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Backpacking Skills for Beginners

Ready to take the leap from car camping and dayhikes to backpacking? Adhere to a few rules that make backpacking for beginners a smooth transition. Understand that in the backcountry, nature rules and will occasionally throw curveballs at you. Avoid backpacking alone for your first few trips and choose a destination not far from home. A short trip on a well-established trail is also a good option for beginners. Become familiar with your chosen backpacking trail beforehand and plan out how long you anticipate it will take you to complete the trek. A call to the ranger station can give insight into several things such as trail difficulty, current conditions, and/or gear needed to complete the trip successfully. Enjoy our articles and tips written specifically for the new backpacker.

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Beginner Skills

The Worst Hiking Partner Behaviors

By: Shey Kiester

Hiking with others can be a blast—as long as your partner isn't making one of these egregious gaffes, that is. Here's a taxonomy of the worst backcountry offenders.

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Beginner Skills Destinations Stories Skills

First Night Out

By: Sarah L. Stewart and Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

We've gathered top skills for new backpackers and a dozen unforgettable—yet beginner-friendly—trails. What they say is true: You'll never forget your first time.

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