The click, click, crap of a dead battery is about as welcome as the rattle of a diamondback in the latrine. Here's what to do.
Drowning is the #2 cause of outdoor deaths (falls are #1), so avoid wading waist-deep or too-fast rivers (a tossed, fist-size rock shouldn't move downstream before sinking), but if no choice exists:
"Hello, this is 911. Please state your emergency." If you're calling for backcountry help on your cell phone, what you say--or sob incoherently--next could determine when you get rescued.
Lost your hiking partner? Here's what to do to make sure you both come home in one piece.
Doing more (fresh-baked pizza and rumaki hors d'oeuvres) with less (a canister stove and a frying pan) is the essence of backcountry cooking. But when you're stuck without pots, pans, or utensils for more than a week, knowing how to cook and boil water with these four stand-in containers can be a vital, calorie-providing skill.
Few forms of hiking are more frustrating, exhausting, and potentially dead-ending than postholing (aka, flailing through thigh-deep snow). If a storm struck overnight or you forgot to pack snowshoes--but still have miles to go--save energy and stay drier by constructing your own Ojibwas.
From Boulder to Juneau to Bozeman, see which cities made the cut for the best place to raise an outdoor kid, and why.
The stats and assumptions behind our grading system for the August 2009 story.