• Yellowstone National Park

    September 21, 2023 Comments (0) Field Facts

    Yellowstone National Park has the distinction of being the first national park ever created in the United States and also the first of its kind in the world. The Act of Dedication was signed into law on March 1st, 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant and set aside more than 2 million acres in the …

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  • The Southern Sea Otter

    August 24, 2023 Comments (0) Fauna

    The Southern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) also goes by the name California Sea Otter and has the distinction of being one the heaviest members of the weasel family, yet one of the smallest marine mammals. California Sea Otters live among the protected shallow coastal waters between Half Moon Bay and Santa Barbara

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  • The Joshua Tree

    August 17, 2023 Comments (0) Flora

    The Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) is the largest member of the yucca family and remains one of the iconic plants of the American Southwest. Limited in range to a small geographic area and relying on one insect for pollination, the Joshua tree is considered the indicator plant when it comes to gauging the health of

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  • 5 Late Season Wildberries

    August 10, 2023 Comments (1) Flora

    One of the many joys of spending time outdoors in the summer is foraging for berries. While the berry picking primetime is early summer, depending on where you live, late summer and early fall can still offer plenty of opportunities for feasting on these tiny wild fruit delicacies.  Here are some of our favorite

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  • The Figeater Beetle

    August 3, 2023 Comments (3) Fauna

    The Figeater Beetle (Continis mutabilis) is a member of the scarab family of beetles and found throughout the South Western United States. Originally they lived primary in arid regions such as the Sonoran Desert, but as agriculture spread, so did the Figeater. Today they are a common sight in Southern California where

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  • Preventing Heat Related Injury and Illness 

    July 27, 2023 Comments (0) Do's & Don'ts

    To the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians the rising of the star Sirius signaled the start of “The Dog Days of Summer” when the oppressive heat was attributed to causing madness, war, and even befouled the taste of wine. (Nobody likes befouled tasting wine) Though we are pretty sure there are no evil spirits

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  • The Mesquite

    July 6, 2023 Comments (0) Flora

    Well known for being a sought after flavor in high-end restaurants and barbecue pits alike, mesquite is the common name for several varieties of trees found in the desert southwest. This iconic tree has provided shelter and food to wildlife and humans for centuries and is comprised of three common species: honey

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  • The DRB Guide to Beach Safety

    June 29, 2023 Comments (1) Do's & Don'ts

    We are getting into the the peak of the summer season and almost everybody likes going to the beach, to cool off, play in the water and have fun.  But just like anywhere else you go in the outdoors it’s good to do a little pre-planning and be aware of your surroundings when you get …

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  • The Osprey

    June 22, 2023 Comments (0) Fauna

    Osprey (Padion haliaetus) are large raptors found near the water on every continent in the world except Antarctica. They are also called fish eagles or sea hawks due to their large size and diet made up almost entirely of fish. Like many large birds, Osprey had become threatened by the middle of the 20th century

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  • Foraging For Morel Mushrooms

    April 20, 2023 Comments (0) Field Craft

    Treasured by foodies for its spongy texture and earthy flavor, the morel is the Holy Grail for springtime mushroom hunters. Since these delicate little fungi have successfully resisted commercial cultivation for centuries, morels can only be found in the wild throughout North America and Europe.  Morel hunters

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  • The Rattlesnake

    April 13, 2023 Comments (1) Fauna

    Rattlesnakes are a type of venomous pit viper found in every state of the lower 48 and in almost every type of environment. Rattlesnakes are comprised of a group of 32 known species and as many as 70 subspecies. Most are commonly found in the South West but can be found anywhere from sea level …

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  • Pueblo Settlements of the South West

    April 5, 2023 Comments (0) Field Facts

    The American Southwest is often associated with images of canyons, cacti, and mesas. But it is also known for its ancient and iconic Pueblo settlements. These unique structures were the homes of Native American peoples who lived in the area for thousands of years, and they remain an essential part of the

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  • The Ponderosa Pine

    March 2, 2023 Comments (0) Flora

    The Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) is a large evergreen tree that is a mainstay of the American West. It also goes by the name Yellow Pine, Bull Pine, and about a dozen others depending on the region and the tree’s age. Typically they are found in elevations between 6,000- 10,000 feet, in areas that receive

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  • Bass Reeves: Legendary Lawman of the Old West

    February 21, 2023 Comments (1) Field Facts

    A former slave turned legendary lawman, Bass Reeves was feared by outlaws and respected by his peers. With a towering 6’2″ frame, an imposing demeanor, and a reputation for being a relentless lawman, Bass Reeves was a force to be reckoned with. He brought law and order to the untamed frontier, using

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  • The Puffin

    February 16, 2023 Comments (0) Fauna

    In the frigid waters of the northern oceans, a remarkable creature thrives – the puffin. These small migratory seabirds, comprising four distinct species, are a marvel of adaptation and beauty. They are also the marine version of a “canary in a coal mine” when it comes to ocean health. The name

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  • The Sugar Maple

    February 9, 2023 Comments (0) Flora

    The Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) is a hardwood tree found in the eastern and midwestern regions of the northern United States and in eastern Canada. Well known for producing both beautiful fall foliage and delicious maple syrup, a Sugar Maple can live for more than 400 years and reach heights of 115 feet.  Once

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  • The Groundhog

    February 2, 2023 Comments (0) Fauna

    The Groundhog (Marmota monax) is a member of the squirrel family that lives throughout the eastern United States, Canada, and Alaska. This rotund rodent also goes by the name whistle pig, land beaver, monax and woodchuck. The name woodchuck doesn’t describe the raucous behavior of throwing lumber around, but really

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  • Why You Should Explore Your Local Trails and Nature Preserves

    January 26, 2023 Comments (0) Do's & Don'ts

    “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” ―John Muir, Our National Parks Nature preservation and conservation efforts date back as far as the mid 1800’s. Pioneers such as John Burroughs, George

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  • Lichen

    January 19, 2023 Comments (1) Flora

    The lichen is a remarkable composite organism that can be frequently seen attached to rocks, trees, and even the soil. Often confused for moss, the lichen is actually not a plant at all since it has no roots, stems, or leaves.   Lichens are actually a partnership between two organisms: fungus and alga. The fungi

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  • 5 Ways Animals Survive Winter

    December 15, 2022 Comments (0) Field Facts

    Winter is coming. The cold, snow, wind, short days, and lack of fresh food have made winter a survival challenge for every species on the planet. While humans have used technology to prevail in harsh climates, wildlife never had that luxury. They have had to adapt to these seasonal changes through various

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  • The California Sea Lion

    December 8, 2022 Comments (0) Fauna

    The California sea lion (Zalophus californianus californianus) is one of five species of sea lion found on Earth. The near-threatened Steller sea lion inhabits the northern Pacific, the Southern sea lion inhabits South America, the Australian sea lion lives in Australia, and the Hooker’s sea lion lives along the

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  • 5 Ways Plants Prepare For Winter

    December 1, 2022 Comments (0) Flora

    When it comes to surviving the cold, snow, and ice of winter, plants don’t have as many options as animals. They can’t move into a cave or den and hibernate. And there’s a reason you don’t see mass herds of aspens or flocks of ferns migrating south for the winter. Plants are rooted in place.

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  • The Tarantula Hawk

    November 17, 2022 Comments (0) Fauna

    The tarantula hawk is a large wasp that may be the most sadistic flying insect on the planet. This giant, metallic blue wasp brings a world of hurt to any living creature that dares mess with it. It is also the only wasp that actively hunts tarantulas and turns them into zombified buffets for their …

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  • The Manzanita

    November 3, 2022 Comments (0) Flora

    The twisted trunk of the manzanita tree, with its smooth, cinnamon-red bark, has become a scenic fixture in the landscapes of the American West. Found on dry, sunny slopes at low elevations, the manzanita is an evergreen that is treasured for the beauty and sustenance it provides. While there were only three original

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  • Vampire Bats

    October 28, 2022 Comments (0) Fauna

    Vampire bats are real, but they do not live in the Carpathian mountains near Transylvania, rather they prefer warmer climates of Central and South America.  The three species of Vampire Bat all come from the family of leaf-nosed bats; the common Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus), the Hairy Legged (Diphylla

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  • The Top 4 Venomous Spiders in North America

    October 20, 2022 Comments (0) Field Facts

    While most of North America’s 4,000 species of spiders are venomous, only four are considered dangerous. That’s mainly because most spiders’ fangs are too short and fragile to break through human skin.  The four deadliest spiders didn’t become deadly because they had longer or stronger fangs.

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  • The Sassafras Tree

    October 13, 2022 Comments (0) Flora

    The Sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum) is a member of the laurel family. Nicknamed the mitten tree it is often found along hedgerows and open fields, the towering sassafras has been a food source for wildlife and humans alike. The tree’s crushed leaf or broken twig releases the Sassafras’ trademark aroma

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  • Edward Whymper

    September 29, 2022 Comments (0) Field Facts

    Illustrator-turned legendary mountaineer Edward Whymper (1840-1911) is considered one of Britain’s peak-bagging legends during the Golden Era of climbing. In addition to being the first person to summit the Matterhorn, Whymper’s climbing exploits advanced barometric research and revolutionized

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  • The Kit Fox

    September 22, 2022 Comments (0) Fauna

    The kit fox (Vulpes macrotis) is the smallest member of the fox species in North America and one of the dog family’s smallest and rarest members. This cat-sized fox is only found in the southwestern deserts of the United States and northern Mexico. The kit fox looks like the offspring of a miniature coyote and

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  • Kitting Out a Survival Capsule

    September 15, 2022 Comments (2) Field Craft

    Around the age of 19 and just before the Y2K craze, I learned of the website of my friend Doug Ritter. He published “Equipped to Survive”, a non-profit organization dedicated to testing survival gear. On his website, he provided lists of various kits as well as his evaluation of them. This website was and is

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  • The Sockeye Salmon

    August 25, 2022 Comments (0) Fauna

    The sockeye salmon is one of nature’s greatest wonders, traveling 1,000 miles in a year between freshwater and saltwater, surviving countless predators, and having a one in 1,000 chance of reaching adulthood. The sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) is one of the smaller species of salmon found along North

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  • Duke Kahanamoku: Olympian, Surf Legend, and Hawaii Icon

    August 18, 2022 Comments (0) Field Facts

    One of the world’s most renowned watermen, Clyde “Duke” Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku, changed how we view and engage with oceans today. As a five-time Olympic medalist, rescue swimmer, and the father of modern surfing, Kahanamoku defined the standard of the 20th-century Renaissance aquatic

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  • The Cholla Cactus

    August 4, 2022 Comments (1) Flora

    The Cholla cactus is a dastardly plant that thrives in deserts across North America. This cactus has adapted to several different arid elevations and locales throughout North America and ranges from one to 15 feet tall, depending on the species. Some live in mountain forests and others in dry, rocky flats or

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  • Vortex Solo 8X36 Monocular

    July 28, 2022 Comments (5) Gear Reviews

    A monocular offers particular advantages over binoculars due to their compactness and weight savings. Additionally, people with less than stellar vision, who wear glasses or have astigmatism (or even the piratical types who wear an eyepatch) will get better performance looking through a single tube versus binoculars.

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  • The Fisher

    July 21, 2022 Comments (0) Fauna

    The fisher (Pekania pennanti) is a cat-sized carnivorous mammal in the weasel family found in North America’s boreal forests. Sometimes called a fisher cat, the fisher’s closest relatives are the (Martes americana) and Pacific marten (Martes caurina).  Solitary predators, fishers can be found in

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  • Katmai National Park and Preserve

    July 14, 2022 Comments (1) Field Facts

    Located 290 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, Katmai sits in the middle of one of the most volcanically active landmasses on earth. The 1912 eruption of Novarupta transformed a fertile green valley that was home to wildlife and humans alike for millennia, into an ash-filled wasteland. Novarupta was the 20th

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  • The Cottonwood Tree

    July 7, 2022 Comments (0) Flora

    While many American trees have had notable roles in the country’s history, perhaps none played a more significant part than the continent’s largest hardwood, the cottonwood. This tree, also known as the poplar, was directly involved in the success of the 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition. Nearly 80

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  • Gertrude Bell

    June 30, 2022 Comments (0) Field Facts

    Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) was a Victorian-era trailblazer who left the posh comforts of her wealthy British family for a life of exploration, archaeology, and political service. She authored several books on the Middle East and played a critical role in establishing modern-day Iraq after the First World War. 

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  • Saguaro Cactus

    June 9, 2022 Comments (0) Flora

    The Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is an instantly recognizable symbol of the Desert South West though it is only found in a small area of the Sonoran Desert in California, Arizona, and Northern Mexico. For the Saguaro the key to success in the harsh desert climate is to take things slow. Saguaro can grow to

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  • Preparing your K9 for summer activities and summer surprises.

    June 2, 2022 Comments (0) Do's & Don'ts

    As the days get more amenable to outdoor activities, both you and your canine partner want to get out and enjoy them. Here are some thoughts from a veterinarian on making sure your outdoor adventures don’t end up in the vet’s office for something easily preventable. First off, make sure your pal is vaccinated. 

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  • The California Condor

    May 26, 2022 Comments (0) Fauna

    As one of America’s most endangered species, the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) also holds the distinction of being the largest wild bird on the North American continent. Listed as an endangered species since 1967, the California condor has a wingspan nine feet long. This large bird can tip the scales

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  • Bear-Proofing for the Backcountry

    May 19, 2022 Comments (1) Field Craft

    Danger Ranger Bear here. I wanted to spend a few minutes sharing some thoughts with you about how we can get along better when it comes to sharing food in the backcountry. Let’s start with the mindset that when you’re in the outdoors, you’re in my neighborhood. I’m not intruding in your campsite, you’re

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  • The Stinging Nettle

    May 12, 2022 Comments (1) Flora

    You can’t call yourself a true off-trail adventurer until you’ve worn shorts and blazed a path through a patch of “stingers” or stinging nettles! At first glance, these tall plants look harmless, but they are covered with tiny, fine hairs that inject a cocktail of irritants into the legs and arms of any unwary

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  • Water Purification Review

    May 5, 2022 Comments (2) Gear Reviews

    One of the most important necessities on the trail, camping, backpacking, and life in general is staying properly hydrated. In general the human body cannot go more than three days without water. As it progresses the effects of dehydration will begin to take its toll on your mind and body. We cannot always carry

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  • The Marine Iguana

    A Galapagos Marine Iguana

    April 28, 2022 Comments (0) Fauna

    The marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) is the only lizard in the world that lives in and around the ocean. This colorful iguana is often seen sunbathing on the sharp volcanic rocks of the Galapagos Archipelago, the exclusive habitat of these nautical reptiles. Related to mainland iguanas, which are sometimes

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  • Matthew Henson

    April 21, 2022 Comments (0) Field Facts

    The son of two freeborn sharecroppers, famed African American explorer Matthew Henson was one of the first two Americans to reach the North Pole on April 6, 1909. Henson had been an indispensable member of Robert Peary’s multiple Arctic expeditions and was valued for his polar expertise and relationships with

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  • The Pecan Tree

    April 14, 2022 Comments (0) Flora

    As the only major tree nut indigenous to North America, the pecan (Carya illinoinensis) has a long history as a treasured delicacy, building material, and delicious edible nut, prized hardwood, and beloved state symbol. The pecan is a native species of hickory that originated in the southern U.S. along the Mississippi

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  • The Grand Canyon

    April 7, 2022 Comments (0) Field Facts

    The Grand Canyon should be on everyone’s short list of must see natural wonders. On January 11, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the Grand Canyon a national monument and in 1919 it was further preserved by becoming one of the country’s earliest National Parks. It is also a UNESCO world heritage

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  • The Canada Lynx

    March 31, 2022 Comments (0) Fauna

    The Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) is a cold-weather cat perfectly adapted for thriving in the harsh snow-packed terrain of North America.  Slightly larger than the well-fed house cat, the Canada lynx is about 20 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs around 20 pounds. The lynx’s thick fur is light or

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  • John Wesley Powell

    March 24, 2022 Comments (0) Field Facts

    John Wesley Powell was an iconic 19th-century explorer, scientist, and environmentalist. He is best known for his daring riverine explorations of the upper Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. An adventurer from an early age, Powell walked across the state of Wisconsin when he was 21. The following year, he continued

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  • The Torrey Pine

    March 17, 2022 Comments (0) Flora

    America’s rarest native pine, the Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana), is only found in two locations in North America. One population grows on the coastal bluffs of Soledad Valley, north of San Diego, California. The second population is on Santa Rosa Island and is separated from the first by 175 miles of Pacific

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  • Meet Aviation Pioneer Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran

    March 8, 2022 Comments (1) Field Facts

    “Earthbound souls know only the underside of the atmosphere in which they live . . . but go higher – above the dust and water vapor – and the sky turns dark until one can see the stars at noon.” Jacqueline Cochran was the first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound (Mach …

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  • The Orca

    March 3, 2022 Comments (0) Fauna

    The orca (Orcinus orca), also known as a killer whale, is the largest member of the dolphin family and the ocean’s apex predator.  With its distinct black and white markings, the orca is one of the more widely distributed sea mammals and is found in every ocean in the world. The global population is around

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  • Kimchi Beef Stew and Defense of Cast Iron Camp Cooking

    February 24, 2022 Comments (0) Camp Kitchen

    It seems that every season there is an abundance of new ultralight camping equipment on the market, and while I do love me a titanium spork or french press, I feel like outdoorsy folks can be a bit obsessed when it comes to the weight of our equipment. Now, mind you, if you are packing …

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  • Purple Saxifrage

    February 17, 2022 Comments (0) Flora

    The world’s hardiest plant lives on Kafeklubben Island, off the coast of Greenland. Located just over 83 degrees north and closer to the North Pole than any other land on Earth, this island is made of permafrost whose summers only last around 30 days. Here, the purple saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia) thrives and

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  • Avalanche!

    February 10, 2022 Comments (0) Field Facts

    Traveling in the mountains during the winter presents several challenges for the outdoor adventurer. Hikers, climbers, and skiers all have to deal with fast-changing weather, altitude sickness, extreme cold, as well as exposure to lightning and high winds. However, the most terrifying hazard may be preceded by the

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  • The Tiger

    February 4, 2022 Comments (0) Fauna

    Tigers (Panthera tigris) are the largest of all cats and are more deserving of the title of “King of the Jungle” than the Lion (sorry Leo). Tigers can be found in the snows of Siberia, jungles of South East Asia, and high in the mountains of Nepal.  Male Siberian Tigers can tip the scales at …

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  • Take only photos, leave only footprints…and fuzz sticks.

    January 27, 2022 Comments (0) Do's & Don'ts

    Leave No Trace. It is a philosophy ingrained in many outdoorsmen and used by organizations and groups like the Boy Scouts of America, Appalachian Mountain Club and military units operating behind enemy lines. The idea sounds simple, leave no evidence of using the landscape and preserve the resources in their natural

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  • The Giant Sequoia

    January 20, 2022 Comments (0) Flora

    In a world where old-growth forests have mostly disappeared, the giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) stands strong as the Earth’s most massive tree.  Found in about 73 groves along the rugged western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range at elevations between 3,000-8,500, the giant sequoia isn’t easy

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  • The Warning Signs of Hypothermia

    January 13, 2022 Comments (0) Field Craft

    Temperatures are dropping, and snow is blanketing many of our favorite trails and backcountry getaways. For the hardy outdoors adventurer, winter is one of the best times of the year to enjoy nature. There are fewer people and new sights and sounds to explore. Whether you’re an experienced mountaineer or are

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  • The Arctic Fox

    December 23, 2021 Comments (0) Fauna

    The Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus) which also goes by the name White Fox, Polar Fox or Snow Fox is a tough and compact carnivore that lives in the arctic tundra regions of the Northern Hemisphere and lives in conditions that would put any survival expert to shame. The key to the Arctic Fox’s thriving in …

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  • The Bristlecone Pine

    December 9, 2021 Comments (2) Flora

    The twisted features, well-weathered bark, and stunted height of the bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) give you the sense that this tree has made more than its share of trips around the sun. Bristlecone pines are some of the oldest living trees in the world with a few Inyo National Forest having already been around

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  • Joshua Tree National Park

    December 2, 2021 Comments (0) Field Facts

    Nicknamed “J-Tree” by locals, Joshua Tree National Park sits at the crossroads of two deserts, where the low Colorado Desert meets the high Mojave Desert. Named after the thousands of Joshua Trees inhabiting the area, the 800,000-acre park is a treasured desert wilderness located within a few hours from the urban

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  • The Pronghorn

    November 11, 2021 Comments (0) Fauna

    This North American pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), also known as the “speed goat” or “sage rocket,” is a deer-like resident of the American West. Racing across grasslands and deserts at speeds up to 60 mph, the pronghorn is the sole surviving member of the family Antilocapridae (order Artiodactyla). 

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  • Gear Review: NOCO GBX75 Jump Start Battery Pack

    November 5, 2021 Comments (0) Gear Reviews

    You’ve probably been in this situation before. You step inside your vehicle, turn the key, but instead of hearing the engine turn over, the distinct “click” that lets you know the battery is dead. Perhaps you left an interior light on or maybe your battery was just too low on juice to get the engine …

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  • The Crabapple

    October 28, 2021 Comments (0) Flora

    The crabapple (Malus x.) is a deciduous fruit tree found in temperate regions throughout the northern hemisphere. While boys have used the tree’s small, hard fruit as projectiles for centuries, the crabapple also has a rich history of providing tart treats, medicinal elixirs, and has led to the development of the

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  • Smokejumpers

    October 21, 2021 Comments (1) Field Facts

    Lace up your boots. Get your hard hat on. Throw on your pack and parachute into where the mountains are burning.  That’s the job of the smokejumper — a skydiving firefighter considered the elite special operations arm of firefighting.  Comprising only three percent of America’s wildland

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  • The Capybara

    October 14, 2021 Comments (0) Fauna

    Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrocharis) holds the title as the largest rodent in the world and one of the oddest of any animal. A giant relative of the guinea pig, Capybaras can weigh over 100 pounds and despite their fur and boxy frame are aquatic, always living near fresh water in their habitats which ranges from

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  • Diving for Spiny Lobster

    September 30, 2021 Comments (0) Field Craft

    The California Spiny Lobster (Panulirus interruptus) Hunt. As I crawl along the bottom, on a single breath of air with the surface twenty or so feet above me, I see it- a couple of dark red legs, with a bright orange stripe on them- the tell tale sign of my quarry. As I close in …

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  • The California Redwood

    September 23, 2021 Comments (1) Flora

    California Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) also known as the Coastal Redwoods, come from the Cypress family and are truly ancient giants that once spanned the Earth. Today, they are only found in a narrow 450 mile long strip strip along the coast of California and part of Oregon. This specific location is due to the

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  • The Anatomy of a Wildfire

    September 17, 2021 Comments (1) Field Facts

    If you live in the western United States, there used to be five seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall, and fire season. Thanks to long-lasting drought and climate change, that season of wildfire infernos has now blown into a full-tilt fire year.  Since 1970, the frequency of wildfires in the western U.S. has

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  • The Dragonfly

    September 9, 2021 Comments (1) Fauna

    Dragonflies are members of a very large insect family Odonata (toothed ones) made up of over 5,000 different species. Their ancient relatives had over two-foot wingspans and ruled the skies over 300 million years ago. These days the largest Dragonflies “only” grow to have about six-inch wingspans. Besides

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  • Campfire Safety

    September 2, 2021 Comments (1) Do's & Don'ts

    If you’ve ever spent the night in the woods without a fire, you know how potentially cold and lonely it can be. There’s no light, there’s no peaceful crackling of the wood, and there’s no warmth.  When you spend a night in the great outdoors without a fire, you spend the night all alone. That …

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  • The Ocotillo

    August 26, 2021 Comments (0) Flora

    The Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) is a desert plant of the Sonoran and Chihuahua desert. It can be found in the Southwest corner of the United States in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California. The Ocotillo prefers rocky and sandy soil that drains quickly from sea level up to nearly 7,000 feet. 

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  • Danger Cinema:  On Any Sunday

    August 19, 2021 Comments (0) Field Facts

    How do you follow up making the most successful surf movie of all time? You turn your cameras inland and make a movie about motorcycles, of course!  As unconventional as that may sound that is exactly what California film maker Bruce Brown did and in doing so made another classic that set standard that all

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  • The Desert Monsoon

    August 5, 2021 Comments (0) Field Facts

    While the rest of the world typically has four seasons, the desert southwest has five: fall, winter, spring, summer, and monsoon. The monsoon rains rejuvenate the desert at the end of a hot summer. Still, they can also create hazards for outdoor adventurers due to rapidly changing weather conditions. The Desert

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  • The Huckleberry

    July 29, 2021 Comments (0) Flora

    Related to both the blueberry and the cranberry, the huckleberry represents the best of both fruits when it comes to the near-perfect blend of tartness and sweetness.  With more than 12 species of huckleberries located in the Pacific Northwest, this little berry has been a long-time favorite on the menus of

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  • Catalina Island

    July 22, 2021 Comments (0) Field Facts

    Catalina Island is a great year-round destination that offers lots of outdoor activities both and land and in the sea. Part of the Channel Island chain, the 22 mile long by 8 mile wide Catalina Island is the most inhabited and developed of all the islands with two towns and year round population of four

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  • The Mosquito

    July 15, 2021 Comments (0) Fauna

    There are approximately 3,500 species of flying syringes, otherwise known as mosquitoes (Aedes), around the world. They can be found from the tropics to the Arctic and Antarctic and can live at elevations as low as 3,000 feet below sea level to 12,000 feet above sea level.  While not all mosquitoes feed on

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  • The Purple Lupine

    July 1, 2021 Comments (0) Flora

    The purple lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus) is a visually striking member of the pea family that is a favorite food source for hummingbirds and butterflies. Ironically, this plant is also a threat to the survival of two butterfly species, including one on the endangered species list.  Native to western North America,

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  • The Bobcat

    June 17, 2021 Comments (0) Fauna

    Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are the most numerous of wild cats in North America. Close relatives to the Lynx in Canada, Bobcats share the Lynx’s tufted ears and get their name for their short tails. From Canada to Mexico Bobcats make their homes in forest, swaps and desert- though you would hardly know it. Bobcats blend

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  • DRB Adventure Mobiles: F250 Super Duty

    June 10, 2021 Comments (0) Adventure Mobiles

    Make: Ford Model: F250 Super Duty 7.3 Year: 2000 Mileage: 225k How long have you had you Adventure Mobile? 6 years Owner’s Name: Jon Burtt What do you do? Entrepreneur Hobbies? Photography and vehicle outfitting Does your rig have a name? GrampCamp Is it a daily driver? Yes Modifications or add-on accessories?

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  • Black Mustard

    June 3, 2021 Comments (2) Flora

    Black mustard (Brassica nigra) is a flavorful spice that has been treasured by many cultures around the world for centuries. However, along America’s Pacific Coast, the colorful plant is now considered an invasive weed that is literally burning up the landscape.   Native to North Africa, Central Europe, and

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  • New River Gorge National Park

    May 27, 2021 Comments (1) Field Facts

    Stretching southern West Virginia, New River Gorge National Park contains lush forest, deep canyons, and one of the oldest rivers on the continent. The New River’s rugged whitewater unusually flows from south to north and is the defining force that has shaped the New River Gorge’s sandstone cliffs. This makes New

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  • The Flying Squirrel

    May 6, 2021 Comments (1) Fauna

    The flying squirrel (Glaucomys) is the daring wingsuit jumper of the mammalian world. Armed with built-in night vision capabilities, this tiny aerialist glides through the night skies, hurling itself from tree to distant tree.  Belonging to a family of more than 50 species of gliding squirrels, flying squirrels

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  • Campsite Selection

    April 29, 2021 Comments (0) Field Craft

    “Location, location, location.” It’s the expression commonly used in real estate. Where and how your new home is situated is paramount. Location, and all the factors associated with it, really is everything. Location matters not only the realm of real estate but also in campsite selection. When you venture

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  • Clonal Trees

    April 22, 2021 Comments (0) Flora

    One of the world’s oldest living organisms has survived drought, wildfires and lived past the extinction of woolly mammoths, saber-tooth cats, and the rise and fall of several human civilizations. Yet, in the end, cattle and mule deer may be its demise.  This organism, nicknamed Pando (Latin for “I

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  • The Water Bear

    April 12, 2021 Comments (0) Fauna

    The Water Bear (phylum Tardigrada), also affectionately known as a moss piglet, is a tiny animal that looks like it belongs in a science fiction movie.  Actually, the Water Bear should be the star of any space movie. These near-microscopic-sized creatures are nearly indestructible and can survive the extreme cold

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  • The Wolverine

    April 8, 2021 Comments (0) Fauna

    As the largest member of the weasel family, the wolverine(Gulo gulo)is an adept apex predator. Despite its “glutton” nickname, this solitary and reclusive animal is a wiley strategist and fierce hunter. Resembling a small, squat bear, the wolverine is closely related to other Mustelids, including weasels,

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  • Finding The Yeti

    April 1, 2021 Comments (0) Field Facts

    Depending on your sources, the Yeti (Dinanthropoides nivalis) is a mysterious, wild creature that lives in the steep, uninhabited mountainous regions of Russia, Nepal, Tibet and China. With only one confirmed sighting on record, the Yeti has been described to have a relatively wide range of physical characteristics.

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  • Western Poison Oak

    March 25, 2021 Comments (0) Flora

    “Leaves of three, leave it be…”, is a commonly recited rhyme to warn campers and hikers of the genus of perennial flowering plants in the sumac family, commonly known as “Poison Oak”, and in particular on the West Coast of the United States, known as Pacific Poison Oak or Western Poison Oak. This woody shrub

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  • DRB Adventure Mobiles:Ducati Scrambler

    March 18, 2021 Comments (0) Adventure Mobiles

    Make:  Ducati  Model: Scrambler Urban Enduro Year: 2016 Mileage: 15,000-ish How long have you had your adventure-mobile? Since September 30th, 2017 Owner’s name: Bobby What do you do? Park Ranger!  Hobbies? Camping, trail running, hiking, anything outdoors Does your bike have a name? Had her for three years and

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  • The Wild Burro

    March 11, 2021 Comments (1) Fauna

    The wild burro (Equus asinus asinus) is a resilient member of the horse family that has evolved to thrive in hot, arid climates. While some biologists assert the burro is an invasive species, this stout and intelligent creature has survived in harsh desert conditions for more than 400 years. The term

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  • Maintaining Your Equipment

    March 4, 2021 Comments (2) Do's & Don'ts

    “Take care of your gear, and your gear will take care of you” is one of Danger Ranger Bear’s basic rules for the outdoors. The proper care, use and maintenance of your outdoor equipment will not only extend its life and provide you with more use and enjoyment, it also means your gear will be …

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  • Rosemary

    February 25, 2021 Comments (0) Flora

    Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) is one of the oldest known medicinal herbs. This fragrant plant has been used over the centuries to improve memory, support digestive health, and add a killer flavor to roast lamb (and practically everything else). Rosemary is a perennial evergreen found across the world in warmer

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  • A Short History of Cross Country Skiing

    February 18, 2021 Comments (0) Field Facts

    The art of strapping two sticks on your feet and traversing snowy landscapes has been infuse by humans for nearly 7,000 years. While skis have allowed people to hunt, gather firewood, and travel quickly on snow, using cross-country skis is also one of the more physically taxing activities. Cross-country skiing uses

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  • The Snowshoe Hare

    February 11, 2021 Comments (0) Fauna

    The Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus) is a resident of upper North America from Alaska across Canada and stretching south along mountainous areas of California, New Mexico and the Appalachians. Also called a Varying Hare or (erroneously) a snowshoe rabbit the Hare’s name is readily apparent do to its very large hind

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  • Obsidian

    February 5, 2021 Comments (0) Field Craft

    Obsidian is a type of volcanic glass that is formed when lava with high a silicon content is rapidly cooled, usually by contact with water. Obsidian is usually black or dark grey in appearance but can take on other colors due to the presence of trace mineral impurities. The lack of a traditional crystalline structure

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  • The Snowy Owl

    January 15, 2021 Comments (0) Fauna

    The Snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus) is the largest bird species in the Arctic, with an average wingspan of 67 inches and a weight of about 3.3 pounds. Females are slightly larger and heavier than males.  This owl has the perfect camouflage for its wintery environment. The bird is covered with white feathers imprinted

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  • 5 Ways Animals Adapt to Winter

    December 10, 2020 Comments (0) Field Facts

    As the days get shorter and the nights grow longer, temperatures in the northern hemisphere begin to plummet. The colder weather triggers various adaptive survival mechanisms to allow animals and insects to survive one of the earth’s harshest seasons. Winter is coming.  With freezing and sub-freezing

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  • The California Gray Whale

    December 3, 2020 Comments (0) Fauna

    The California Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) also goes by a few different names such as Grey Whale, Gray Back Whale or Pacific Gray Whale. One part of their name comes from the gray appearance they obtain as barnacles and other hangers-on give a lighter mottled appearance to their darker skin. The second reason

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  • Prometheus Design Werx Fall/Winter Preview 2020

    November 6, 2020 Comments (1) Gear Reviews

    The ever popular Beast Hoodie has returned for 2020! This year’s version is thicker, denser, and heavier weight than 2019. We used a US-made Polartec ThermalPro Shearling Retro Pile Fleece. A distinct, technical mid-layer with an alpinist legacy. The Beast Hoodie is very breathable, helps regulates body

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  • The Mountain Lion

    October 22, 2020 Comments (0) Fauna

    The Mountain Lion (Puma concolor), also known as the cougar, puma, or panther, lives in the Western Hemisphere, ranging from the Canadian Yukon to the Argentine Andes. With an estimated population of 300,000 in North America, these big cats can be found from British Columbia to Texas. Small populations may also

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  • The Marine Otter

    September 3, 2020 Comments (1) Fauna

    The marine otter (Lontra felina) is a rare and extremely shy mammal found only along South America’s southwestern coast. With an estimated population of less than 1,000, the marine otter is one of two species in the weasel family that spends its time in the ocean. The marine otter lives on land and makes brief

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  • Bushcraft Trout

    August 20, 2020 Comments (0) Camp Kitchen

    Farm-to-table restaurants and known direct sourcing of food is all the rage in the restaurant scene right now. Go to a steakhouse and you’ll hear from your waiter where the cows graze. Go to a coffee shop and you’ll likely see photos of the fair-market coffee harvesters carrying coffee sacks on burros and working

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  • Col. Charles Young

    August 13, 2020 Comments (1) Field Facts

    Born into slavery, Charles Young became one of America’s top military leaders while facing nearly insurmountable social barriers. Young was the third African American West Point graduate, the first black military attaché, the highest-ranking black officer in the regular army, and the first black U.S. national

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  • Giant Kelp

    August 6, 2020 Comments (0) Flora

    Giant Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) is a form of brown algae and the largest of all kelp species. It is not a plant, but rather a complex form of single cells that work together sharing nutrients and performing specific tasks. It has three basic structures: at its base is the holdfast which anchors the kelp to …

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  • Zion National Park

    July 30, 2020 Comments (0) Field Facts

    Zion National Park, home to majestic red cliffs and breathtaking sandstone slot canyons,  is one of five national parks in Utah. Featuring a myriad of desert wildlife and stunning geological formations, Zion offers a landscape that soothes and challenges artists, climbers, canyoneers, hikers, and outdoor

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  • The Brush Mouse

    July 24, 2020 Comments (1) Fauna

    The brush mouse (Peromyscus boylii) is a long-tailed rodent found in the western United States, Canada, and Mexico. Since the mouse is nocturnal, most humans will never cross paths with this tiny mammal except when cleaning their droppings from tents, cabins, or campers.  Although adorable in their unique rodent

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  • The Yarrow

    July 9, 2020 Comments (2) Flora

    Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) should be renamed the Pharmacy of the Forest. For centuries, Native Americans, pioneers, and modern-day herbalists have been using this plant to fight infections, heal wounds, break fevers, and aid digestion.  Yarrow belongs to the genus Achillea named after the mythological figure

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  • The Raven

    June 25, 2020 Comments (2) Fauna

       “And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sittingOn the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;And my soul from out that shadow

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  • Slingshot 101

    June 18, 2020 Comments (4) Field Craft

    When I was a child, my father made me my first slingshot. It was underpowered by most standards since it was constructed of rubber bands linked together but to me it was awesome. I shot little pebbles with it in the backyard and it created a monster inside me. As years went on, this monster …

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  • The American Chestnut

    June 11, 2020 Comments (1) Flora

    The American chestnut (Castanea dentata) tree, which once blanketed the eastern United States for thousands of years, has become the star of an American botanical horror story. The American chestnut tree, which could reach heights of nearly 100 feet and grow trunks up to 10 feet in diameter, was treasured for its

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  • The Saga of Sir John Franklin pt. 2

    June 4, 2020 Comments (2) Field Facts

    From Baffin Island, Franklin headed west and made it to Beechey Island, about 475 nautical miles north of the Arctic Circle, before the pack ice forced the expedition to a halt.   That first winter, three crew members, Royal Marine Private William Braine, Able Seaman John Harkness, and Petty Officer John

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  • The Javelina

    May 28, 2020 Comments (1) Fauna

    The javelina (Tayassu tajacu), also known as a collared peccary, is a pig-like mammal found throughout the arid climates of the southwestern United States. Covered with coarse black hair peppered with gray and brown, the javelina sports a lighter colored band or collar, circling the shoulders.  Adult javelina

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  • The Saga of Sir John Franklin Pt. 1

    May 14, 2020 Comments (2) Field Facts

    Before setting out on his final polar expedition in 1845 and creating one of history’s more intriguing and enduring maritime mysteries, Sir John Franklin had served in three wars, surveyed Australia, and mapped unexplored areas of Canada’s Northwest Territories. Throughout his five-decade career in the

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  • The Prickly Pear Cactus

    May 7, 2020 Comments (5) Flora

    The Prickly Pear Cactus, known more formally as Opuntia is probably one of the most recognizable Cacti in the world. With dozens of variations it is originally from the Americas in what is now Central Mexico, but Opuntia has radiated out to arid and semi-arid regions all around the world. Said to be given to …

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  • Hoe Cakes

    April 30, 2020 Comments (1) Camp Kitchen

    All around the world different civilizations and cultures have developed ways to get necessary and filling carbohydrates by making bread while on the go and/or from minimum ingredients. Fry bread, tortillas, pita- some baked directly in the ashes of a campfire have kept people going for centuries.  Today’s Camp

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  • The Bighorn Sheep

    April 23, 2020 Comments (0) Fauna

    The bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) is one of three species of mountain sheep living in North America. Recognized by the male’s large, curving horns, the bighorn sheep is a legendary climber and resident of the continent’s western rocky terrain. The three living subspecies are the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep

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  • Three Rechargeable Lights For the Outdoors

    April 16, 2020 Comments (0) Gear Reviews

    It’s always great to have extra lights for area lighting and performing immediate tasks while outdoors. In the past options were limited and varying sized battery requirements were a hassle. Now with rechargeable lights you can get away for a long weekend and not have to carry a twenty pound bag of spares.

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  • The Wild Strawberry

    April 9, 2020 Comments (0) Flora

    Treasured for its sweet, delicate fruit, the wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) is a member of the rose family and is found throughout most of the U.S. and Canada. The wild strawberry prefers fertile loamy soils in dry locations and can be found throughout North America in meadows, roadsides, hillsides, and

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  • The Jackalope

    April 1, 2020 Comments (1) Fauna

    Jackalope (Lepus cornutus) is a medium to large lagomorph found only in small pockets of the Western United States, the largest populations being found near Douglas Wyoming and Groom Lake in Southern Nevada. Contrary to popular belief Jackalope are not the result of amorousness between an antelope and a jackrabbit,

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  • Isle Royale National Park

    March 19, 2020 Comments (0) Field Facts

    Rising from the depths of Lake Superior, Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park is one of America’s more remote and rugged parks. The 45-mile long island offers a mixture of adventure and solitude for kayakers, canoeists, backpackers, day hikers, SCUBA divers, and anglers.  Isle Royale was formed by the

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  • The birch Tree

    March 12, 2020 Comments (0) Flora

    The birch (Betulaceae) is a deciduous hardwood tree easily recognized by its distinguished thin bark, which peels away in layers like paper. The bark is usually white but can also be found in colors ranging from purple to salmon.  There are 15 species of birch in the colder regions of the United States, with

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  • 5 Examples of Teamwork in the Animal Kingdom

    February 27, 2020 Comments (0) Field Facts

    Humans (Homo sapiens) aren’t the only species who have found value in partnering with competing predators in the Canidae family. While early man and wolves formed hunting alliances which led to the rise of the domestic dog, other animals have also found value in developing symbiotic relationships with

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  • The Red-Tailed Hawk

    February 20, 2020 Comments (0) Fauna

    The red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is one of North America’s larger raptors, weighing in between two and four pounds with a wingspan up to 56 inches. This bird of prey with the distinctive rust-colored tail is found in just about every type of open habitat on the continent.  Chances are there is a Red-Tail

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  • The Monterey Cypress

    February 6, 2020 Comments (0) Flora

    The Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) is native to the Monterey Bay, California area, and has been cultivated throughout the western and southern United States. This cypress has high wind and aerosol salt tolerance, making it the perfect coastal tree.   The Monterey Cypress is found naturally in only two

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  • SureFire Minimus

    February 1, 2020 Comments (2) Gear Reviews

    I have owned almost a dozen headlamps in my time. One “walked off” after a nighttime rescue, all the rest failed in some way or another. I don’t think that will ever be a problem with the SureFire Minimus. Contructed from aircraft aluminum that has been hard anodized. That means it won’t crack

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  • The Polar Bear

    January 30, 2020 Comments (0) Fauna

    The Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus, which translates to maritime bear) is the apex predator of the Arctic. Spending most of its life on Arctic ocean sea ice, the Polar Bear is the only species of bear to be classified as a marine mammal.  Polar bears can be found in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Russia, and some

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  • Brewing Hot Beverages on the Trail

    Hot beverage on the trail

    January 23, 2020 Comments (2) Field Craft

    Whenever I’m out camping or hiking on a cool day, I always bring along a small selection of easy to make warm beverage packets and a small camp stove. Having a hot beverage available is great while taking a break on the trail and can be a real morale booster during unexpected changes in weather. …

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  • Pack Books

    January 9, 2020 Comments (1) Field Facts

    A pack book is a book to keep in your backpack or travel bag for any kind of journey. We consider a good paperback book an essential part of any packing list whether you are going for a short hike or a trip around the world. A pack book should be not too big and …

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  • The Caribou

    December 26, 2019 Comments (0) Fauna

    The caribou (Rangifer tarandus) is a large hoofed mammal belonging to the deer family. Depending on where you live, caribou and reindeer are the same animals. Caribou are native to North America while reindeer are native to Asia, Europe, and Santa’s home in the North Pole. There are, however, some reindeer in

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  • Mt. San Jacinto, an Island in the Sky

    December 19, 2019 Comments (1) Field Facts

    Rising over 10,000 feet in the air, the granite peak of Mt. San Jacinto stands in stark contrast to the Sonoran Desert below. High above in the subalpine, it is cool and green; covered in pines, cedars and in a blanket of snow. The desert below is 40 degrees hotter and sparsely dotted with creosote …

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  • 7 Easy Steps to Dress for Cold Weather

    December 5, 2019 Comments (1) Do's & Don'ts

    As winter sets in some of us take a break from our adventuring.  We retire to hearth and home.  Sit by the fire, make repairs to our adventure gear and plan for the spring and summer ahead-Some of us, the rest of us get out after it. Adventuring in cold weather can be a great …

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  • The Wild Turkey

    November 28, 2019 Comments (0) Fauna

    The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is often misaligned by city dwellers as a dumb bird, suitable only for the Thanksgiving table. Those of us who are closer in touch with our wild roots, however, know this large colorful thunder chicken as a crafty, wary, and magnificent creature of the forest. Weighing between

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  • Finding & Making Fire with Fatwood

    November 21, 2019 Comments (0) Field Craft

    In this article, we are going to discuss one of the oldest fire-starting sources that dates back into the 1500’s, perhaps even further. During its history fatwood was often used as a lamp or torch wick source due to its water-resistant properties. Also during this time period another use for fatwood was found when

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  • The Snow Plant

    November 14, 2019 Comments (3) Flora

    The Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea) is a strikingly red parasitic plant that can found in the conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada range in California, Oregon, and some isolated pockets in western Nevada. The plant’s scientific name, Sarcodes sanguinea, which is loosely translated as “the bloody flesh-like

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  • DRB Adventure Mobiles: 2019 Subaru Outback

    November 7, 2019 Comments (0) Adventure Mobiles

    Make: Subaru Model: Outback Year:  2019 Mileage: 9,200 How long have you had your adventure-mobile? 6 months. The Original Dadwagon was totaled and this is the Dadwagon 2.0 Owners’ name:  Greg Finke What do you do?  Work for the Department of the Navy Hobbies?  Coaching my

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  • The Western Diamondback

    October 30, 2019 Comments (0) Fauna

    If you believe what you see in the movies, rattlesnakes have nothing better to do all day except to wait for humans to walk by and inject them with venom. The western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox), however, usually has better things to do. Some of its favorite activities are regulating its body temperature

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  • A 360 ° Adventure

    October 25, 2019 Comments (1) Field Facts

    When I was kid living in small towns in and around the mountains of the East Coast, I remember marveling at the tall fire watch lookouts we’d come across on our family hikes through the region. To my young self these were the guard towers for the brave, solitary sentinels who watched over our forests, …

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  • The Orb Weaver Spider

    October 3, 2019 Comments (0) Fauna

    If you have even the remotest hint of arachnophobia, don’t visit Nevada’s Walker Lake in August during the blue damselfly hatch. For decades, this desert oasis has become party central for the orb weaver spider family reunion. Hundreds of thousands of these silk-spinning masters set up their large circular webs on

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  • Fly-Out Salmon Fishing in Alaska

    September 26, 2019 Comments (0) Field Facts

    Foreword: In 2016, I had the chance to see Alaska for the first time and also check off “take a flight in a float plane” on my bucket list with a trip over the North Slope of the Brooks Range. Ever since that trip, I’ve longed to go back to the land of the endless …

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