Knowing how to read a topographic map is the foundation to any backcountry adventure. Through the use of contour lines, topo maps bring a 3-dimensional element to a 2-dimensional paper map. Visualize the rise and fall of the land, and “see” the depths of canyons, the location of boggy meadows, and the height and shape of a mountain. Learn how to read topo maps like a pro.
Lighten your backpack with these top tips from ultralight backpacker and gear reviewer Adventure Alan. Read more about how he uses the “free three” technique to reduce his pack weight without spending a dime on expensive gear. Plus, get a special offer from our friends at Hyperlite Mountain Gear.
If you’ve ever wondered why your pack felt so heavy, it might be time to re-examine what you’ve stuffed in it. In this deep dive, our in-house expert walks you through how to plan your multi-day backpacking trip from scratch. Review how to choose a location, understand the history of your destination, plan your route, manage hazards, and find resources for planning food and gear. Plus, get a detailed three-season gear list to help you pack.
Give a gift outdoor lovers will actually use — an experience. From travel, to education, to safety, our holiday gift guide rounds up the best COVID-friendly experience gifts for nature lovers and adventurers.
Take your adventure planning to the next level by learning to create routes like the pros. Join our Gaia GPS expert as he shows you step by step how to build a multi-day hiking route, save your plan, and share it with a friend for offline use.
Fidgit and Neon have spent the past five years traveling backpacking, biking, and paddling their way across South and Central America, Mexico, and the United States on a non-motorized tour. In this episode of the the Out and Back podcast, get the inside scoop on their trip, Her Odyssey. Learn how they dreamt up the trip, how to navigate foreign cultures, and tips for staying safe while backpacking abroad. They also share heart-warming stories about locals they’ve met along the way and how their contrasting personalities serve their expedition mission in unique ways.
Wilderness ranger Mary Cochenour conquered her fear of solo backpacking, only to discover she was not alone after all. She was being stalked! Tune into the Out and Back podcast to hear Mary recount this thrilling tale. Mary reveals how this sketchy incident inspired her to keep backpacking solo. And she shares insight on how and why to face your fears.
Dreaming up summer hiking and backpacking adventures? You can start getting ready for them right now, right from home. This week on Out and Back, personal trainer and founder of Backcountry Fitness Billy Gawron shares how you can get strong, fit, and mentally prepared to hit the backcountry. Minimal space, equipment, and time required.
Special Out and Back co-host The Real Hiking Viking joins Shanty to chat with hiking legend Zach “Badger” Davis. Badger shares how meditation and mental preparation helped him complete thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail despite having zero backpacking experience. He shares how that thru-hike changed his life, leading him to write Appalachian Trials and found The Trek. Plus, Viking and Badger share wild stories from their joint PCT thru-hike.
The best ultralight backcountry food can be made right in your kitchen with dried ingredients bought from the local grocery store. Tune into our conversation with Aaron Owens Mayhew, a registered dietitian who founded Backcountry Foodie, a backpacking meal planning service. Owens Mayhew explains that the old rule of packing two pounds of food per day can be broken with careful and creative menu planning. Plus you won’t want to miss her break-down of macros, enlightening us to the perfect ratio of carbs, fats, and protein to carry us through those long days on the trail.