The trail to your best hiking adventures should begin with a visit to these sites.

Best Comprehensive Backpacking Site: Backpacker.com

backpackerThe website for Backpacker magazine is really a one-stop shop for anyone heading into the woods for an overnight or a long-distance hike. Pick your general destination (say, California or Utah) and the site will recommend trails, offer downloadable GPS coordinates, trail descriptions, and photos from the hike. Just looking for general information or entertainment? The site’s got that too, from skill tips like knot tying or fitness regimes to campfire recipes, survival advice, policy news, and more in-depth gear reviews than you could possibly need.

Click this site: If you’re planning a backpacking trip and want to make sure you’re dialed.

Best Community Hiking Site: TrailJournals.com

TrailJournalsSure, TrailJournals.com looks like it’s from 1998, but hikers enjoy the slow pace of yesteryear. And besides, the content is up to date. This is the online destination for all long-distance hikers, who post their trail logs and diaries from their latest adventures. Read about a hiker named Swamp Fox’s trek on the Appalachian Trail or Ranger Jen’s journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. The first-person journal entries offer a unique insight into the challenges and rewards of long-distance hiking.

Click this site: If you’ve got a friend thru-hiking the AT, there’s a good chance you’ll find their updates here.

Best Stories and Adventures Site: TheBigOutside.com

BigOutside

Site owner and publisher, Michael Lanza is a veteran outdoor writer, with several books to his credit, as well as more than a dozen years working with Backpacker magazine. The Big Outside perfectly delivers on Lanza’s stated goal: “To offer stories, photos, and expert trip-planning advice on America’s and the world’s best outdoor adventures—including many that are great for families.”

Click this site: To find great ideas for incredible hiking adventures, and ramp-up your motivation to get out into the Big Outside.

Best Volunteer and Trail Conservation Site: AmericanHiking.org

AmericanHikingFor nearly 40 years, the American Hiking Society (AHS) addressed the needs of hikers and the trails they use. The national non-profit organization organizes volunteer trail maintenance efforts, lobbies for trail protection and funding, and educates trail enthusiasts on how they can help their trails while enjoying those trails.

Click this site: If you want to give something back to the trails you enjoy.

Best Trail Cooking Blog: trailcooking.com

TrailCookingTired of the monotony and high price of freeze dried dinners, backpacking enthusiast Sarah Kirkconnell decided to create her own backcountry meals. After a lot of testing and trials, she decided to share her remarkable successes. The result is a combination online cookbook, instruction guide, and how-to blog specifically for backpackers. Regardless of experience levels, anyone who has prepared a backcountry will find something new and exciting to enjoy here.

Click this site: To discover a multitude of ways to change-up your camp menus with great tasting, easy-to-prepare recipes.

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