The Best Hiking Apps – Offline Outdoor Navigation Apps

The use of smartphones out in the wilderness is controversial, but there’s no question the technology has real utility. Even if you personally eschew the regular use of a smartphone on your backpacking or paddling or hunting adventures, it’s not a bad idea to have one stowed away in the pack: If nothing else, it’s another emergency tool in case you run into trouble.  But there’s much else to take advantage of, outdoors-wise, with today’s immensely powerful mobile devices. (And, incidentally, a 2013 report by the Outdoor Foundation suggested close to 40 percent of all Americans do take advantage of … Continue reading

Mountain House Staff Picks: Gifts That Matter More

Tis the season for stuff, stuff, and more stuff. And we don’t know about you, but all this stuff is leaving us feeling a bit, well … stuffed! We love the feeling of giving a gift that really lights up someone’s face. Something that will actually be used and appreciated, and won’t hit a landfill by this time next year (or sooner!). It really is the thought that counts. And there’s  no shortage of ways to imbue thoughtful gift giving into this holiday season. Here are a few of our favorites. #1 – America the Beautiful Pass Who doesn’t love an … Continue reading

Camping Checklist for Long Treks

Most people get into backpacking via quick overnighters and weekend getaways: short-but-sweet trips in easy-to-reach backcountry for testing the waters and learning the ropes. If you haven’t yet given backpacking a shot this way, here’s a big hearty round of encouragement to do so! This can be a lifelong source of adventure, exercise, camaraderie, and across-the-board pleasure. But let’s say you have a few one- or two-night backpacking forays under your belt, and are keen to try some longer outings. Well, we don’t blame you one bit, and the good news is you already have most everything you need. For … Continue reading

Camping Food Storage Tips to Keep the Critters Away

One of the most pressing concerns for campers is critters munching away on their food. We’re not quite the foragers and hunters we once were, so when you bring your own food into the outdoors, you’ll need to remember some basic camping food storage tips so your eats are safe from nibbling creatures. When animals ransack your food, it not only leaves you hungry but also exposes you to risks of contracting various diseases such as Salmonella and Hantavirus. Yes, contact with rodents is a potential cause of Hantavirus, a rather deadly ailment, and a definite trip ruiner. Below is … Continue reading

The Essential Family Camping Checklist

As anyone who’s done it can tell you, few activities can deepen and enrich bonds like family camping. Even if you’re barely roughing it, there’s something about the routine of setting up a campsite, building a campfire, cooking outdoors, and listening to the night sounds from the cozy sanctum of a tent that awakens something deep-rooted and invigorating in all ages. Kids you have to push and prod to do their chores back home often become surprisingly helpful and competent around the campsite: maybe something to do with that primal stimulus of camping, or maybe—as with food—any task is simply … Continue reading