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Outdoors & Gear

Play challenging online games, laugh at funny jokes, build amazing projects, get Pinewood Derby tips and find lots of fun at the online home of Scout Life, the official youth magazine for the Boy Scouts of America.
  1. Is It OK to Eat Snow?

    There's a beautiful layer of freshly fallen snow in your backyard. Is it OK to grab a handful and take a bite?
  2. How Do You Use a Tent Footprint?

    Q: My tent came with a footprint. How do you use one?
  3. Stuff We Like: Near Zero Dean

    The 50-liter backpack unzips like a suitcase, giving you easy access to your gear.
  4. Use a Dutch Oven to Make Philmont Ranger Cobbler

    Dutch ovens make baking at camp easy. Here’s how to make a delicious peach cobbler.
  5. Where Can I Find Cheaper Gear?

    Q: What is the best option for buying cheaper gear?
  6. How to Make a DIY Survival Kit

    This 2-pound kit could save your life for at least three days in the wild.
  7. How to Gear Up for Winter

    Stay warm and Be Prepared for camping in the cold.
  8. How to Watch Out for Avalanches in Snowy, Mountainous Terrain

    Avalanches are a serious concern for all travelers whose outings take them into snowy, mountainous regions.
  9. Where to Find an Inexpensive and Comfortable Daypack

    Q: I’m looking for a comfortable daypack that’s less than $120.
  10. Watch Out, Bug! These Plants Are Hungry

    We don’t usually think of plants as predators, but some plants do eat insects and other small creatures. Since they can’t chase prey, these carnivorous (meat-eating) plants have developed some clever strategies to capture their food. Of the hundreds of thousands of plant species, there are only about 800 that are carnivorous. They typically grow in wetlands or forests where soils are wet for at least part of the year. These soils are often poor in nutrients, so plants that get much of their energy from sunlight through photosynthesis need to supplement their diet with insects and other prey. VENUS FLYTRAPS The Venus flytrap is probably the most famous carnivorous plant. Native only to a small area in coastal North and South Carolina, it has been established elsewhere in the U.S. Despite the name, Venus flytraps eat mostly spiders; crawling insects like ants; and smaller amounts of beetles, grasshoppers and other insects. The Venus flytrap’s hinged “snap traps” are leaves that look like little clams with big eyelashes. The inner surfaces are bright red to purple (to attract insects) and have tiny hairlike projections called “cilia.” When triggered by a bug, the cilia cause the two lobes of the trap [...]
  11. How to Sharpen a Pocketknife

    Q: How do I keep my pocketknife sharp?
  12. Stuff We Like: Voltaic OffGrid

    Buying a backpack and separate solar charging system can get expensive. So why not get them together?
  13. How to Buy a Good Pocketknife or Multitool

    Keep sharp in your Scouting endeavors with the right knife or multitool for the job.
  14. Every Packing List Starts With the 10 Scout Basic Outdoor Essentials

    Every packing list starts with these items. They're called "Scouting Outdoor Essentials" for a reason.
  15. How to Use a Compass to Orient a Map and Find Your Way

    You can use a map and compass to figure out which direction you're facing.
  16. Good Sleeping Bag for a Cub Scout?

    Q: I’m going on my first campout with my Cub Scout pack. What’s a good sleeping bag to get?
  17. Stuff We Like: Flextail Tiny Pump

    This air pump can inflate or deflate your sleeping pad while lighting up your tent at the same time.
  18. Would You Go Camping in One of These 13 Intense Tents?

    Check out this photo gallery of crazy, futuristic, unusual and awesome tents. Which is your favorite?
  19. How to Safely Cross a Stream

    Crossing a body of water presents some hazards. So before you just wade in, consider several factors.
  20. Tent or Tarp? How to Pick the Right Camping Shelter

    Whether you pick a tent or tarp, these shelters will guard you from the elements.
  21. How to Make a Solar-Powered Oven for Outdoor Cooking

    Take outdoor cooking to the next level with this homemade solar cooker.
  22. Should I Get a Single-Blade or a Swiss Army Knife?

    Q: I am looking for a new pocketknife. Should I get a single-blade or a Swiss Army knife?
  23. Discover the Cool, Unusual Horned Lizard

    What's that strange-looking creature? It's a horned lizard, one of the most unusual reptiles in the U.S.
  24. How To Purify Water on a Long Trek?

    Q: What should I use to purify water on a long trek?
  25. Stuff We Like: Coast HX5 Flashlight

    Simply slide the flashlight's head forward or back with your finger to create a flood beam or a focused beam.
  26. How to Buy Good Sunglasses

    Sunglasses can look cool, but first they should protect your eyes.
  27. Where To Find Comfortable and Affordable Hiking Boots?

    Q: I’m looking for comfortable hiking boots that are affordable and waterproof.
  28. How to Safely Use a Life Jacket

    Life Jackets are designed to keep you safe. These personal flotation devices are essential equipment whenever you're on the water.
  29. 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.
  30. Reach, Throw, Row, Go! Learn the 4 Water Rescue Techniques

    Learn an easy way to remember the four water rescues that can be used to save someone's life in an emergency.
  31. Get Your Bicycle Ready and Grab This Gear to Go Bikepacking

    Bikepacking is a camping trip you take on your bike. Here's what you need to get started.
  32. 3 Different Ways To Lay the Firewood for a Campfire

    You can arrange your firewood to get different results, depending on the weather and how you want to manage the fire.
  33. How To Stay Safe From Bears

    Bears can catch a scent miles away. That’s why you need to properly store your smellables when you’re in bear country.
  34. Why Does My Propane Stove Leave Soot on My Cookware?

    Q: Every time I use my propane stove, it leaves black soot all over my cookware. How can I stop this from happening?
  35. Stuff We Like: Therm-a-Rest

    Sleeping pads provide cushioning to help you get a good night's sleep. Here are two of our favorites.
  36. It’s Flight Time! Get Ready for the Incredible Spring Bird Migration

    Spring means it is time for the arrival of billions of birds from Mexico, Central America and South America.
  37. How To Pick the Best Camp Chair for Any Outdoor Activity

    Here's how to find a comfy camp chair for whenever you need a rest.
  38. How to Use Lashings to Build a Comfortable Camp Chair

    Relax around camp by lashing together a comfortable camping chair. It's easy if you have the pioneering skills.
  39. Why Is There a Sewing Kit in My Survival Kit?

    Q: The survival kit my parents gave me came with a little sewing kit. What is that for?
  40. How To Take Aim Like Robin Hood With a Bow and Arrow

    Before shooting an arrow, go through the nine-step process of stance, nock, set, pre-draw, draw, anchor, aim, release and follow-through.
  41. Be Courteous About Allergies in the Camp Kitchen

    Preparing camp meals with food allergies in mind keeps everyone safe and helps you make food everyone can enjoy.
  42. How to Tie an Overhand Knot

    This simple knot can be used to prevent a rope from slipping through a pulley or hole, or to make a rope easier to grip.
  43. What Backpack to Hold All My Stuff?

    Q: What backpack should I get to hold all my stuff?
  44. Stuff We Like: Whiskware Snacking Containers

    The twist-on lids stay secure, keeping your gear (or snacks for the trail) from spilling.
  45. I Lost My Sunglasses. What Should I Get to Replace Them?

    Q: I lost my sunglasses on my troop's last campout. What should I get to replace them?
  46. How to Use a Sled to Make a Pulk for Backpacking in the Snow

    Not only are sleds fun, but they're also a great way to carry gear in winter.
  47. Conversion Chart for Dutch Oven Cooking Times and Temperatures

    The amount of charcoal your Dutch oven needs will vary in order to reach the desired temperature.
  48. What Are the Signs of Hypothermia and How Do You Treat It?

    Losing body heat happens in all seasons, and it can kill. Know the symptoms of hypothermia and how to treat them.
  49. How to Buy a Great Headlamp or Flashlight

    The Gear Guy shines some light on which headlamp of flashlight to consider for your next outdoor adventure.
  50. Take a Look at These 7 Wacky Flashlights

    Check out our fun photos of weird and unusual headlamps and flashlights.
  51. How to Keep Your Head Warm in Cold Weather

    An uncovered head can leave you chilly, so it’s important to keep your noggin insulated in the winter.
  52. Which Mess Kit Should I Buy?

    Q: There are so many mess kits out there. Help!
  53. Stuff We Like: Morakniv Scout 39

    Lightweight and handy, the Morakniv Scout 39 is a fixed-blade knife designed for beginners.
  54. Suggestions for a Good Sleeping Pad?

    Q: I need a good sleeping pad. What do you suggest?
  55. Catching Air with Flying Squirrels

    The Nature Crew takes a look at the amazing flying squirrel.
  56. Scouts Get an Up-Close Look at Animals at These Fun Outings

    Go Scouting on the wild side with these awesome animal-focused activities.
  57. How to Tie the 7 Basic Scout Knots

    It's knot difficult. With our step-by-step videos, the seven basic Scout knots are easy to learn. Give them a tie!
  58. How to Choose a Safe and Comfortable Campsite

    Picking a place to camp isn’t always simple. Before setting up your tent, consider these nine factors.
  59. 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.
  60. Savor These 4 Scout-Approved Sweet Treats

    Try these four tasty recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth on your next campout. Plus, send us your favorite dessert recipe!
  61. Good Lights for Inside a Tent?

    Q: What is a good light source for inside a tent?
  62. Stuff We Like: PackTowl

    Towels take up a lot of space in your backpack. Save that space for other gear by using a PackTowl.
  63. How to Buy the Best Sleeping Bag

    A good sleeping bag can make the difference between comfort and a long, miserable night. Stay warm and comfy in one of these sleeping bags.
  64. How to Display and Fold the American Flag

    Here's how to properly honor and respect the flag of the United States.
  65. Advice for Packing a Pillow When Camping?

    Q: Do you have advice for packing a pillow when camping?
  66. Any Tips for Setting up a Tent?

    Q: I always have trouble setting up my tent. Can you give me some tips?
  67. 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?
  68. Stuff We Like: Owala FreeSip

    The Owala FreeSip water bottle gives you the option to drink from a straw or a spout.
  69. 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.
  70. 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.
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. Any Tips For Buying a First Backpack?

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

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

    No signal on your phone? Try a backcountry communication device.
  76. 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.
  77. How to Pick a Good Camping Flashlight

    Q: I need a good flashlight for camping. Any suggestions?
  78. 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.
  79. 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.
  80. How to Get Started Birding

    Birdwatching can be a fun pastime. All you need are binoculars and a bird guide to start.
  81. How to Clean Your Pocketknife

    Q: I use my pocketknife almost daily, and it gets so dirty. How can I stop that?
  82. 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.
  83. How to Buy Rock Climbing Gear

    Here's what you'll need to start exploring the vertical world of rock climbing.
  84. 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?
  85. 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.
  86. Skunks Stink But They’re Also Fascinating

    When you think "skunk," you probably think "stink." But skunks are usually sweet-natured and helpful.
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. Stuff We Like: Selk’bag

    The wearable sleeping bag has arms, legs, an adjustable insulated hood and removable booties.
  90. 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.
  91. 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.
  92. 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.
  93. 10 Fun Facts About Yellowstone

    Here are 10 interesting facts about the world's first national park.
  94. 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.
  95. Stuff We Like: CLIQ Chair

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

    Try these simple tips to outfit yourself for your next trek without breaking the bank.
  97. 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.
  98. 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.
  99. 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.
  100. 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.
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