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With summer camping season in full swing, many are relishing the age-old joys of the campfire. Some are perhaps relishing those joys a little more fully than others: After all, more than a few of us are, when it comes down to it, amateur fire-builders—maybe reaching for ye olde lighter fluid a bit too readily, or spending most of our time not enjoying the flames but rather just trying to keep the thing from going out. Many of the common problems with getting a campfire going—and keeping it going—have to do with the fire construction process. To mark this camping-heavy … Continue reading

How to Build A Campfire: Techniques, Safety & Etiquette

With summer camping season in full swing, many are relishing the age-old joys of the campfire. Some are perhaps relishing those joys a little more fully than others: After all, more than a few of us are, when it comes down to it, amateur fire-builders—maybe reaching for ye olde lighter fluid a bit too readily, or spending most of our time not enjoying the flames but rather just trying to keep the thing from going out. Many of the common problems with getting a campfire going—and keeping it going—have to do with the fire construction process. To mark this camping-heavy … Continue reading

5 Family-Friendly Peaks to Climb This Summer

Many a mountain summit demands technical skill and gear to surmount—but, then again, many don’t! There are a slew of great peaks in the U.S. that young kids (and hikers of all ages who don’t know their way around a Prusik hitch) can climb up, relishing the long views, the special atmosphere of the high country, and the sense of accomplishment. It doesn’t get much more exciting than kid-friendly hiking trails that include a little peak-bagging. Here are five examples of mountain climbs/hikes doable for many families. Keep in mind that the difficulty levels vary—not all of these are particularly … Continue reading

Choosing a Tent for Camping & Backpacking

For the majority of outdoorspeople, a tent is synonymous with camping. Tents can be absolutely critical shelters in cold weather or bad storms; they also more generally ramp up comfort as well as an all-around sense of security (much appreciated when that black bear comes nosing around your campsite). Given the vast array of sizes and styles—and the wide range in price—the prospect of buying a tent can appear intimidating, especially for beginner campers and backpackers. Today at the Mountain House blog we’re going to outline some of the fundamentals of how to choose a tent. This’ll be on the … Continue reading

5 Common Wilderness Survival Scenarios

All things considered, the backcountry isn’t as dangerous as many people think: as is often said, the drive to the trailhead might be the riskiest part of a typical hike. Prepare thoughtfully, come properly equipped, and keep a clear head, and you’ll usually be just fine out there. That said, sometimes things don’t go so smoothly, and you find yourself in a potentially dicey situation. Today at the Mountain House blog we’re going to look at five wilderness survival scenarios and how to act in them. For several of these, we’re summarizing topics we’ve delved into more deeply on our … Continue reading

Map & Compass Basics for Navigation – Part 2

In Part 1 of our two-part blog series on “How to Use a Map & Compass,” we covered the design and symbology of topographic maps and the basics of map reading and land navigation. In Part 2, we’ll introduce the essential outdoors tool of the baseplate compass, and talk about using it on its own and how to navigate with a map and compass together. The Compass A magnetized needle suspended in a fluid-filled housing that aligns with the magnetic field of Planet Earth: that’s the marvelously simple fundamental design of the compass. Every outdoorsperson should own a good-quality compass … Continue reading

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