Hiking

All my hiking-related tips, guides, stories, resources, and gear recommendations from my time spent chasing trails.

Helpful Hiking Resources

Day Hiking Checklist

Ultralight Backpacking Gear List

How to Meal Plan for Backpacking

2023’s Best Gifts for Hikers

Complete Hiking & Backpacking Resources Guide

Hiker Profile: Jonny Waldman (Founder of Mayfly Ultralight)

Today, in our Hiker Profiles series, we highlight Jonny Waldman, a backpacker, cyclist, rock climber, skier, and all-around outdoor adventurer. He founded Mayfly Ultralight Equipment, an online shop where he sells handmade ultralight camp shoes that weigh just a couple of ounces. Tell us a little bit about yourself I’ve been obsessed with outdoor adventures … Read more
Four types of backpack material: Dyneema, Gridtstop, Leather, and Cotton Canvas side by side

Backpack Fabrics: Understanding Nylon, Canvas, DCF & More

Today, we’ll take a deep dive into the different backpack fabrics and materials that make up modern-day bags. We’ll start by looking at the most popular synthetic fabrics on the market: nylon (Ripstop, Ballistic, Cordura, and Robic), polyester, neoprene, Dyneema/DCF, ULTRA, X-Pac, and ECOPAK. After that, we’ll look at tried-and-true traditional fabrics, like cotton canvas … Read more

Traveler Profile: Tanner Cibula (Survivalist, Backpacker, Traveler)

Today, in our Traveler Profiles series, we highlight Tanner Cibula, a backpacker, traveler, and self-reliance expert with an incurable urge to thrive and survive during challenging situations in the middle of nowhere. Tell us a little bit about yourself Tanner Cibula is the name, and wilderness adventuring is the game! In the last five years, … Read more
Man wearing a red hoodie holding up a black backpack full of hiking gear in front of signage for the Colorado Trail

Colorado Trail Gear List: Checklist + Tips for CT Thru-Hikers

Hiking the Colorado Trail is no easy feat, so you must assemble a lightweight and functional gear list for your 2024 thru-hike, backpacking trip, or section hike. Dialing in your ideal setup is essential, so get prepared well before arriving at the trailhead. In this post, I’ll give you an easy-to-follow checklist and share some … Read more
Split screen of man backpacking: walking down trail and walking down street

What is Backpacking? Hiking/Camping vs. Travel/Urban

When I tell people I’m a backpacker, they sometimes ask, “Well, what is backpacking, exactly?” Maybe they sense a complicated lifestyle choice, so I offer a simple explanation: “Hiking or traveling for extended periods of time with everything I need packed into my backpack.” Let’s dive deeper and discuss the two distinct styles of backpacking: … Read more

Zpacks 8.5’ x 10’ Tarp Review: The Ultralight Tarp to Carry?

My favorite hammock tarp is the Zpacks 8.5′ x 10′ Flat Tarp, a top choice for ultralight enthusiasts in search of single-digit base pack weights. It’s light and versatile enough that I take it everywhere, including day hikes and car camping trips. I mostly use tarps as hammock rain covers, but they’re also popular for … Read more

Thru-Hiking 101 [Tips, Planning, Gear, FAQs & More]

Maybe adventure and exploration movies are your thing. Perhaps you live near a long trail and have spent years daydreaming about hiking it. Or you’ve quit your day job and want to savor your new freedom. Whatever your reason, you’re fired up and ready to plan a thru-hike. There’s just one problem — you have … Read more

Zpacks Offset Trio Review: A Stellar 3-Person UL Shelter?

Zpacks’ ultralight tents have long reigned supreme in the backpacking shelter world. But rather than resting on their laurels, the good folks at Zpacks have continued to raise the bar with their recently released Offset Duo and, now, the three-person Offset Trio, which I was recently able to test out and review. The Duo already … Read more

20 Hiking Trails & Backpacking Trips in & Near Los Angeles

Featuring sunset views, dense forests, and ocean breezes, the best hiking in and near Los Angeles will challenge everything you think you know about the city. Let’s face it — the Walk of Fame is far from the best walk L.A. has to offer. When I moved to the Los Angeles area nearly 10 years … Read more

Hiking Mount Bierstadt (One of Colorado’s Finest 14ers)

I started hiking more seriously this year and decided to climb my first 14er. But I had two requirements. It had to be easy to access, with no entrance fees, and I didn’t want the mountain to destroy me. I decided on Mount Bierstadt. The problem was the weather didn’t cooperate. July and August 2023 … Read more
Man sitting inside a backpacking tent with his arms stretched out wide

Zpacks Triplex Review: A Formidable 3-Person Backpacking Tent?

I welcomed the chance to review the Zpacks Triplex ultralight backpacking tent. Its versatile trekking pole setup and Dyneema Composite Fabric (DCF) make it one of the lightest, thinnest, and most reliable tents for staying dry and out of the elements. Here’s my in-depth look at its features, specifications, setup, and its upsides and downsides. … Read more
Five pairs of hiking underwear, men's and women's over a backdrop of a foggy forest

Our Favorite Hiking Underwear for Men & Women

Upon walking into an REI, it’s easy to get dazzled by all the big, shiny items on display, such as packs, trekking poles, and tents. But don’t overlook that humble but crucial piece of gear — your hiking underwear. Sure, your favorite cotton undies will do for a short jaunt or two. But for longer … Read more
Seven different scenes from adventure movies

47 Thrilling Adventure Movies for Travelers & Thrill Seekers

Are you eager to add some adventure to your life? First, use this list to find vicarious inspiration from the best adventure movies out there. I’ve gathered films and documentaries that are travel- and outdoor-themed adventures, to fit with the spirit of this blog. We’ll kick off this list with movies spanning everything from decades-old … Read more

Our Favorite Hiking Trails & Backpacking Trips Near San Diego

San Diego is one of the most popular U.S. travel destinations for several reasons. For some, it’s a good base for visits to that world-famous zoo. For others, it’s the perfect beach escape. And, if you’re into outdoor adventure, the best hikes near San Diego won’t disappoint. San Diego’s hiking scene offers trails with diverse … Read more

17 Backpacking Tips for Women (from an AT Thru-Hiker)

Whenever I talk about backpacking or thru-hiking, I tend to get a lot of skeptical questions from curious friends and family. But as a 5-foot-tall woman, I frequently hear well-meaning people ask: Aren’t you scared out there? Personally, I find walking in big cities to be much scarier than walking in the woods. Don’t let … Read more

59 Unique Gift Ideas for Hikers & Backpackers

It isn’t easy to buy gifts for hikers and backpackers. I get it. We’re a gear-hungry bunch who spend far too much of our free time searching for products that’ll take our trail game to the next level. Buying something for an avid hiker that’s unique and worthwhile can get overwhelming because we don’t just … Read more
Camo Zpacks Duplex ultralight tent pitched in a high-alpine field in front of a mountain range

11 Best Ultralight Tents for Backpacking & Thru-Hiking

Gone are the days of toting bulky six-pound Eureka tents around the woods — backpacking shelters today save hikers every possible ounce. But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to decide on the best ultralight tent for your next backpacking or thru-hiking trip. Your tent is one of your most … Read more

Best US Cities for Hikers to Visit (or Live) for Primo Hiking 

I had two must-haves when putting together this list of the best US cities for hikers: 1) larger, vibrant cities; and 2) close proximity to natural wonders. That’s my dream — to commune with nature by day, then wash off the trail dust in a big city spa before exploring the nightlife. I looked for … Read more

How to Hike Peru’s Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 2024

“Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!” That’s Rudyard Kipling talking about exploration in general, but for me, it’s a specific command to explore Peru’s Sacred Valley and its crown jewel, the lost city of Machu Picchu. I’ve hiked Peru’s Inca Trail region seven times and can’t wait to do it … Read more
Hiking and backpacking snacks including chocolate, energy bars, ramen, seeds, nuts, trail mix, chocolate, and candy

Our Favorite Hiking & Backpacking Snacks for Quick Energy

Hiking snacks are as essential as sunscreen, trekking poles, or rain gear. After all, it won’t always rain nor is the sun guaranteed to shine, but I’ll always need calorie-dense hiking fuel. That logic is what inspired me to create this list of the best hiking and backpacking snacks. As hiking fuel, snacks should be … Read more