writer, a lifelong surfer, tries to find out

Outside’s ethics guru on why it’s not the nudity that’s offensive

There's something about swimming that makes us feel very much alive—even as we enter an environment where the risk of death is all around us

Your ticket to trout-filled waters

Cast in comfort, even on the hottest days and most remote streams

In the same way that backcountry skiers read avalanche reports and whitewater kayakers check water levels, anyone hiking in the West needs to start planning for fires as a baseline safety precaution

Here are some foolproof ways to ward off ticks, no-see-ums, mosquitos, and fleas—and to find relief if they get you anyway

As road frames evolve to become more capable on various surfaces, many roadies may find a sweet spot for their riding that’s short of a full-on gravel bike

Six items guaranteed to elevate your family’s next outdoor adventure

Travel

These seven destinations are the perfect summer base camps, with plenty of adventure on and off the water

Forget waking up at dawn to save your spot or navigating through crowds on Main Street. These coastal destinations are all about empty stretches of sand, activities for everyone, and ocean-view rooms that don’t break the bank.

It’ll take some miles to reach these eight remote, high-elevation lakes, but what better way to cap off a strenuous trek than diving into cool, crystal-clear water?

In coastal Mexico, a group of conservationists are trying to convince fishermen to adopt a new way of life

Indiana Dunes National Park is an adventure gem for urban midwesterners all year long, but particularly in summer, when Lake Michigan almost appears tropical

There’s a lot to know before parking your van or pitching a tent on public lands. Here’s how to do it right.

Photographer James Barkman has been living in his 1976 VW Westfalia van for seven years. The lessons he’s learned can help you on your long-weekend road trip, too.

Stay Cool

Two versatile, go-anywhere dresses that are practical before all else

These pieces have been in heavy rotation for years

Sleeves still play an important role against the elements, even when it’s hot

An ode to the easy, breezy wardrobe staple

For serious training sessions that end in the ocean, any old bikini won’t do. Here are our favorite specialized sets.

Wes Siler’s detailed walk-through will help you become a more informed buyer

Six accessories to get your entire crew on the water

Stay healthy by protecting yourself from the sun

When it comes to summer spins, a light, breathable kit can make all the difference

Your hydration needs are as unique as your training schedule. Here are four picks for every kind of run.

Summer Tales

A surfer takes solace in the dark before the dawn

Writer Susan Casey will never forget the moment she came face to face with the most feared animal in the ocean

It took me months of cold, scary failure to learn how to roll my boat in the open ocean. The effort taught me that barriers to outdoor proficiency, no matter how daunting, can be overcome if you don’t give up.

During a hot and lonely summer, I grabbed my tools and created an outdoor watering hole to entertain friends—at a safe distance, of course! This may be the best idea I’ve ever had.

This month, Roger Deakin’s cult-favorite book about swimming the waters of Britain will be published in the U.S. for the first time. In her introduction to the new edition, writer Bonnie Tsui reflects on what she’s learned from it over the years.

In an excerpt from her new book 'Why We Swim,' Bonnie Tsui explores the ways that immersion can radically shift our perspective

How Susan Orlean reported the classic Outside story about the surf girls of Maui

During her college break, the author went all in on solitude—living alone on a Down East island and working for one of the area’s few female skippers. Luna Soley reflects on a time of loneliness, hard work, and natural beauty.