Blog > jtanner61

by JD Tanner

I would guess that many of us are familiar with the Devil’s Tower National Monument, one of the filming locations for 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, in northeast Wyoming? The volcanic neck tops out at 5,112 feet above sea level and juts up 865 feet from the ground with nothing but grasslands and pine forests surrounding it. Such an odd formation to be in this location that it is known as a sacred site to the Lakota and over twenty other tribes in the area. The tower is a popular destination for rock climbers and park tourists alike.

Blog > John Spalding
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Feb 06, 2013

Gear Guy: Night Reflective Gear

You’ve got to be seen to be safe—it’s a rule many of us who exercise outdoors at dawn or dusk don’t take seriously enough. Running in a white t-shirt at night, for instance, does not make you visible to drivers. If that sounds like an overstatement, just take 3M’s “No White at Night”  video challenge. Fortunately, there are plenty of reflective accessories and clothing on the market to help you stay safe on dark roads. Here’s some great, bright and shiny gear that stood out (so to speak) to me as I toured the floor at the recent Winter Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City.   

Blog > John Spalding
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May 22, 2012

This month, Gear Guy goes to the dogs.

Pup Life Jackets

K9 Float Coat

Although it depends on the dog, some breeds take to the water as instinctively as Michael Phelps. Newfoundlands, Labs, and poodles typically enjoy doggy paddling, as do Portugese Water Dogs, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and Irish Water Spaniels, as their names suggest. Other breeds, however, like Jack Russells and Shiba Inus, aren’t swimmers, and some don’t even like to get wet. But whether your pooch is an old sea dog or a landlubber, any dog can get distressed in the water, so if you’re planning to take Fido rafting, kayaking, boating, or paddleboarding, it’s a good idea to outfit him with a life jacket first.

Blog > Sara Baker

Alex Honnold makes the first ever solo link up of Yosemite's Triple Crown- Mt. Watkins, El Capitan, and Half Dome, climbing 95 percent free solo with few points of aid. He finished the solo triple in 18 hours 50 minutes. Honnold began his epic solo endeavor on Mt. Watkins at 4 PM on Tuesday of this week and finished up on top of Half Dome 10:45 AM the following day. Check out the video- precarious and amazing!...

What’s your favorite place to climb?

We asked this question of the climbers featured in Women Who Dare, a visually-stunning profile of twenty of America’s most inspiring female climbers, including legendary great Lynn Hill and current top-ranked female outdoor sport climber Sasha DiGiulian. Yosemite, Patagonia, Zion National Park, Hueco Tanks, Indian Creek, Rifle Mountain Park, the New, and the Red are places that the women mention again and again. They think nothing of driving from Washington, D.C., to Kentucky’s Red River Gorge for a weekend. Or of bouncing around from location to location, all while living out of their car, like Kate Rutherford. So these women, who seemingly have climbed everywhere, have their pick of the world’s best climbing locations… which ones are their favorites? Read on to find out:

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Jul 03, 2012

Today’s how-to: How to tie a figure 8 knot

When you’ll need this: This knot is useful for climbers as well as campers and boaters.

Why it’s important: The figure 8 knot is a fundamental knot. Despite its bulky appearance, it does not stop a rope from running through a slot. It unties easier than an overhand, so it works when a stopper needs to be tied and untied often. The figure 8 is the basis for many other knots and it’s a knot one needs to know. Modify it as a bend, loop, or hitch. The International Guild of Knot Tyers dubs it the best overall knot.

Just in time for the holidays!

FalconGuides is pleased to introduce the perfect gift for tech-savvy outdoor enthusiasts: a new line of interactive outdoor guides available at,, and in select REI stores this holiday season.

Readers get expert content optimized for the iPhone, iPad, and Web, with features that bridge the gap between apps and ebooks:

By J.D. Tanner and Emily Ressler

Ah, the cactus—one of the most interesting and beautiful plants in the desert. Don’t be fooled though, cacti are found in many places other than the Southwest. There are numerous species of cactus spread throughout the United States. We have encountered them on hikes in Missouri, Illinois, and North Dakota, to name a few places. None of the cacti we have encountered though are nearly as cuddly, cute, and dangerous as the semi-aptly named Teddy Bear Cactus.


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