Fastpacking is the next evolution of wilderness trips for those who want to go farther and faster. Practically speaking, such an endeavor entails jogging the descents, shuffling the flats, power-hiking the hills, and eating a lot of snacks, all while carrying a minimalist pack. Here’s how to get started.
Whether you’re marking water sources, saving prime camping spots, or capturing breathtaking views, waypoints provide an invaluable tool for navigating and documenting your adventures. Check out our top 10 ways to use waypoints so that you, too, can make the most of them.
We realize it’s still winter, but prime campsites for summer are going fast. Now you can snag the campsite of your dreams before it’s too late right from Gaia GPS. A new recreation.gov (http://recreation.gov/) integration on our Gaia Topo map puts the official resource for public campsites across the US at your fingertips. Make reservations, view photos, find out how many vehicles are permitted and if there’s a fire ring.
It’s (arguably) the most wonderful time of the year — and also the most fleeting. Time your leaf peeping just right with two of our special map layers: FreshSat — Recent and FreshSat — Cloud Free. These maps give you near-in-time satellite imagery from all over the world, letting you spy on the trees from the comfort of your couch.
Making a great cup of coffee in the backcountry is tricky. You can enjoy a silky smooth cup from a french press, but you have to lug around the equipment and the messy grounds. Or you can settle for the convenience and featherlight weight of instant coffee, but that often tastes terrible. Tune in to the Out and Back podcast to hear pro thru-hikers Heather “Anish” Anderson, Hiking Viking, Adventure Alan, and Liz “Snorkel” Thomas settle this debate once and for all.
Don’t let your weekend plans go up in smoke. Gaia GPS’s robust collection of weather maps can help you avoid current wildfires and find smoke-free skies. Learn how to use these (free!) wildfire, smoke, and air quality maps to find out if it’s safe to hike, bike, or camp at your next destination.
Learn how to overcome your backpacking fears this week on the Out and Back podcast. Allison Boyle, the face behind the ultra-popular blog and hiking resource She Dreams of Alpine, lays out the big three fears newbie backpackers feel. She shares her tried and true strategies for overcoming them, as well as why almost everyone wants to back out of their trip right before they start. Plus, learn how she turned her passion for the outdoors into a career.
Some national parks are best visited in winter. From desert adventures to tropical getaways, these 10 destinations will keep your adventures stoked through the offseason.
Fifteen years ago, an owl swooped down to Mike Clelland with a message. That event changed the trajectory of his life, leading Mike to become a leading historian and author on the connection between highly charged owl encounters and UFO abduction. Yes, you read that correctly. Tune in to the newest episode of the Out and Back podcast and be prepared to never look at the world the same way again.
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.