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Hiking Q&A

Your questions about hiking -- answered! With Lisa Maloney, About.com's Guide to Hiking.

What is Slackpacking?
Slackpacking is like backpacking -- but not. Find out what it means, and whether or not you're a slackpacker, right here.

What is a Soft-Shell Jacket?
Find out what a soft-shell jacket is, and when you might prefer it over a more versatile hard-shell jacket.

What's a Hard-Shell Jacket?
Find out what a hard-shell jacket is, and when you'd choose it over a soft shell.

I want to ease into backpacking gradually. Can I camp at a trailhead?
Are you allowed to camp at your favorite hiking trailhead? Here's the answer.

How Long Should My Trekking Poles Be?
Looking to buy a pair of trekking poles? Here's how long they should be.

What is Section Hiking?
Don't have time for a through-hike of the Appalachian or Pacific Crest trails? Maybe a section hike is the answer. Find out what that means here.

Is it true that you lose most of your body heat through your head?
You know those estimates floating around about how much body heat you lose through your head? Most of them are wrong.

Help! My toes get cold when I'm hiking. How can I keep them warm?
Do you struggle with cold toes on the trail? These tips may help.

Should I Buy Waterproof Hiking Boots?
Just like anything else, waterproof footwear has its pros and cons.

Help! My Hiking Boots Keep Coming Untied!
Good news -- this is an easy fix.

What is Screeing?
Wondering if you should go screeing? Find out why I think it's not a great idea.

Do I Have to Buy Special Insoles for My Hiking Boots?
Not everybody needs aftermarket insoles. Find out when you might want to consider buying them.

What's a Social Trail?
Learn the definition of a social trail, and when it's not good news.

What's a Terrain Trap, and Why Should I Care About It?
Hikers need to know about avalanche safety, too.

What's a Tent Vestibule?
Learn what a tent vestibule is and whether or not it's safe to cook inside one.

Q: Can Bear Spray Expire?
You asked: How worried should I be about the expiration date on my can of bear spray?

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