Trip-planning tips, gear lists, safety advice, and other essential wisdom ever hiker should know. Maybe you’re ready to try backcountry camping after an inspiring visit to a national park. Maybe you want to introduce your kids to the great outdoors. Or maybe you’re a longtime hiker who just needs a refresher after too much time away from the trails. Whatever your goal, this guide to getting started as a backpacker will help you enjoy a lifetime of safe, scenic, and satisfying adventures. With more than 100 smart tips, it answers all the questions: what to eat, where to go, how to read a compass, and much more.
PLANNING – Take these 21 trail tips to heart, and you’re virtually guaranteed a good hike.
Backpacking Basics – Do the research, here’s how.
Pretrip Planning – Not sure where to go? Find a hike here.
Hikes – Packing lists for all conditions.
Gear Lists - When cooking in the backcountry, don’t leave home without…
Kitchen Kit - Don’t let a busted strap or a deflating tent ruin your trip.
Repair Kit - Be prepared for adversity with these pieces of gear.
Survival Kit - For your travel companion’s sake, pack what’s on this list.
Toilet Kit - For your travel companion’s sake, pack what’s on this list.
Personal Kit - A homemade ensemble of the most essential elements for pretty much any hike.
First Aid Kit - Become a bona fide pack rat with these essential tips.
Organize a Backpack
– We’ve made it easy to find great gear for great getaways.
Getting the Right Gear – No question, boots are a hiker’s most critical gear.
Boots - When dressing for a wilderness trip, you can’t take your apparel decisions lightly.
Clothing – When shopping for a new pack, do what any savvy home buyer would—analyze your situation, then prioritize your needs.
Packs – Carrying a tent is necessary insurance against crowded lean-tos, wild weather, and bugs.
Tents – Don’t be be caught without these essentials.
Accessories - A complete guide to buying gear that will keep you dry—no matter what.
Waterproof Your Wilderness World
– A nutritionist explains why hikers need protein.
Pack More Power – Easy ways to improve nutrition and flavor on the trail
Eating Well Winning entries from BACKPACKER Readers
Gorp Recipes – -Your guide to eating right on the trail.
The latest, greatest strategies for building strength, endurance, speed, and flexibility.
Hike Farther, Hike Stronger –
The sky’s the limit with a fitness plan andclimbing tips from world-class mountaineer Ed Viesturs. Climb Like Ed –
– 4 indoor workouts that’ll keep you outdoor-ready.
Get Trail-Fit Indoors – 30 days to a killer trail body.
Four Week Fitness Plan – Train for a long trip with these great endurance tips.
– Six simple tips for backcountry navigation Stay On Course
– If you only learn one navigation skill, this is the one that will unlock the wilderness.
Align Your Compass – How to raise your navigation skills from novice to master.
Compass in Action – Understanding topos: Part 1.
Map Contour Lines – Understanding topos: Part 2
Map Symbols and Colors - Trail tested advice for using and protecting paper topos.
Map Care – Smart (and stupid) responses to 18 sudden threats.
Act Fast – The author of Professor Hike The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Backpacking and Hiking, Jason Stevenson, answers all of your camping, hiking, cooking, training, you-name-it questions.
Become a GPS guru.
Using GPS –
– What you can do to thwart a panic attack in five common crisis situations.
The First 30 Seconds – When close won’t cut it, use these trail-tested tips to hit the mark..
Don’t Guess–Calculate -When a day hike turns into an overnight, learn how to take care of yourself.
Survive a Night Without Gear -Where campfires are allowed, it’s important to know how to build–and put out–flames properly.
Build A Never-Fail Campfire LEAVE NO TRACE
– Guidelines for leaving your campsite as pristine as you found it. Leave No Trace Principles
- 7 strategies for keeping the backcountry beautiful.
The Low-Impact Hiker
– Advice for preventing and treating this deadly condition Hypothermia 101
– Folk remedies only make the victim’s condition worse, know the facts
Snake Bite First-Aid – How to keep the rash at bay
Rash Poison Ivy Take care of a common ailment in four easy steps
How to Treat a Blister –
STAYING WARM AND DRY
– Tricks on how to stay dry and keep your gear dry Stay Dry Anywhere
– Eight easy ways to stay warm at night
BUGS, BEARS AND POISON IVY
– Tips for avioding bears, skunks, snakes, and ticks.
Escape From Unfriendly Natives Learn your black bears from your brown bears then figure out how to keep them away from your camp.
How to Keep Bears Away – Take a cue from the locals, who fight back on multiple fronts.
Thwart Mosquitoes – How to stop bears from robbing you blind. Hang a Bear Bag
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The Best Trails in America
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