Welcome To Let's Move Schools Outside
Let's Move Schools Outside is your go to source for outdoor activity related information, guides and product reviews.
We strive to provide the most in-depth reviews and guides on tents, sleeping bags, lanterns, fishing lines, reels, rods, and so much more.
You’re getting real reviews and expert guides straight from the pros.
Let's Move Schools Outside get you moving and active!
Hi! My name is Matt and I started this blog to encourage EVERYONE to get outside. Growing up on 50 acres of woods, creeks and trails of Southwest Missouri taught me so many lessons and skills that I never learned in school. My goal was to condense my years of fishing at Stockton Lake, shooting targets on my family farm with friends, and camping the state parks with my fellow Eagle Scouts into helpful tips and product reviews for any level outdoorsman or woman.
If schools spent as much time outside as I did growing up, I feel like things could be much different in the world, so want to do my part to help those around me elevate their outdoor experiences. Have a question? Love one of our reviews? Shoot me a line at [email protected] and I'll get back to you ASAP!
For the Love of The Outdoors,
Matt P ~ Owner, Editor, Webmaster, Product Reviewer
Thinking of spending a night under the stars? Then you're going to a tent for stargazing. Let's face it, there is literally nothing better than being at one with nature.. and what better way of getting there than camping.
As a military man, I've literally used every type of tent. Lots of people ask me 'what's the best camping tent', but to be honest it really depends where you are going and who you are going with.
If you're going with wife and kids, then you'll probably want to look at family camping tents. If you have a big family, then you could look at tents for big families or even tents for a family of five (yup, there's literally a tent for every occasion).
While most family tents are pretty generic, there are some really specialized tents. For example, if you're pitching you tent on the Appalachian Trail, you're going to need something a little different compared to pitching a festival tent.
I always remember loving camping, even as a little boy. I was in the Boy Scouts (yes there are tents for Boy Scouts), and we would frequently camp on the shores of our local lake in Southwest Missouri. Even our epic cross-state bike trips were amazing! They taught me valuable outdoor skills. In fact that's where I first learnt to pick a bike touring tent.
As I grew older, we would take our tents camping on the beach. Back then, I remember money was always tight so we would always try and get our tents for under $100 - They were cheap, but boy did we have fun.
After I got married, I introduced my wife to the amazing world of camping - and she was instantly hooked. The same weekend she drove us to the store to buy a new 2 person backpacking tent. As soon as we had the twins we quickly upgraded to a 4 person camping tent.
I'm quite a bit older now, so while I don't get our camping as much as I used too, I still love having a social with the old guys from my unit. There's nothing more fun than pitching up a tailgate tent and shooting the talk for a few hours.
Once you have the right tent, there's another thing you need to consider - pairing it with the best sleeping bag. They aren't a 'one size fit's all' though - you'll need a sleeping bag for cold weather and also a summer sleeping bag. If you don't get this right you'll end up either freezing to death or being too warm to sleep.
If there's one accessory that I can't live without when camping, it's a hammock. I've used a ton of different ones over the years, so am pretty qualified to tell you the best camping hammock. My wife also loves them too - so naturally we had to get a hammock for two. One thing to keep in mind when using a hammock (and depending where you have pitched up), is that mosquito's can still bite you while you're enjoying the peace. There's nothing worse. If your planning on camping near any water, then it maybe best to pick up a camping hammock with a mosquito net.
Once you have your tent, sleeping bag and hammock sorted, there aren't many more basic items you need. A good camping stove is a must. If you want to cook up a great meal then you're probably going to also need some lighting. A good camping lantern comes in handy. There are a few different types of lantern - the 3 main ones being rechargeable camping lanterns, solar camping lanterns and battery powered lanterns. It's best to pick the one best suited to where you'll be spending most of your time camping.
I LOVE fishing. I grew up right off a large man made lake, and the crappie were ALWAYS biting - fishing proved the perfect activity. There are 4 main things you need for a good fishing trip: Rod, reel, line and lures. Let's tackle (get it) each of these separately.
Rods - Without a rod you aren't going fishing. But as with most things in life, there are different rods for different uses. For example, if you're fishing at the beach, then you'll probably want a Surf fishing rod. These are totally different than the best spinning rod for trout- we've got you covered no matter what you are hooking.
Need a full list of our favorite rods? We've went through our favorites.
There are differences in price too - telescopic fishing rods tent to be cheaper than crankbait rods for example. You'll probably pay a premium for an ultra light fishing rod, but sometimes if you're river fishing (maybe for trout) then it's worth paying the extra for a great lightweight rod for trout fishing.
Reels - Similar to rods, there are different reels for different types of fishing. Top spinning reels can be expensive in comparison to baitcasting reels for example. You can actually get a decent baitcasting reel under $100 if you shop around.
One type of fishing I've never quite mastered is fly fishing. There are even reels for that too - we have a guide all about the best fly fishing reels.
Lines - Ok so you now have a great rod and reel, but what are you going to use for your line? Not thought about it much? Well you probably should. There are a ton of different types of line - everything from fishing line for bass spinning reel, ice fishing line, fluorocarbon line and braided fishing line. You can pair these lines with lures such as weedless lures or topwater frog lures.
When I'm not camping or fishing, then I love being on the water. Some times I like to combine them - there's no better feeling than sitting on top of a fishing kayak, reeling in a big one. If you want to do river fishing in a kayak, then don't forget you'll need a solid life jacket. We actually have an article that covers the best life jacket for kayaking.
Kayaks can be expensive, especially as you work your way up to professional grade - however a good beginner kayak is pretty cheap. You should always try and get the best kayak for the money, but sometimes you will need to pay a little extra for something specialized - something like a good fishing kayak for example.
If you fancy a challenge then you could always try a stand up fishing kayak - I've tried them and I wouldn't recommend them for rough waters - but are great on lakes. If you're looking for something challenging, but not quite as adventurous then you could try a sit on top kayak - it's exactly as it sounds.
Once you have decided on the type of kayak(s) you want, you need to decide what kind of cool kayak accessories you need. My personal favorites are a good soft kayak seat, a nice dry bag, a kayak downrigger and a kayak GPS.
While not strictly kayak related, most people who have a kayak also have a boat - so keeping on top of marine battery charging is important. Picking the best dual purpose marine battery or the best marine battery for tolling motors can mean the different between a great day kayaking or not even getting out on the water.