The trail is for everyone, even—especially—those of us who always got picked last in gym class.
Beginner hikers often overpack and overprepare. But as Maggie Slepian learned the hard way, experienced hikers have their own special way of messing up.
You've learned the basics and know enough to keep yourself safe. Want to take the next step toward honing your backcountry skills? Maggie Slepian explains why hitting the trail alone is the way to do it.
Some backpackers are just dedicated soloists. But as our writer discovered on her first big group trip, sometimes there's magic to hitting the trail with some new friends.
When a massive flood wrecked the Yellowstone area—and derailed her backpacking plans—Maggie Slepian had to contend with the ways the changing climate is already affecting hiking's most storied spaces.
Hiking a long trail is a challenge no matter who you are. But not everyone is equally able to make the compromises it requires.
Gear keeps getting lighter and better—but there are some products we refuse to give up. Three hikers explain why.
Winter backpacking requires an entirely different strategy than hiking in the summer. Get ready for it with these five expert picks, including a tent, a stove, a sleeping bag, and more.
Through two breakups, career changes, and more, the Beaten Path has been a welcome constant—and a yardstick for just how much everything else has shifted.
Take a long hike, and you’ll find yourself falling in with people decades older and younger than you. There’s good reason for that.
Stay found, shaded, and hydrated with this hot-weather kit.
These products will keep you protected and prepared on high-alpine treks.
Featherweight gear takes a lot of the pain out of carrying a load. But when it breaks in the middle of a long hike, it puts that pain right back in again.
Stay comfortable amid the sun and sand with these products.
Some hikers prepare for years to thru-hike the AT. Others do it on a whim.
With information about “secret” trails and campsites all over the internet, finding a balance between conserving the wilderness and welcoming people to it has never been more important—or more challenging.
Seven products that will help keep you and your gear dry
The OCT might not have the wilderness solitude of other long trails. But lean into its unique charm and you'll find a thru-hike experience unlike any other.
Jobs, trips, moves: Every time I tried to hit the trail with my dad, life got in the way. Then something happened that made me realize just how much time I had wasted.
Is lighter really always better?
For almost a decade, I avoided camping alone. Now, I wish I had tried it sooner.
I grew up hiking in the White Mountains. But I never fully appreciated them until I moved away.
Backpackers have a habit of glorifying the big adventures. But the little ones can be just as sweet.
Hiking isn’t all gorgeous sunsets and glowing campfires, but you wouldn’t know that from looking at Instagram. And for people just getting into backpacking, that matters.