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Great Websites For Hikers
Websites for Hikers, Backpackers, Campers and Anyone Else Who Loves Outdoor Recreation
What got me using the internet in the first place (and I was reluctant back then, in 1998) was a search for information about the Appalachian Trail. Soon, I was chatting with other A.T. hikers online, and I ended up making some good friends in the long-distance backpacking community. When I returned from my hike, I also returned to the websites I'd been using and perusing and, over the years, discovered more hiking sites that I visit often.
Below are my picks for some of the best hiking and backpacking websites around -- some new, some not new at all -- for trails and destinations around the world.
And if you know of any others you'd like to recommend -- sites that aren't just about a nitty-gritty specific destination or all about selling gear -- please share them in the guestbook below.
An outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often on trails (Wikipedia)
A long walk usually for exercise or pleasure (Wordnet)
Are You A Hiker? - A visitor poll
If you hike, how much?
My Favorite Hiking Website: TrailJournals
Global Backpacking Journals from Long-Distance Hikers
I love this site! And it's one of those I've been using for more than 10 years, including posting my own Appalachian Trail and other long-distance backpacking journals. As of 2013, TrailJournals has in the neighborhood of 396,000 journal entries, with over 4,520,000 miles of hiking, 716,000 trail photos, and thousands of hikers in their directory. And that number is literally growing by the minute.
But as big as the site has gotten over the years, it's still really easy to navigate and find the journals you want to read. There are also hiker forums and a hiker directory, peak journals for those interested in writing and reading about reaching the summits of the world, a photo gallery, and a book store to browse through.
Backpacker.com: A Hiker Could Get Lost (Happily) on this Site for a Long Time
Destinations, Gear, Skills, Blogs, Hiker Forums And More
This site by Backpacker Magazine has it all: articles, blogs, gear reviews, videos, photos, events, a backpacker food and recipe center, interactive features. You can find hikes all over the United States and even find hiking partners on the very active Backpacker Forums, where you can discuss anything and everything about hiking and backpacking ... and a wide range of other topics with those who share your passion for the outdoors.
AllTrails.com: An Interactive Site Where Hikers Create Content
A Community Guide To The Outdoors
I first learned about AllTrails on Twitter, when I saw a post by AllTrails founder and CEO, Russell Cook.
On AllTrails, you can:
- Explore tens of thousands of trails and reviews
- Share trails, reviews, and photos with friends
- Get outside by joining local events
AllTrails has a great search feature, where you can filter trails by activity, length, difficulty, popularity, location and much more. When you register (for free), they can help you discover new trails by providing you with personalized recommendations.
AllTrails also keeps you updated on all the hiking and trail-related events going on in your local area.
And on this site, you can keep a record of the trails you've done, your favorites, and the ones you'd like to do. You can also create an unlimited number of lists of trails to share with friends.
A Blog Encouraging People To Travel Abroad, Independently
On this site you will find:
- Tips for planning budget trips, with a special focus on "around the world" travel
- New content added regularly, including interviews with a variety of travelers, guest posts, book reviews, how-to instructional articles and content reflecting hot topics like travel media and building a successful travel blog, as well as news and information from the online travel world.
- A complete archive of editor David Lee's posts from a 20-month, 22-country trip around the world.
Videos For, By, And About Backpackers
Editor Scott Janz put together this web site "so hikers from all over the world (that pack a cell phone, camera, or small video camera) can share their experiences with others." As he says, "Why spend all day searching YouTube to watch backpacking video, when you can come right here?"
This site is loaded with trail vlogs (video blogs), how-to and gear review videos, documentaries, videos by Backpacker Magazine, and some awesome scenery to experience through hikers' lenses.
TheBackpackerTV is also on Facebook.
Great Outdoor Recreation Pages
GORP isn't just "Good Ol' Raisins and Peanuts" with some chocolate mixed in. It's also another comprehensive resource for adventure travel, outdoor sports and gear, camping, national parks, and more. On Gorp.com, you can read questions and answers by the Gear Guy, the Gear Girl, and the Survival Guru, and check out the World Traveler and trips of the month. This is a place for outdoor enthusiasts to plan vacations focused on the great outdoors in locations around the globe.
GORP.com is part of the Away Network, a collection of sites based on travel, including:
- GORPTravel.com, a travel directory of active vacations and adventure tour outfitters
- Away.com, a travel and vacation-planning resource with expert reviews and trip ideas
- Outside Online by the adventure-travel magazine of the same name, with feature articles, gear reviews, and more; and
- Trip.com, a free travel search site where can find the cheapest flights, cheapest hotels, cheapest car rentals, and cheapest vacation packages across a wide range of travel websites
(Sorry, the site seems to be down right now. I'll check it again soon.)
Backpacking Lightweight was created in 1996 and, since then, has grown to include a huge collection of resources for year-round backcountry safety and enjoyment. While Backpacking Lightweight (obviously) focuses on lightweight backpacking equipment and techniques, it is a also a great resource for all backcountry travelers who want to research and purchase quality outdoor gear. You can also get involved with or just browse through their popular Backpacker Forum, or contribute your own hiking and backpacking experiences to the site.
Visit Backpacking Lightweight
More Websites for Hikers - I'll add them as I find them.
Hiking and Backpacking for beginners and experts, including lots of gear reviews and trail reports
- Hiking Blogs Directory
If you like hiking or backpacking, this is the place to find great hiking and backpacking blogs, reference sites, and specialty gear manufacturers. The webmaster (from SectionHiker.com above) makes sure that all of the sites listed are active and up-
© 2010 Deb Kingsbury