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Getting into backpacking or camping for the first time? Looking to up your outdoor game? Check out our tips and how-tos on everything from building a fire to the correct way to sleep in a hammock.

Woman on top of Guadalupe Peak National Park.

Solo Backpacking: How to Safely Hike Alone (as a Woman or Otherwise)

Think you might want to go on a solo backpacking trip? We highly recommend it! It offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the outdoors at your own pace, listen to the sounds of nature, make new trail friends, and enjoy some quiet time with just you and your thoughts. I’m a big fan. But not everyone feels comfortable hiking or backpacking alone, especially women. But it’s not just women who are often afraid to embark upon a solo hiking adventure: people of color and LGBTQIA+ folks, even men from time to time, often feel uneasy on their own in the outdoors, too. Fortunately, there are ways to assuage that fear and go boldly into the backcountry with no company but your own. Here are a few tips on how to safely hike alone.

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Hiker on a snowy trail headed toward mountains in Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Backpacking 101: How to Pack a Backpack

Planning your first backpacking trip? I bet you’re stoked. You should be. Backpacking is the best. But chances are, you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the gear lists and packing tips and you may be worried about forgetting something… But don’t worry. That’s what we’re here for: To help you prep and pack a backpack for your first backpacking trip like a pro. From what to bring to what NOT to bring, what to put where and how to carry it all more comfortably, this post will have you feeling more confident and ready to hit the trail in no time!

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Backpackers on a hiking trail.

Backpacker Dictionary: 19 Popular Hiking Terms You Need to Know

Avid outdoorists are often guilty of getting so immersed in the culture of outdoor recreation that we throw around technical and highly specialized terms as if the whole world uses them in casual conversation. Usually, they don’t. Sorry about that. So we thought we’d throw together a quick backpacking dictionary full of commonly used hiking terms so if you’re new to the whole trail slang thang, you can nod knowingly when someone talks about getting beta for their thru-hike where they might have to do some bushwhacking and hope they don’t have to call SAR if they lose sight of the cairns. See what we mean? So read up and a carry on a hiking convo like a pro!

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Sprawled out in the UST House Part 4 Tent.

Choose the Best Camping Tent for You: Tips to Pick the Right Size Tent

Shopping for your first tent? Or maybe your first in a while? Chances are, you’re a bit overwhelmed by all the options out there. We get it. There are scores of brands making quality tents, and each one has a full lineup of different options, meaning there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of tents out there to choose from. So how do you pick? Well, what you pick is ultimately a cross-section of a whole bunch of different features and functions that are suited to your style of camping and outdoor adventures, but one of the most important to consider: size. We’ll help you figure out the best camping tent for you. Not too big or too small, but juuuuust right.

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A momma and baby moose in Glacier National Park.

Animal Encounters in the Outdoors! What to do When You Encounter Animals in the Wild

It’s one of the most common fears people cite when asked what they’re most afraid of when contemplating spending time outdoors: animals. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Well, mostly mountain lions, bears, and snakes, but you get the picture. That said, those aren’t the only animals you should be cautious around when out and about in wilderness areas (don’t forget about bison, moose and alligators)! So if you want a quick cheat-sheet for what to do when you encounter a wild animal on the trail, we’ve got you covered. Read on for how to respond to the 8 most common animal encounters you’re likely to experience in the wild.

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jumping for joy while backpacking

Ultralight Backpacking Tips – 5+ Tips for Packing Ultralight

Into backpacking? Thinking of giving it a go? (If so, you should check out our Backpacking 101 article here.) You may have heard the term “ultralight” tossed around from time to time. Not sure what it means? We’ll tell you. Essentially, it’s a form of backpacking that involves packing as light as humanly possible in an effort to go farther faster and with less pain and strain on your shoulders, feet and joints. It’s not for everybody (it does require giving up some creature comforts), but if you’re ready to give it a try, here are a few simple ultralight backpacking tips to get you started.

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Finding the perfect campsite often means one with great views. Like this sunset view at Inks Lake.

How to Find the Perfect Campsite (No matter Where you Roam)

We all want the perfect campsite every time we pitch our tent: an amazing view, a nice shade tree, safe surroundings, a secluded spot so you can poop in the woods without worrying whether anyone is going to wander past…But finding the perfect site is easier said than done. Fortunately, there are ways to locate just what you want (or need) no matter where you find yourself. So here are some tips for how to find the perfect campsite whether you’re headed deep in the backcountry or setting up at a nearby state park.

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