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Skills

Plan the Perfect Trip

Smart ways to foolproof your next hike.

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.

Research your route

Check guidebooks and websites for trail info and closure updates, then gather fresh intelligence by posting your itinerary with groups such as whiteblaze.net, adkforum.com, and forums.backpacker.com.

Learn the ropes

If you’re new to hiking, visit backpacker.com/backpacking101 for expert tips.

Get in gear

Check stoves, filters, and other equipment, break in boots, and ramp up your trail mileage 3 to 6 months before any big trip.

Nail the details

Can you buy fuel nearby? Which campsites are least crowded? Do you need a 4WD vehicle if it rains? Query local gear shops and park rangers to avoid logistical headaches.