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.
Winter is a phenomenal time to get outdoors to explore. There are fewer people crowding trails, it’s quieter, the views are spectacular, and frankly, snow makes everything more magical. But if you don’t have the right gear, getting out to hike in snowy or icy conditions can seem scary. But it doesn’t have to! All you need are the right tools and gear to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground (literally). And that means hiking spikes. But if you’re wondering what kind of traction devices you need for winter hiking, we’ll break down the three main types, right here, right now.
The perfect headlamp is a thing of beauty: It should be bright, comfortable, not too heavy, and small enough to stash in your pocket or backpack for a quick trip. So we rounded up the best of the best. Here are our favorite ultralight headlamps; the 6 best headlamps for backpacking, climbing, late-night kayaking, you name it, all under 3 ounces.
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!
I know, I know. When we first learned that Counter Assault bear spray was more eco-friendly, we were all, whaaaat? Can bear spray even be NON environmentally friendly? So we dug in to learn more. Here’s what we found.
This is the Merrell Trail Glove 6: a (vegan) barefoot style shoe designed for use where the pavement ends. It’s a hiking shoe. It’s a trail running shoe. It’s an around town shoe. It’s whatever you want it to be! And we each tested out a pair to see how they stacked up to other trail shoes–barefoot or otherwise.
Always wanted to nail the downhill? In this guest post, Asen Stoyanchev from Gear Up Hiking explains how to hike downhill to protect those muscles and joints. Because you know what they say: what comes up must come down.
The best snacks for hiking aren’t always the best snacks for the planet. Take jerky, for example: a perennial hiker favorite, is made from animal protein and therefore extremely harmful to the environment. Other snacks, like trail mix, are packaged in wasteful single-serve bags. Even multi-serving hiking snacks are almost always sold in single-use plastic or foil-lined bags. So if you’re looking for more sustainable snacks to keep you fueled on the trail, check out these snacks in compostable packaging for more sustainable snacking.
Whether hiking, backpacking or traveling, water filtration and purification is important. But not all portable water filters do both. So we’re gonna compare three portable water purifiers and filters in …
Winter is coming. And yeah, that oft-quoted phrase carries extra negative connotations this year (thanks, COVID). But the one thing it’s always mean: it’s gonna get cold. Even down here in Texas where, I kid you not, the high today is 44º. (Don’t laugh! That’s cold for those of us who can’t run far enough south to escape cold weather!) And though winter means more people will likely be hiding indoors this season, that’s certainly not necessary. In fact, for quiet, secluded trails and lots of vacancies at campgrounds, winter is a great time to get outside and beat the crowds. But the key to keeping the cold at bay during outdoor activities this season: our outdoor guide to layering.