Enjoy an easy-to-make spin on a classic campfire treat—no kindling necessary.
This vegetarian campfire dessert comes together with two convenience-store ingredients.
Have you seen the viral video of this near-miss? Here's how to survive if you find yourself caught by rockfall, too.
A long spoon, two ultralight staples, and a pair of gloves from Home Depot: Here's the gear we used to inaugurate autumn.
A bizarre rescue in Michigan has eerie similarities to a 2022 incident in Washington State
Psychology plays a large role in survival. Here's how to leverage it to your advantage.
This month, nonprofit The Conservation Fund announced it had acquired 300 acres of land on Colorado’s popular Mt. Democrat, permanently opening it to hikers after a series of closures. But the future of its neighboring mountains is anything but certain.
To celebrate National Public Lands Day this month, the Secretary of the Interior reminds readers why stepping up for public lands has to be a priority.
Nick Fowler averaged 50-mile days through unfavorable conditions in an already complicated year for PCT thru-hikers.
She was tormented by homophobia—her own, and society’s. Then she took a fateful step at the top of a cascade in the Smokies.
"When you have a very fat 400-pound bear, it will take it ages to starve to death. That’s a horrific way to die, decaying from the inside out."
Our Pacific Crest Trail correspondent has finally reached the northern terminus. Here are his final thoughts from his time on the trail.
Late season snow damaged trails and delayed start to the season, pushing hikers into hotter summer conditions
Find adventure out your own back door. Here are 10 urban hiking trails—each under 2 miles—worth exploring.
In July, Colorado’s popular Decalibron Loop, a 7.5-mile trail that crosses private property to tag multiple Fourteeners, reopened to hikers after a months-long closure over liability concerns. Last week, someone got their pickup truck stuck on it.
Usually, viewers on Explore.org's Katmai National Park live streams expect to see giant grizzlies and wide-open natural views. But on September 5, a wet and cold-looking hiker walked up to the camera and appeared to mouth "help."
The budget ultralight brand's shelters beat their competitors on price—but what about performance? We tested the Lanshan 2 Pro to see how it stacks up.
Authorities used DNA analysis and "other characteristics" to identify the bruin after the incident.
Heavy precipitation left some of the park’s key roads in tatters.
While heavy snow and closures forced most PCT hikers to flip-flop this year, a small, dedicated group is still trying for a continuous, end-to-end hike as the season hits its final stretch.
On a winter thru-hike of the Ozark Highlands Trail, Jeff Garmire contended with snowstorms, swam a river, and bushwhacked paths overgrown with bramble—and discovered the rugged heart of one of America’s lesser-known long trails.
Social media and hiking can mix—as long as you're intentional about your usage.
Footage from the 2015 earthquake on Mt. Everest, the deadliest disaster its history, and what to do if you get caught in an avalanche, too.
All newcomers to the outdoors make mistakes. But if you need to be told “don’t sprint full speed at a mother bear,” we’re sorry, but you are beyond help.
Last year, Yosemite hosted 3.7 million visitors, with 75 percent between May and October. Don't fight crowds when you can have the same views minutes away.
From a bulletproof pair of rain pants to a sunscreen stick that helped us stay scorch-free, this was the gear we depended on in summer's final stretch.
Despite record snowpack and extreme heat, the ultrarunning dentist shaved over five days off the previous record.
It doesn't matter if you're hypermobile or move within the normal range of motion. After these exercises, everyone will feel more stable in their body.
Heavy rainfall led to flash flooding in Bryce Canyon National Park and a canyon northeast of Moab, with disastrous consequences for hikers.
Use this series of squats, leg bridges, planks, and calf raises to keep track of your training and you'll have trail-proof full-body strength in no time.
Our national forests are brilliant, underappreciated, and uncrowded compared to most national parks. Here’s the intel on where to hike in these stunning landscapes.
Making your own camp stove out of a cat food or soda can used to be a rite of passage for backpackers. But with canister stoves getting lighter and cheaper—and fire bans getting more and more common—one Backpacker editor argues their time has come. (Plus: Another editor dissents.)
As the remnants of Hilary moved inland, floods trapped visitors and boosted flood risk across the southwestern US.
These smokeless fire pits let you light a blaze without wallowing in smoke—and right now, they're on sale for 33% off or more.
Wildlife officials blame Hank the Tank and her three cubs for dozens of burglaries. Now, with her death sentence commuted, she'll spend the rest of her days in a Colorado wildlife refuge.
Girard Ridge and its surrounding terrain will become part of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
Only a lucky few can win the permit lottery, but anyone can hike these alternate trails that give you a similar experience.
In 2020, Danae “Queen Bee” and Olen “Spreadsheet” Netteburg set out with their four kids on the Appalachian Trail. Three years (and one more baby) later, they’re about to complete the Triple Crown.
On England's 102-mile Cotswold Way, a hiker sets herself up to fail—and ends up surprised by how things turn out.
They don’t necessarily save energy, but a new study suggests they might save your legs
When a court struck down the public’s right to wild camp in Dartmoor National Park in January, hikers lost the only place in England where they could dispersed camp without getting the owner’s permission first. Now, an appeals court has given it back to them.
Robert “Steady Eddie” Kerker appears to have gotten caught in a swollen waterway during the historic floods that hit Vermont in July
On a guided walk, this group got a very-up-close glimpse of a brown bear as it raced toward them. Here's what to do if this happens to you.
A $3 secret weapon from the grocery store, a tasty drink mix, and a free app are all on our list this month.
Mud-choked paths, damaged bridges, and trail communities cleaning up from some of the worst flooding in Vermont history have AT hikers wondering if they should skip the state for now.
And while we're at it, stop saying these other phrases to me on the trail.
Knowing how to summon help isn't as flashy as being able to start a fire with a bow drill or forage for food. But it's a lot more likely to help you get home safely.
Matteo Volpi hopes his packs will bring thru-hiking culture south of the border.
Wildlife officers are looking for the bear and cub involved after a hiker found the victim’s body in a popular hiking and off-roading area.
The heat was so extreme that a rescue helicopter couldn’t even fly to the site of the incident.
More and more long-distance hikers are having to get creative when fires, floods, or heavy snowpack shuts down their trail. What should you do when you can’t keep going?
Chips, candy bars, ramen bombs: A lot of what thru-hikers eat on the trail is far from good for you. But some nutrition-minded backpackers are trying to buck the trend.
In a viral PSA, Yosemite National Park urged hikers to knock over rock cairns. Days later, staff at Canyonlands and Arches asked hikers not to. What's a backpacker to do?
One of the most popular mountains on the Appalachian Trail closed to overnight visits after visitors trashed it in 2020. Now, those temporary restrictions are starting to look permanent.
The Idaho Centennial Trail is a long trail experience that takes hikers through some of the most remote, beautiful terrain in the lower 48. But years of deferred maintenance mean that it’s in danger of vanishing into the wilderness.
Live electric wires and bridge damage are among the hazards that trail crews have found so far—but it’s not all bad news.
Havasu Falls' beauty has made them a staple of FOMO-inducing Instagram pics. But in an instant, they can turn into a dangerous deluge.
Visits to one popular Colorado fourteener have declined by more than half since 2020.
Authorities are trying to determine what caused the deaths of three "mummified" people found in a remote campsite near Gunnison this week.
Our Gen Z editor had a secret: She had never seen Grizzly Man. We recruited bear biologist and podcast host Wesley Larson to watch it with her and recorded their reactions.
With the Sierra’s record snowpack beginning to melt, swarms of the biting insects are coming out en masse. For hikers, that could be a nuisance.
Most of this year’s PCT class is skipping the snowbound Sierra and planning to come back later when conditions improve. But a small, hardy group of adventurers are pushing straight through.
America's oldest national park is only getting more popular—but hiring staffers and keeping them on the payroll has been difficult.
Escape the National Park Crowds and Hit These 6 Trails Near ‘The Sunniest City in California’ Instead
If hot weather, hydrothermal pools, and alpine hideaways are your vibe, you’ll love hiking near Redding, California.
The Outdoor Industry Association’s annual outdoor participation survey found the United States added 881,000 new hikers in 2022—and that the outdoors are becoming more diverse.
Our favorite products of June included a versatile sun hoody, a long-handled spork, and a summer-ready hydration mix.
The good news: Glacier Point Road will reopen again to backpackers and other visitors again starting July 1.
Sands, 65, never returned from a hike on Southern California’s Mount Baldy in January
Fine-tune your muscle imbalances with this workout finisher series from physical therapist assistant and personal trainer Lee Welton.
With its warm temperatures and long days, summer is the perfect season for backpackers to try going ultralight. Here’s how to make your pack lighter now without spending a fortune on new gear.
Rangers are urging hikers to follow safety rules after an unleashed dog “provoked” a black bear into fatally attacking a hiker’s leashed dog.
Our ethics columnist addresses a common hiker dilemma.
Park officials say requiring visitors to make reservations for Mount Rainier National Park would help cut down on crowding and protect natural resources—but one major hiking organization opposes the change.
Extremely high water levels in Maine have shut down the famous Kennebec River canoe shuttle—and almost ended one section hiker’s trip permanently.
No matter what your favorite grizzled YouTuber tells you, survival isn’t about learning to track animals or spear fish with a stick. In this new column, former Air Force survival instructor Jessie Krebs explains what hikers actually need to know to return from the backcountry alive.
These vanilla almond, strawberry, and mocha cocoa peanut butter smoothies are a tasty, lightweight option for breakfast on the trail—and making them is dead easy.
An end-to-end trek of the AT takes a lot of time—but anyone with a free weekend or a few vacation days can experience the highlights. We asked longtime thru-hiker Liz “Snorkel” Thomas to pick her favorites hikes on the Appalachian Trail.
Students in the Semester-A-Trail program at Emory and Henry College will spend their spring and summer semesters hiking part or all of the Appalachian Trail—with gear, support, and an on-trail budget included in tuition.
These easy-to-prepare camping desserts are well worth the extra ounces in your pack.
In a typical June, a little less than an inch and a half of snow falls on Mt. Washington. This year, the peak has seen more than six times that much—and there are still two weeks to go.
Over 7,000 miles on trail, our hiking columnist has tried coffee and caffeine in most every form imaginable. But the humblest one of all taught him something about himself.
What are the best hikes on the PCT that you can do in a weekend? We asked triple crowner and Backpacker thru-hiking columnist Liz “Snorkel Thomas.
Since its peak in the early 20th century, the Salton Sea has suffered from increasing salinity, fish die-offs, and general neglect. But on a pair of kayak camping trips, one paddler found surprising beauty there
A heavy pack and poor posture while hiking can lead to a creaky neck, but you don't have to suffer through it.
The answer isn’t as obvious as it was five years ago
As record snows in the Sierra force more and more Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers to flip-flop, trail angels are stepping up to make sure they get where they need to go—including a hiker-pilot who's flying them there.
Hike, splash, paddle and stargaze your way to warm-weather bliss on these trips.
If you’ve never forgotten an important piece of gear, you will someday. Here’s how to make do without your tent poles, sleeping pad, and more—and how to decide when it’s time to give up and go home.
With smoke choking much of the US, we sourced some expert tips for staying safe on the trail.
After a five year hiatus, thru-hiking legend Heather “Anish” Anderson just set another FKT, the 250-mile section of the Appalachian Trail that runs through Pennsylvania. In this essay, she explores how her relationship with the sport has evolved over the past decade since her ground-breaking Pacific Crest Trail record in 2013.
The Benton MacKaye Trail Starts at the AT's southern terminus and runs nearly 300 miles through the hills—and a bipartisan bill is set to name it our next National Scenic Trail.
While REI and some other retailers have rolled out non-gendered products and apparel lines, LGBTQ+ advocates and allies say they have a lot more to do.
From picaridin to herbal solutions, there's a wide variety of non-DEET repellents on the market. But which work, and which are just snake oil?
With high snow levels making travel on the PCT unusually difficult, many Americans have canceled or postponed their thru-hikes. Not so for the trail's global hikers, who have mostly stuck it out.
Our hiking columnist went to the AT’s legendary Trail Days this year with one mission—to figure out what hikers were and weren’t putting on their feet
Dubbed "Doo Colorado Right," the state is hoping its new campaign will deter people from leaving human waste where other hikers end up stepping in it.
Crucial Bridge Closures in the Sierra Could Force Pacific Crest and John Muir Thru-Hikers Off the Trail
With the Woods Creek and San Joaquin bridges out and creeks running too high to safely ford, hikers don't have many good options.
Incredibly, it's not the first time that a baby bison has been euthanized in the park after a visitor tried to "save" it.
Make sure you never get lost again by mastering the underappreciated art of navigating with a compass and map.
This weekend's deaths mark the second double fatality in Buckskin Gulch this spring, and follow a string of rescues caused by wet conditions and flooding.
Got a few days off, a pair of healthy feet, and a pain threshold higher than Dean Karnazes? You can (possibly) blaze the length of America's Most Beautiful Trail
Several well-known ultralight brands are slashing prices for the Small Business Sales Week event—but it ends tomorrow, so you’ll have to hurry.
Despite the NPS’s best efforts, Yellowstone National Park continues to be the world capital of people getting too close to wild animals.
Road damage, projected flooding, delayed openings: here’s how the big winter will affect national parks this summer
Yes: You can make pancakes on literally any stove, including a Jetboil. And you don't need a frying pan to do it, either—just a mug and this trick.
After a snow-delayed start to the season, the North Rim will finally open next week, but services will be limited.
A group of young hikers who went missing near Ojai managed to call for help with Apple's Emergency SOS, which the company introduced with the iPhone 14 last year.
If your hands and fingers swell up while hiking, don't worry. This common hiking ailment has several potential causes and easy fixes.
Outdoor officials in New Hampshire are warning hikers to bring traction devices after one person required rescue for a leg injury over the weekend.
Two Years After Burning Down, the Pacific Crest Trail’s Favorite Little Shop Is Back and Better Than Ever
Montezuma Valley Market was a beloved stop for PCT hikers until a blaze—and a dreadful diagnosis—threw it into limbo.
From painfully obvious to just plain painful, these outdoor movies are worth a watch.
Once again, food-seeking bears have forced the closure of part of the AT to overnight stays.
Roughly 84% of visitors at one popular national park are in favor of its new reservation system—and it could be a sign of things to come.
A heat signature in a dense forest led to the discovery of Matthew Read, who went missing in the park over the weekend.
Two humongous male grizzly bears square off in one of the craziest, most mesmerizing battles caught on video
From dense, moss-draped rainforest to misty, cliff-guarded beaches, the Oregon Coast Trail is 425 miles of pure Pacific beauty with a complicated story behind it.
Marta Renee Bowen had disappeared from her campsite in Connecticut, leaving behind her gear and cell phone.
You only have a few weeks left until summer arrives. Better make them count.
Reap all the physical and mental advantages of mindfulness without ever setting foot inside a class.
Gear companies are constantly upgrading their products and pulling old ones off the market. But there are some advantages to being a few seasons behind.
With heavy snow making mountain travel more difficult and hazardous than usual, a growing number of hikers are taking a less traditional approach to the PCT.
Wildlife officers have been unable to locate the mountain lion so far, and are urging hikers in the area to use caution.
Overflowing rivers will close most of Yosemite Valley through at least Wednesday—and the park says more floods could be on the way as California's historic snowpack melts.
Dreaming of a long, long walk up the spine of the West Coast with a few good friends? Here's what you need to know.
Some hikers cowboy camp or dehydrate their toothpaste to save weight. But for Luna Soley, a book is always worth a few extra ounces.
Two individuals are facing criminal charges after sheriff’s deputies say they caught the duo traveling the AT with more than 14 pounds of marijuana, magic mushrooms, and LSD.
Think carrot sticks are just for school lunches? Then you clearly haven't enjoyed the crunch of fresh veggies on the trail—a luxurious, healthy backwoods snack.
The National Park Service Is One of the Worst Places to Work in the Federal Government, a New Survey Suggests
In a survey measuring employee satisfaction across government workers, NPS staff ranked in the bottom 15%.
Comparing two titans of featherweight design
Thru-hiker Carl "Professor" Stanfield had a big goal: Break the record for most miles ever walked in a single year. Here's what he packed.
A rainy trip doesn’t need to be a miserable trip.
A group of hikers in England got so ill from taking mushrooms that a search and rescue team had to retrieve them. And they're not the first psychedelic enthusiasts to have a trip go wrong on the trail.
There’s no faster way to ruin your first big trip than by wearing shoes or boot that aren't up to the task. We break down what beginners need to know about buying their first pair of trail shoes.
You’re getting ready to hit the trail but you don’t want to spend a year’s salary on gear. Fear not: It’s possible to find a gear system that’s both high-performance and affordable.
You already know packing more stuff isn’t always better. These tasty, three-ingredient, simple backpacking recipes apply that same philosophy to your menu.
It weighs nothing, saves you time and fuel, and lets you enjoy a piping hot meal instead of a lukewarm one.
It’s not just fashion that has changed since the 1970s.
Heavy snow and trail damage have delayed the opening of the Grand Canyon's North Rim until June 2, effectively canceling the spring rim-to-rim season and blocking Arizona Trail thru-hikers from reaching their destination.
Hike farther, faster, and pain-free with these training tips and exercise.
Food trends and tastes have changed over the last 50 years—and backpacking fare is no exception.
It's been 50 years since we published the first issue of Backpacker. What will the backcountry look like in another half-century? Our editor speculates.
Backpacker’s 50 year history is rich with riveting storytelling. We tasked our editors with picking their all-time favorite stories.
Ultra-super-megalight gear and universal sat phones might be standard in 50 years—if the backpackers of the future even want them, that is.
All trails have changed quite a bit in the past 5 decades. Here are the trails that changed the most.
Want to improve your next trek, guaranteed? Master these key skills for hiking, climbing, and camping in comfort.
What Should the Future of the Pacific Northwest Trail Look Like? The Forest Service Wants to Hear From You.
The USFS is deciding on a new management plan for the 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest Trail, and it wants your input.
Your big adventures are right around the corner. Is your cardiovascular strength up to snuff?
50 Years Ago, I Witnessed the Aftermath of a Bear Attack. Here’s What Hikers Can Learn from It Today
In 1972, Michael Ober was a ranger in Glacier National Park when he came across a backpacker who had been mauled by a black bear. What he saw carries lessons for today's hikers.
This International Dark Sky Park has some of the best astral views in the country. Here's where to find them.
Our sunburn-prone editor stays protected in the Outdoor Research Echo sunhoody.
Think you need to head deep into the wild to have an outdoor adventure? Think again. Explore urban nature in these six cities, each home to outdoor community organizations, diverse history and culture, and wildlife.
You hate oatmeal? We don't blame you. It may be the easiest trail breakfast, but more often than not, it also ends up as a tasteless, textureless goop that hikers have to choke down. But suffer no more: These 10 trail-tested oat recipes are easy to make (just mix the ingredients in) and will satisfy even the pickiest eater.
A new crop of brands are creating specialized ultralight gear for hunters—and they’re making inroads with backpackers too.
One of the world’s largest Joshua tree forests is now federally protected
Americans live in one of the most individualistic nations on Earth—and it can be one of the most isolating, too. Could hiking be a way for us to find our way back to community?
Jeffrey Johnson received two years probation, must pay restitution and fines, and will serve a two-year ban from the Buffalo National River.
Why is our editor so in love with the Guyot Designs Squishy Bowls? They're easy to pack, insulating, and—best of all—indestructible.
Heavy rains in the western U.S. caused a deluge that killed two hikers and forced the rescue of 10 others.
Vest-style straps can make frameless packs carry better than ever.
If a new bipartisan bill passes, the desert rock formations and forests of Chiricahua National Monument could become America's newest national park.
Our hiking columnist has spent more than a quarter of the past four years on trail. Every morning out there, without fail, he eats another perfect packet of Pop-Tarts.
Parts of California have received double their average snowfall this season—and that’s a big deal for anyone planning a thru-hike on the PCT.
Record-setting thru-hiker Jeff Garmire suffered for years before discovering he had exercise-induced asthma—but the struggle taught him a thing or two about sticking with it.
Local first responders oppose the bill, saying it might deter hikers from asking for help.
After state legislators voted down a bill that would have blocked hikers from suing private landowners over injuries, the owner of two of Colorado’s most popular summits says he’ll close the trail to the top.
A double dose of chocolate and spice will keep your taste buds hopping this winter.
National park visitation continued its overall climb toward pre-pandemic levels in 2022, but not every park saw visitor numbers increase.
Hikers love to share their opinions. That doesn’t mean it’s always useful.
Don't let your own ambitions put you in danger: Knowing when to take a risk and when to run away is an essential skill for every hiker.
With California in the midst of one of its snowiest winters on record, a local search and rescue group is urging early-season thru-hikers not to risk crossing the San Jacinto Mountains.
Elizabeth Banks’s new film is the latest in a long line of films to turn bears into deeply inaccurate movie monsters. But that’s kind of the point.
The daffodil flats of Linville Gorge are beautiful—but hikers trying to reach them are getting lost and injured on the rugged trails there, local search and rescue groups say.
Olivia Mendoza was sure she wasn't the only one who wanted lasting, adventurous friendships during Covid-19. So she created a forum for it.
An extremely fancy jacket, a free app, and a rock-solid waterproof box make the list of our editors' favorite gear this month.
For one hiker, the secret to recovering from a chronic overuse injury was falling in love with hiking in the muck.
Think you can’t get bitten by a tick in the winter? As one surprise discovery this month shows, they’re waking up—and biting—earlier and earlier.
Does your back feel beaten-up after a long day toting a pack? These simple tactics from trainer and guide Jason Antin can help fight the pain.
Nearly 50 years after a rancher abandoned a herd of cattle in the Gila National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service will attempt to "lethally remove" the animals' descendants.
Caught between a goat and a hard place? Don't move.
Learn how to battle the aches and pains of hiking with an expert's tips for staying healthy.
One-way hiking means never seeing the same spot twice, but you need to have your car shuttle logistics dialed. Follow these 10 tips to shuttle like a pro.
There's a lot of outdoor misinformation out there, and we're on a quest to quash it.
Philip Powers argued that the wildfire he set in 2018 was necessary to save his life. But a court found that he was so unprepared, he created his own emergency.
Backpacker's editors and testers have best testing the best gear on the market for decades—and these are our all-time faves.
No one likes having to jump through a bunch of hoops just to hike a popular trail or visit a national park. But with more and more areas reaching their carrying capacity, it’s time to consider our options.
Located off the coast of the Everglades, the Sandfly Island Loop is an intro to sea kayaking that even beginners can do.
The frameless Mustang Survival Highwater 22L is the best of frameless backpacks and drybags in one slick package.
They’re big, scaly, and have a massive set of jaws. But as long as they take a few easy precautions, hikers and kayakers can coexist peacefully with gators.
A new agreement between the federal government and the New Mexico State Land Office will make it easier for hikers to travel the southernmost section of the CDT.
From a gadget that’s a fork on one end and a spoon on the other to a titanium utensil that will survive the apocalypse, there are dozens of different sporks on the market. But which is the best?
Explore mossy gorge trails, ancient sandstone caves, and morel-filled forests in this unexpected hiking paradise.
A double helicopter rescue on Telescope Peak and a lost hiker on Wildrose illustrate that winter can be as hazardous as summer in this legendarily broiling park.
Nothing says “I love you” like charcuterie and mountain views.
Pushing your limits will yield more views, better fitness, confidence, and, perhaps, perspective.
Getting lost on the trail after dark is a nuisance. As two dayhikers in Big Sur discovered this month, doing it without a headlamp can become an emergency.
During 2019’s superbloom, visitors to Walker Canyon near Lake Elsinore behaved so badly that city officials decided to completely shut down hiking trails rather than risk a repeat.
Why even bag it if you’re not going to carry it out?
Data of Sasquatch sightings in a new preprint finds a strong correlation with bear population density
Just as cozy with remarkable technology? Consider me a convert.
Last January, Carl Stanfield set out to break the world record for the most miles ever hiked in a year. In failing, he found his temporary limit—and, he hopes, a renewed version of himself.
With record low temperatures, unbelievably strong winds, and unusual weather patterns likely to drop the stratosphere to the level of the summit, it's a bad weekend to climb Mt. Washington.