The lighter your pack, the faster you’ll hike and the more ground you’ll cover. Learn which ultra-light gear essentials to bring on light and fast days to keep your load light without leaving behind essential food, clothing or first-aid items.

The 5 Habits of Highly Successful Thru-Hikers

Out of every 100 people who attempt to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, 73 will give up. Beat the odds—and save your budget—by following these rules from a gear shop owner who sees thousands of hikers every season.