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Skill Set

First, cook your meal. (Photos by Mary Reed)

Dehydrate Your Own Backpacking Meals

By Mary Reed

When Lance Glasgow set out to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 2006, he knew he’d need more than Ramen noodles and instant potatoes to get him through.

Yes, this is a journal. Photo by Mary Reed.

Keep an Activity Journal

By Mike Schiller

Kenn Howard has hiked 1,000 miles in a year and he can prove it. He has the log of every hike and walk he has taken since 1988, literally thousands of entries.

Not that way! Bottom side down. Photo by Mary Reed.

How to Pitch a Tent

By Attila Horvath

There’s more to tent camping than understanding the directions to erect your tent. Here are some of the finer points.

A bucket hangs on a spile and collects sap from this sugar maple. Photos by Attila Horvath.

Make Maple Syrup

By Attila Horvath

The sweet satisfaction of making your own maple syrup may just be the cure for the bitterness of late winter.

Send it! Photo by Mary Reed.

Build a Home Climbing Wall

By Mary Reed

A great winter time training tool and fun space for your friends is a home climbing wall.

Silence is golden. Duct tape is silver. Photo by Mary Reed.

If You Can't Duck It, F&@# It

By Attila Horvath

Those of us who don’t believe in miracles nevertheless can have faith in one thing: duct tape.

Finished meals in Dutch ovens. Photo courtesy Vicki Flowers.

Cook in a Dutch Oven

By Jaclyn Boland

Forget the canned sardines on your next camping trip and learn to cook – even bake – deluxe recipes in a Dutch oven.

White-tailed deer is easy to identify - often deep hoof prints made by a heavy animal. Photo by Mary Reed.

Learn to Track Animals

By Mary Reed

Whether you want to hunt, take wildlife photos or see that coyote you heard howling last night, the art of tracking is the skill that will come in handy.

A lightning storm that kicked up quickly over Seneca Rocks, WV. Photo by Attila Horvath.

When Lightning Strikes

What to do to avoid an electrifying experience

By Mike Schiller

I tend to be the biggest lightning weenie in my crowd, running for the cabin at the first rumble of thunder.

Technically, this is moongazing. Photo by Mary Reed.

Stargaze Like a Pro

By Jaclyn Boland

Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, Hubble. They discovered mysteries of the sky, but astronomy isn’t strictly for the pros.* “Any time you see something for the first time, it’s like you discovered it,”

Open the quick release on your wheel. If you don’t have a quick release, carry a couple of wrenches (correct size) to remove the wheel.

Change a Flat Bike Tire

By Attila Horvath

Even the most mechanically-challenged rider can change a flat bike tire. Master this skill and you won’t be forced to walk home.

This reviewer gives hitching one thumb up. Photo by Mary Reed.

Successful Hitchhiking

By Mary Reed

You’re four miles by foot from your car and it’s getting dark. You’ve shredded your bike tube and you’re 50 miles from home. You’re just plain lost, but you’ve found a road.

The trowel and TP are part of the shit kit. Photo by Mary Reed.

How to S*%# in the Woods

By Attila Horvath

Note: This article uses a common four-letter word for defecation. If it offends, skip the article.

You’ve just hiked six miles into the forest and you realize that you have to

Leash=good. Pulling=bad. Photo by Mary Reed.

Train Your Dog for the Outdoors

By Alison Wayner

You're out on a sunny weekend hike with your pooch and decide it wouldn't hurt to take him off his leash. Sure enough, a family out with their small children approach and Fido wants to play.

This image takes advantage of a long exposure and the rule of thirds. Processing brought out contrast and colors.

Take Great Outdoor Photos

By Attila Horvath

Almost anyone can take good – sometimes great – outdoor photos. Use the right tools, concepts and techniques, and your reward will be pictures that look like they belong in a magazine instead of in the trash.