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How To Get Started Hiking

If you're new to hiking, these selected articles will help you get started hiking right away. I've made these guides easy to understand and focused on addressing your fears before you hit the trail.

All Guides

Backpacking For Beginners: Hiker → Backpacker

Backpacking For Beginners: Hiker → Backpacker

Backpacking for beginners doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it is. Unfortunately, the massive amount of information online, coupled with pundits’ strong opinions, can be overwhelming for many day hikers looking to make the switch. The good news is that backpacking is much simpler than you probably think, and in this guide, I’ll give you some simple steps to make your first backpacking trip easy.

Why Are GPS Distances Always Different?

Why Are GPS Distances Always Different?

In this short and simple video I’ll explain why GPS distances are always different, and what you can do to improve the accuracy of your GPS distance reading.

Is REI Membership Worth It?

Is REI Membership Worth It?

Is REI Membership worth It? It will save you 10%+ on your purchases and also has a lot of other benefits that not everyone knows about. Here’s how an REI Membership can work for you…

What’s the Difference Between a GPS and a Satellite Communicator (inReach)?

What’s the Difference Between a GPS and a Satellite Communicator (inReach)?

I get a fair amount of emails and comments asking me what the difference between a GPS and satellite communicator (like inReach and ZOLEO) is. In this short video I’ll explain the difference in plain English, and address the grey area where the two crossover.

How Long Do inReach or ZOLEO Messages Take to Send?

How Long Do inReach or ZOLEO Messages Take to Send?

In this video I’ll clear up any confusion about how long inReach messages take to send and receive so that you can set your expectations accordingly.

My Wet Weather Hiking Gear Picks

My Wet Weather Hiking Gear Picks

After spending days hiking in a cold and rainy PNW, I share my cold and wet gear setup for hiking. I had honed this earlier and my recent trip confirmed that it works great.

Hiking With Gaia GPS For Beginners

Hiking With Gaia GPS For Beginners

For those who are new to hiking using the Gaia GPS app (for iPhone or Android), this quick video will walk you through the basics of creating or loading a hike, using the hike to navigate, and then viewing your saved hike when you’re done on the trail.

When to Initiate a Backcountry Rescue (with Your Garmin InReach, PLB, or SPOT)

When to Initiate a Backcountry Rescue (with Your Garmin InReach, PLB, or SPOT)

The popularity of satellite communicators like InReach, PLBs, and SPOT has opened up a never-before realized lifeline from the backcountry to the outside world. For most of us who use these devices, this means sending a text message or track log to a loved one to let them know that we’re okay. But what happens when you get in trouble? How do you know what it’s okay to hit the SOS button? How “in trouble” is “in trouble,” and when is it enough to warrant an SOS?

Do I Need Trekking Poles?

Do I Need Trekking Poles?

Trekking poles are standard equipment for many experienced hikers – but do you really need them? The answer is maybe—there are a few conditions that I use hiking poles under and some I do not. Here’s how you should determine whether you need trekking poles or not.

Hiking For Beginners: 11 Essential Tips

Hiking For Beginners: 11 Essential Tips

Hiking for beginners can be intimidating, but there’s really not much to it. You don’t need any special skills to hike; you just have to be able to walk and know where you are. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in nature, get a good workout in, and recharge your batteries. This guide will give you some essential hiking for beginners tips to make your hike safe and fun.

Hiking Boots or Shoes: Do I Really Need Hiking Boots?

Hiking Boots or Shoes: Do I Really Need Hiking Boots?

The great dilemma – do you really need hiking boots? Or can you use hiking shoes? Or do you even need hiking shoes? This guide will sort it all out for you, but the short answer is that you probably don’t need hiking boots. Hiking shoes or trail runners will be a better bet for most hikers. I’ll walk you through all the options and when it makes sense to use each one. If you want to see which specific models I recommend, check out my current gear page (updated ).

How To Hike in the Mountains

How To Hike in the Mountains

Mountain hiking embodies what hiking is all about: breathtaking views, fresh air, and a good workout. Here’s you’re guide on how to hike the mountains safely.