Outdoor Skills


The year's most dramatic story of a bear attack offers potentially lifesaving lessons for anyone venturing into the wild

Want to go into the woods without disturbing wildlife? The first step is to learn how to move silently.

It takes skill to have no idea what you're doing outdoors

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

What good is there in letting them loose on the nearest mud puddle? Let me count the ways.

Outpost wants to disrupt the outdoor gear trade show business. Our writer descended on its California festival last fall to check out the felt hat–wearing, Bulleit bourbon–sipping crowd and to find out whether the buzzy experience is anything more than an Instagram-ready fad.

Think long and hard before you jump or try to climb the cables. And don't forget about the wolves!

Stop paying the shop for a simple task that you can do at home

You're probably doing it wrong. And even if you aren't, it won't work anyway.

It's going to be hard sometimes, but it's not going to be the end of your adventures

You can learn almost anything you want—for free!—on YouTube. Just make sure it's from a reliable source.

When the engine light flicks off, do you listen to the voice that says it's time to panic or the one urging you to calmly set the plane down?

Quite possibly the most storied, most coveted, most majestic of all tricks—held for three glorious seconds

At 55, writer Pam Houston finally let herself fall.

When all else fails, run around like a raving lunatic while you swing a burning log

There are many noble qualities about living simple. But if you want to impress someone, for God's sake, don't tell them you live in your van.

Our writers talk about the incomparable thrill of experiencing something new—whether it was big or small, and regardless of how it turned out.

It doesn't matter whether you're barbecuing in your backyard or circling a fire at a campground, you must cook over open flame.

Everybody has a few one-liners that always crop up in their head when they’re out hiking, skiing, climbing, and/or having a good time or bad time outside.

Allowing girls is great, but the country's two scouting organizations need more serious change to better serve the next generation of outdoor lovers

Margaret Wheeler of the American Mountain Guides Association walks us through the steps it takes to clean an anchor.

The Northmen are craftsmen who pride themselves on building lasting tools by hand, "We use our hands to create things that will live on, telling their story in the hands of the craftsmen and people after us."

Or, the greatest oversimplified explanation of how to navigate ever written

Making your favorite tree or flower reproduce itself is easier than you think

Taking kids on extended trips into the wilderness comes with an element of stress—the key is to talk about it

The best schools know that kids learn when their noses aren't shoved in textbooks all the time

We'd been using crosscut saws for more than a millennium when the glitzy chainsaw became available to homeowners in the 1970s. It's time to give the old standard another chance.

An utterly inept man gets lost in the West for 37 days. What happens next is, believe it or not, why America created its first national park.

For Andrew Groves and Emma Hughes of Miscellaneous Adventures, the wilderness is filled with curiosities.

An amusing albeit brief look at the basics of adventuring outdoors.

A new initiative aims to bring lumberjack fitness to city folk. How much eye-rolling should follow?

A retired Navy SEAL teaches us how to turn common household objects into brutal weapons in a pinch, which is almost as funny as it is terrifying

From survival strategies to kindling tricks to impress your friends, we’ll cover it all so you can make sure you’re warm and well s’mores-ed

When François Guenot vanished last summer on a wild and remote Alaskan coastline, many in the state dismissed him as yet another unprepared greenhorn. But a revelatory road trip with François's father and brother revealed he was something special: a tough, soulful wanderer whose story resonates with the grand traditions of the American outdoors.

You’re deep into a long hike and the clouds start rolling in. This is how you interpret the signs—all on your own.

We asked an expert to watch the horror movie ‘Backcountry’ and break down the myths and realities of encountering one of the forest's most intimidating animals

These adventure geniuses will make your next trip the one you never, ever forget.

We can't say if it will up your game, but we can make sure you don't hurt yourself trying.

Think Cheryl Strayed is tough? Meet these guys.

With 2,000 square inches of cooking space, this is the mother of all meat smokers.

That's how Mark Twain defined a gold miner. But when our writer heard head-spinning treasure tales from a legendary prospector named Flint Carter, he organized a full-scale expedition into the mountains near Tucson, Arizona. Following a hand-drawn map, the team lit out for the harsh Sonoran Desert hopped up on gold fever in search of the fabled Lost City.

A techy barbecue straight out of 'Elysium'

Ready to race? Check out these 20 events, carefully curated to provide intrepid newbie skiers, rock climbers, and trail runners a thrilling and welcoming competitive experience.

The controversy around free-range parenting and how to know when to let your kids go solo

Dallas Seavey is the latest in an esteemed bloodline of Iditarod champs. Since 2012, he's won the race twice and set records as the race's youngest and fastest. This year's goal? Out-mush dad.

Forest-floor camping is for the birds.

Give a bunch of guns and gold to hearty, tattooed Alaskans, and turn them loose.

Ski slopes are hard enough to navigate without injury. Don’t let your snack be a liability too.

It's easier (and yields warmer results) than you'd think

What to do when it's dark and frigid outside? We have some ideas. For starters, try building a backyard sauna, mixing up a powerful cocktail, joining a mountain race, mixing up a powerful cocktail, joining a mountain race, creating the perfect cabin fire, learning to dogsled, swinging a war hammer, kicking back with a classic adventure book, or escaping to a tropical island. Just hurry up—spring will be here before you know it.

Never take a blurry, disappointing star picture again. Here’s how to up your night photography game.

Strength is useless if you don't hone your agility—the skill of translating power into meaningful movement. And it all starts with mastering the "Kong vault."

One of the most surprising heroes of World War II was a pint-sized shepherd nicknamed The Clown—and his fitness wisdom can change your life.

Locally sourced venison is free range and organic—and impossible to get. But that might be about to change.

Erika Bergman turned her career as a submarine pilot into an international engineering and exploration curriculum. The goal: to get more young women outside and involved in the sciences.

Bob Windsor keeps Churchill, Manitoba, free of a different kind of perp

There are plenty of ski areas where you can show up without a map and dink around on mellow (read: boring) terrain all day. These aren’t those kind of resorts.

The pro traveler needs cutting-edge survival gear as he explorers the farthest reaches of the planet. And his favorite place to play might surprise you. (Hint: It’s in the Midwest.)

The movie version of Cheryl Strayed's hit book features Reese Witherspoon like you've rarely seen her—tangled hair, ratty clothes, and dirt under her fingernails. But the backpacking film has a secret: it's actually a brutal story about loss and love.

Five gadgets from Kickstarter designed for the backcountry

Where there's smoke, there's delicious grilled meat.

For when an evening hike turns into a 20-mile epic

While most of us won't be paddling into Mavericks with a GoPro on the nose of our board, there are ways to maximize the camera's life while using it to capture less-extreme footage.

It may be the oldest emotion. Before happiness, before sorrow, before exhilaration, and way, way before the urge to climb mountains and bomb down steeps, there was fear. Now scientists are finding new ways to help us conquer our deepest anxieties—and use them to perform even better.

It's still possible to be what you wanted to be when you were a kid.

Five business icons share how they flipped the switch on their careers—and how you can follow in their footsteps.

It started with a salsa bowl, some cheap Australian sunglasses, and a little help from Kickstarter. Now, Sunski is making waves—and its founders are living the dream.

An eight-step plan for rebooting your career and finding a job that you love.

In October, 12 women will compete in one of the world's oldest male-dominated sports. The race? A 38,000-mile monster through pirate-infested waters and rough seas.

Cheryl Strayed started out on the legendary 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail with no backpacking experience, too-small boots, and a massive pack she nicknamed Monster.  She learned a thing or two about gear on that 93-day trek (REI’s return policy saved her on one occasion), and she writes about some of…

The key to digging your friends out alive is how fast you are with these three essential avalanche safety tools.

When you have only the weekend to get outside and play, it helps to have an adventure-ready daypack prepacked and ready to go. Think of it as your bug-out bag, but instead of fleeing an impending apocalypse, you’re escaping from the tedium of your workweek. So whether you’re going…

No, but it is getting increasing dangerous out there. As hordes of skiers hit the backcountry, they're triggering more avalanches than ever before, and there's still a dangerous gap between our collective enthusiasm and the depth of our knowledge. But while the learning curve is daunting and the risks are high, the adventure rewards are immense—if you do it rig

A smart probe that crowdsources snowpack data to tell you where it's safe to ski.

Choose leather for breathability, strength, and flexibility. You'll never want to stray.