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The Basics

Whether you're a new hiker or just want a refresher, here are the basics of planning a hike and pulling it off.
  1. Handling Bodily Functions (8)
  2. Hiking Checklists and Packing Lists (6)
  3. Trail Etiquette (10)
  4. Traveling to Hike (2)

How to Start Hiking
Hit the trail with these tips on how to start hiking. You'll find advice about hiking equipment and clothing, where to find trails, and how to build up your skills.

How Hiking Differs from Walking
As exercises go, hiking and walking are certainly closely related. But there are important differences between the two.

5 Reasons Why You Should Go Hiking
It's easy, stimulating, and good for you too: Hiking is a sport with all sorts of benefits for both body and mind. Inspire yourself to make it a part of your fitness routine with these five reasons you should go hiking.

10 Tips for Responsible Hiking
Learn how to be a low-impact hiker with these 10 tips for hiking responsibly. Simple steps will reduce your impacts and help protect the environment and the trail experience for your fellow hikers.

Hiking With Kids
Get your kids out on the trail and start them on a lifetime of adventure. Hiking connects kids to the natural world, gives them exercise, and creates active quality time for the whole family. Here's a look at some things to consider when you're hiking with kids.

Hiking With a Dog
Hiking with a dog is a great chance to give your dog exercise and keep him or her stimulated. Simple precautions and planning will ensure that both you and your dog are safe on the trail.

Hiking With Smartphones
From help in emergencies to apps that track hiking activity, smartphones are versatile tools for the trail. Here's a quick look at few uses for your phone, as well as some safety tips to keep in mind.

What to Take on Your First Day Hike
Feeling befuddled by all the gear checklists out there? Start here to get the basics for a short day hike.

Tips for Planning a Romantic Valentine's Day Hike
How to plan a romantic hike/picnic for Valentine's Day (or any other day).

Hiking From the Ground Up
New to hiking? Looking for a refresher on the basics? Start here!

Hiking on Varied Terrain
Varied terrain forms the heart of every hike. Here's how to navigate it.

How to Pee While Hiking
Hydration is critical when in the outdoors -- which means that eventually, you're going to have to pee. Here's some advice for both men and women.

Can Women Pee in a Bottle While Backpacking?
Yes! Women can pee in a bottle, too. This comes in handy if bad weather or darkness keep you from leaving the tent to pee at night.

How to Poop While Hiking
Yes, there's a right way and a wrong way to defecate outdoors.

Printable Packing List for a Dayhike
Wondering what you should pack for your first dayhike? Here's a printable checklist to help you get sorted.

What to Carry on an Overnight Hike
Wondering what to carry on your first overnight hike? I'll explain, based on the "Ten Essentials."

How to File a Hiking Trip Plan
You know you're supposed to file a trip plan, but how do you do actually do that? Here's everything you need to know.

Fun Activities to Do While Hiking
Are you a geocacher? Do you love wild berries? Hiking gets you into position to try these and other fun outdoor activities.

Boulder Hopping for Hikers
Like any activity that involves stepping outside your door, boulder hopping carries some inherent risk -- but it's also a lot of fun, and a ticket to the path less-traveled.

5 Things Hiking Can Do for You
As if hiking needed any more excuses to be awesome, here are six great benefits you can expect from regular time on the trail.

Tick Prevention for Hikers
Learn how to keep ticks from latching on and biting you, and how to handle it if one gets through.

Printable Packing List for an Overnight Hike
A printable checklist to help beginner backpackers pack.

How to Pick the Best Campsite
Most of what goes into choosing a campsite is just common sense. But you should watch out for these factors that can influence your safety and comfort, too.

3 Questions to Ask About Everything in Your Pack
Don't carry anything you don't have to! Use these three questions to trim down the size and weight of your pack.

Tips for Hiking in the Rain
How not to suffer while hiking in the rain. Hey, you might even learn to enjoy it!

How to Pack a Backpack
Follow these tips to get your backpack efficiently packed, and balanced so it'll ride easily during your hike.

From Dayhiker to Backpacker in 3 Steps
Are you ready to make the transition from dayhiker to backpacker? It's easy -- here's how.

6 Reasons to Try Backpacking
Not sure if backpacking is right for you? Check out these six reasons you should give it a try.

Q: How Far Should I Hike on a Backpacking Trip?
Several ways to estimate the ideal distance for your backpacking outings.

How to Take Great Backcountry Photos With a Dinky Camera
You don't have to haul a big, expensive camera into the backcountry to get great shots!

A guide to the basic skills every hiker needs, from pitching a tent to using a camp stove.

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