Websites for Hikers and Backpackers

These days the internet is full of backpacking blogs and websites. When coupled with a multitude of online hiking forums, advice is never more than a click or two away. However, not all advice is created equal, and the fact is that more than a few of the folks doling out backcountry wisdom, have a relatively limited amount of actual experience out in the field.

The list of sites below contain a wide range of practical information about gear, lightweight backpacking techniques, wilderness skills, health and safety, trip planning and up-to-date news for outdoorsy types. The compilation is by no means exhaustive, and I’m sure there are plenty of other great online backpacking resources of which I am unaware. These are simply some of the websites that I have either personally used, or that I think are helpful for hikers searching for credible, experience-based tips and advice:

  • Adventure Alan: Trip reports, gear recommendations, hiking guides and how tos. The site’s author, Alan Dixon, was the co-founder of Backpacking Light in 2001.
  • Andrew Skurka: Gear reviews, skills tutorials and trip reports from the author of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide.
  • Backpacking Light: Articles, reviews and forum geared towards lightweight and ultra-lightweight backpackers.
  • BasecampMD: A good source of information for anyone interested in hiking at high altitudes.
  • Besthike: A wide-ranging index of some of the best hikes, treks and tramps from around the world.
  • Australian online hiking forum. Good source of information on a multitude of bushwalking options around the country.
  • Caltopo: An excellent online mapping and planning tool that has become a go-to site for many folks in the US hiking community.
  • Clever Hiker: Gear reviews and a professionally made series of tutorial videos. Particularly useful for folks that are new to backpacking and/or interested in lightening their loads.
  • Chris Townsend Outdoors: Trip reports, gear reviews, commentaries and skills articles from the author of the classic, The Backpacker’s Handbook.
  • Gear Institute: Wide-ranging collection of outdoor gear reviews (hiking, climbing, cycling, fishing and skiing).
  • Hiking in Finland: Gear Reviews and European trip reports from Hendrik Morkel. His long running, The Week in Review, is a compilation of the latest news and articles from around the backpacking universe.
  • Outdoor Gear Lab: Detailed reviews and rankings of a wide range of lightweight backpacking equipment.
  •  Across-the-board commentaries on all things hiking and backpacking. Practical, too the point and with a little bit of humour thrown into the mix.
  • REI Blog: Tips, stories & gear reports.
  • Section Hiker: Gear reviews and how tos. Philip Werner, the site’s author, is one of the most prolific outdoor writers on the web.
  • Semi-rad: A humorous and often insightful look at the outdoors lifestyle.
  • Summit Post: Logistical information and trip reports for a wide range of hikes around North America.
  • Summit Register: The MSR (Mountain Safety Research) blog covers a broad spectrum of backpacking related subjects – culture, technology, food, trip reports and health and safety.
  • The Great Outdoors / TGO Magazine – The online version of the UK’s original outdoor magazine. Trip reports, gear reviews and useful skills section. Also contains up-to-date weather information for British hikes, and all the latest news on what’s happening in the UK outdoors scene.
  • Nutritional recommendations for backpackers and other endurance exercise enthusiasts. The site’s author is nutritionist and long distance hiker, Dr. Brenda Braaten.
  • Trail Groove: US-based online hiking and backpacking magazine. Trip reports, backpacking recipes, photography tips, forum and gear reviews.
  • Trail Posse: An informative site covering race and equity in the outdoors. Lots of thought-provoking articles.
  • Ultralight Insights: In depth UL gear reviews and commentaries on new technologies. The author is Will Rietveld, who has been reviewing gear for Backpacking Light (see above) since 2004.
  • Ultralight Reddit: Useful forum for hikers interested in lightening their pack load. Pack shakedowns, skills articles, Youtube tutorials, trip reports and gear lists.
  • Viajar a Pie: Instructive website from a very experienced Spanish long distance hiker. Lots of useful information on gear, skills and a bunch of different hikes from around the world.
  • Walkinghighlands: Go-to planning resource for hiking in the Scottish Highlands. Up-to-date trail information, accommodation options, logistical information, trip reports and forum.


14 Replies to “Websites for Hikers and Backpackers”

  1. GREAT! this gives a fantastic resource for all hikers, trampers and walkers word wide. Many thanks for putting this list together.

  2. Good on you Cam,
    this list is excellent.
    Nearly got bitten by a tiger snake bushwalking near Geelong in Vic two weeks ago, shitscared I was I can tell you. I have been trying to find proper information on a sat. messenger since and lo and behold, at least three of the links you posted, (of which I wasn’t aware) had proper user reviews and information. This makes my selection and choice that much easier. Cheers Graham

  3. Would recommend you include (and apps) for free route info that works offline. Has over 100,000 miles of trails and continues to grow quickly with user submissions.

    Also if you are in the US want to save some cash and are open to lightly used gear, check out for their Used Gear Beta.

  4. What a wonderful resource you have put together here. Not only is your site full of in-depth information about everything hiking, you have also offered up a selection of top 3rd party sites for our perusal. Nice work and thank-you!

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