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Outdoors & Gear

Play challenging online games, laugh at funny jokes, build amazing projects and find lots of fun at the online home of Scout Life, the official youth magazine for the Boy Scouts of America.
  1. Any Tips for Setting up a Tent?

    Q: I always have trouble setting up my tent. Can you give me some tips?
  2. Are Freeze-Dried Meals Good for Backpacking?

    Q: Freeze-dried meals might be a good choice because they’re lightweight and provide nutrients. Which ones would you buy?
  3. Stuff We Like: Owala FreeSip

    The Owala FreeSip water bottle gives you the option to drink from a straw or a spout.
  4. How to Buy a Safe and Comfortable Helmet

    Picking (and wearing) the right helmet can be a life or death decision. Here's how to buy a safe and comfortable helmet.
  5. Take a Look at 6 of Nature’s Rarest Events

    From stinky flowers to rocks that seem to move themselves, count yourself lucky if you see these natural wonders.
  6. Watch Out for These 5 Stinging Caterpillars

    Some tiny caterpillars can sting. Learn how to identify them and what to do if you get stung.
  7. How to Buy a Good Camping Air Mat or Sleeping Pad

    Get a good night's sleep with the Gear Guy's recommendation for camping air mats and sleeping pads.
  8. Any Tips For Buying a First Backpack?

    Q: I've been planning to buy a new backpack. Any tips?
  9. Stuff We Like: Bug Bite Thing

    The Bug Bite Thing is designed to suck out venom from under your skin to prevent itching.
  10. How to Choose a Backcountry Communication Device

    No signal on your phone? Try a backcountry communication device.
  11. How To Make a ‘Pack-out Kit’ for Carrying Human Waste

    Packing out human waste requires preparation. You can make a pack-out kit. Here’s what you’ll need.
  12. How to Pick a Good Camping Flashlight

    Q: I need a good flashlight for camping. Any suggestions?
  13. Tasty Treat or Fatal Fruit? Here Are 5 Dangerous Wild Berries To Avoid

    Never eat wild plants unless you know for sure what they are and how your body reacts to them.
  14. Be Prepared for These 5 Common Weather Hazards

    Weather can change, sometimes at the last minute. Here are some common hazards you'll face in the outdoors.
  15. How to Get Started Birding

    Birdwatching can be a fun pastime. All you need are binoculars and a bird guide to start.
  16. Packing Checklists for Camping Trips

    Need to know what to bring on your next outing? Every packing list starts with these items. They're called "Scouting Outdoor Essentials" for a reason.
  17. How to Clean Your Pocketknife

    Q: I use my pocketknife almost daily, and it gets so dirty. How can I stop that?
  18. Stuff We Like: Darn Tough Midweight Hiking Sock

    The Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Midweight Hiking Sock is made mainly with fine soft wool from merino sheep.
  19. How to Buy Rock Climbing Gear

    Here's what you'll need to start exploring the vertical world of rock climbing.
  20. What’s Better: Mittens or Gloves?

    Gloves allow for more dexterity; mittens tend to be warmer by keeping your fingers together. A more important question: Does it fit?
  21. How to Use Rope Tackle to Move a Log

    Rope tackle allows you to move a large load with a small amount of force. Here's how to set up rope tackle to move a log.
  22. Skunks Stink But They’re Also Fascinating

    When you think "skunk," you probably think "stink." But skunks are usually sweet-natured and helpful.
  23. Stay Warm and Dry This Winter With These Gear Tips

    Staying warm requires the right combination of layers based on your body, wind speeds, temperature and how much you sweat.
  24. Best Waterproof Action Camera for Northern Tier?

    Q: My troop is going to Northern Tier next summer, and I was wondering what the best camera would be to capture all of the action.
  25. Stuff We Like: Selk’bag

    The wearable sleeping bag has arms, legs, an adjustable insulated hood and removable booties.
  26. How Much Water Should I Bring for a Two-mile Hike?

    Plan to drink about 16 ounces for every hour of hiking. But it might be more. Drink enough so your urine remains clear.
  27. Here Are 10 of the Best Places Around the U.S. To See Bats

    Bat "emergences" are spectacular shows that can last for hours. Here are a few of the best bat-watching sites.
  28. 7 Crazy Animal Encounters in the World of Sports

    Animals are cool. Sports are cool, too. But not at the same time! Check out these uninvited critters in the sports world.
  29. 10 Fun Facts About Yellowstone

    Here are 10 interesting facts about the world's first national park.
  30. How to Make a Camp Song

    The simplest way to create a camp song is to take a tune everyone knows and replace the lyrics.
  31. Stuff We Like: CLIQ Chair

    This compact camp chair folds down to 13 inches and only weighs 3.5 pounds.
  32. How to Buy Great Backpacking Gear on a Budget

    Try these simple tips to outfit yourself for your next trek without breaking the bank.
  33. 3 Quality Multitools That Are Made in America

    I am looking for a quality multitool made in America. I have $100 to spend on it. I want to be able to open it with one hand.
  34. Dragonflies Are Incredibly Agile Fliers and Amazing Hunters

    Keen eyesight, powerful wings and strong spiny legs help dragonflies grab and hold onto prey which they almost always capture in flight.
  35. Canoe or Kayak? Which is the Better Choice?

    Choosing a canoe or kayak depends on how you want to travel and what kind of water you’ll encounter.
  36. How to Avoid Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

    When your body loses too much water and salt, trouble follows. Know the symptoms and how to treat them.
  37. Technical Packs Can Be Cheaper Alternative To Traditional Pack

    I use a tote box for my gear because I can’t afford a backpack, but it doesn’t fit in my troop’s tents. What do I do?
  38. 3 Proven Ways to Avoid Bug Bites in the Outdoors

    Don't bug me! Try these expert tricks and gear for avoiding biting insects.
  39. Best Sleeping Bags for Staying Cool on a Warm Night

    What sleeping bag should I use if I don’t want the heat to get to me?
  40. Stuff We Like: Polar Bear Backpack Cooler

    The Polar Bear Backpack Cooler is designed to keep ice frozen for 24 hours in 100-degree heat.
  41. One of the BSA’s Rarest Awards Goes to the Scouts Who Make the Biggest Impact

    The Distinguished Conservation Service Awards recognize Scouts and adults who have produced long-standing, significant impacts on the environment.
  42. How to Prepare For a Long Hike

    My troop is going on a 25-mile hike soon. What is the best way to prepare for it?
  43. How To Buy a Great Hydration Pack For Water on the Go

    Hydration packs allow you to drink water while you're wearing the pack. Here are some factors to help you pick the right pack.
  44. Where Can I Find a Healthy Energy Bar?

    Q: I’m having trouble finding a healthy energy bar that doesn’t have too much sugar and is filling. Do you have any suggestions?
  45. Fun Facts About a Critter You Otter Get to Know!

    Do you enjoy swimming, fishing or sliding? Those are some favorite pastimes for otters, too.
  46. How to Stop a Tent From Leaking

    Q: Every time it rains, the inside of my tent gets wet. Any tips?
  47. Stuff We Like: FogBlock Spray

    Anti-fog spray helps prevent glasses from fogging when wearing a face covering.
  48. How to Buy a Backpacking Stove For Your Next Camping Adventure

    Enjoy a hot meal on your next backpacking trip with one of these recommended stoves.
  49. Does Rolling Your Clothes Save Space?

    Q: Does rolling up your clothes really work when packing?
  50. Stuff We Like: Smart XXL Camping Cot

    OK, OK, this cot is heavy, bulky and pricey. But this is “Stuff We Like,” and we like this cot.
  51. 3 Tough Phone Cases for the Outdoors

    Q: When I go camping, I don’t want my phone to get damaged. Can you recommend any good phone cases for the outdoors?
  52. How to Buy a Great Pair of Hiking Boots

    Good footwear is a vital piece of outdoor gear. Here are six great boots and hiking shoes that have you covered on any type of trail.
  53. 9 Things to Know About the Night Sky

    From stars to planets to meteors, there's lots to see if you know where to look. Here's how to start star gazing.
  54. How to Make a Fuzz Stick to Help Start a Fire

    You can create an effective fire starter, even with a wet piece of wood. Just grab your knife so you can make a “fuzz stick.”
  55. How to Buy Good Gloves or Mittens for Winter Activities

    Whatever your outdoor activities, the choice of handwear matters a lot. Here are the Gear Guy's five recommendations.
  56. 8 Awesome Animals That Got Their Own Statue

    Whether fearless or funny, animals throughout history have inspired statues and memorials. Here are some animal monuments still standing today.
  57. Does a Sleeping Bag’s Degree Level Matter?

    Q: When choosing a sleeping bag, does the degree level really matter or is it just a recommendation for comfort?
  58. Scouts Find Adventure on the Peace River (Spoiler: It Wasn’t Totally Peaceful)

    Don't let the river's name fool you, Scouts saw alligators, shark teeth and more on this canoe trek.
  59. Spice Up Your Camp Meals With These 8 Essential Spices

    Spices add flavor to your food, transforming bland dishes into delicious meals. Here are a few spices to use on your next campout.
  60. Bow Saw or Folding Saw? Which Camp Saw Should You Get?

    A camp saw can be a handy tool for cutting firewood or clearing a trail of fallen timber. Folding and bow saws are the most popular types. Which one should you get?
  61. Recommend a Durable Tent That’s Easy to Set Up

    Q: I don’t have a tent, and we might need to camp a lot. Do you have some good recommendations?
  62. Stuff We Like: Max Shade Chair

    With the Max Shade Chair by Quik Shade, you can instantly have shade wherever you are.
  63. Extra-Cool Camping Gear to Make Your Outing More Fun

    Camping is already a fun way to spend a weekend, but with extra-cool gear on the trip, it can be really fun. Check out these 6 gadgets for your next outdoor adventure.
  64. Do These Five Campsite Items and Snacks Work as Fire Starters?

    We put five potential "firestarters" to the test. Guess if each item will start a fire, then play the corresponding video to see if you’re right!
  65. Add to the Never-Ending List of Fire Starters

    What "fuel" can you use to start a campfire? Check out this list of firestarters and add your own ideas to the list.
  66. How to Escape From a Rip Current

    When caught in a rip current, don't panic and don't exhaust yourself trying to swim against the current. Here's what to do.
  67. How to Build a Cooking Tripod

    Use your lashing skills to make this simple tripod to hang a pot over a cooking fire.
  68. Best Multitool That’s Both Useful and Affordable

    Q: What’s the best type of multitool that’s useful and affordable?
  69. Take a Look at These 10 Intense Tents

    Check out this photo gallery of crazy, futuristic, unusual and awesome tents.
  70. How to Make a First-Aid Kit for Your Dog

    Being prepared with the right first-aid supplies could save your pup's life in an emergency.
  71. 9 Things to Know About Wilderness Hazards

    All backcountry activities come with a level of risk. How you prepare for it matters most.
  72. How to Buy the Right Tent for Your Next Adventure

    Here are features to look for so you can choose the right tent for your trip.
  73. High-Quality Rain Ponchos That Are Also Affordable

    Q: My troop camps a lot, and sometimes it rains. What is some quality rain gear that’s also affordable?
  74. Gear up Your Pup! Make Hiking With Your Dog Safer With These Gadgets

    Itching to take your pup on a hike? Then be sure to get the right dog gear.
  75. How to Prevent and Treat Snake Bites

    Snakebites present a potential danger in the outdoors. Here are steps to avoid a painful bite.
  76. How to Buy a Great Daypack for Hiking

    Get the best daypack for your daylong adventures. Here's how to pick one.
  77. Best Water Bottle for a Long Camping Trip

    Q: I am going on a long camping trip. What is the best water bottle to bring?
  78. Stuff We Like: SansBug Mosquito Nets

    If you’re sleeping under the stars or in a canvas wall tent, you might want to consider getting a mosquito net.
  79. How to Whittle Your Own Tent Stakes

    Q: My troop is going camping, and we lost our tent stakes. Can we use whittled sticks?
  80. Stay Clean and Healthy in the Outdoors With These Hygiene Tips

    A Scout is clean, even in camp. Here are important tips to keep you healthy in the outdoors.
  81. Stuff We Like: NanoTorch Twist

    This powerful flashlight has a magnet on one end, so you can stick it to metal and free up your hands.
  82. 5 Animals With the Weirdest Tongues

    Although tongues are important and useful, let’s admit it: They are a little weird. Here are some of the weirdest animal tongues out there.
  83. How to Buy a Mess Kit and Camp Cooking Gear

    From stoves to cookware, these mess kits and cooking gear belong in your backpacking kitchen.
  84. How to Prevent and Treat Tick Bites

    Ticks are tiny, but they can case a lot of trouble. Here's how to be tick aware.
  85. 4 Tasty Foods To Cook Over Your Campfire’s Coals

    You don’t need a camp stove to make a delicious camp meal. Just use a bed of hot coals.
  86. Did this Troop Backpack Into a Whole New World?

    Lava caves, rare plants and stark scenery — is this troop on another planet?
  87. 9 Things to Know About Outdoor Ethics

    When you're outside, it's your duty to be responsible and to Leave No Trace.
  88. How to Make a Monarch Butterfly Habitat

    To help out these beautiful monarch butterflies, you can build this protective habitat.
  89. Choosing the Most Effective Bug Spray to Stop Mosquitoes

    Mosquitos and other bugs can drive you crazy in the wilderness. Here's how to keep them away.
  90. Where to Find a Good Fishing Pole for Backpacking?

    Q: What pole should I take that can handle being carried around and that will fit in my pack?
  91. Go on a Virtual Safari to See Wild Animals

    Even if you can't travel to Africa or visit a world-famous zoo, you can still watch live webcams to see wild animals in action.
  92. Can You Hang a Hammock in a Tent?

    Q: Is there a way to hang a hammock inside a tent?
  93. Even at Yosemite, Prepare to Be Flexible!

    One troop makes the most of a chilly Yosemite surprise.
  94. Scouts Explore Laurel Caverns

    Can these explorers keep cool when their eyes play tricks on them and their headlamps go out?
  95. Expert Tips and Picks for Comfortable Hammock Camping

    If you're going to try hammock camping, find out how to do it the right way with these essential tips and picks for the best gear.
  96. Ouch! 10 Animals With Incredibly Strong Bites

    You definitely want to avoid a crocodile's bite. Its bite strength is 3,700 pounds per square inch. An average adult human's is only 150 PSI.
  97. Camping Blanket Instead of Sleeping Bag?

    Q: What is the best camping blanket? Have you ever used a Rumpl? They look cool.
  98. How to Keep Patrol Cooking Gear Clean?

    Q: How can my patrol keep our cooking gear clean?
  99. 7 Great Gadgets for Lighting Up Your Campsite

    Keep your campsite bright at night with these great camping lanterns and lighting devices.
  100. Discover the Spirit of Philmont With a 21-Day Adventure Like This One!

    It’s the ultimate experience in Scouting’s ultimate location!
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