Published nine times a year, Backpacker is a magazine of wilderness travel, offering practical, "you can do it, here's how" advice to help you enjoy every trip. Filled with the best places, gear, and information for all kinds of hiking and camping trips, each issue delivers foldout maps and stunning color photography.
Everyday Badasses • Backpacking doesn’t have sponsorships: It has passion.
TrailChat • Your opinions, photos, and feats
SPRING TO LIFE • OZARK-ST. FRANCIS NATIONAL FORESTS, ARKANSAS
GO GREEN • COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, OREGON & WASHINGTON Pacific Northwesterners cherish this wilderness mecca, with its vibrant greenery, roaring waterfalls, and bird’s-eye summit views. But many hikers have stayed away since the Eagle Creek fire tore up nearly 49,000 acres of the Gorge last year. Bad decision. Enjoy the best of the National Scenic Area—and avoid the fire damage—with these tips and trips.
LIGHT UP THE NIGHT: SEEING BIOLUMINESCENCE • With a bit of luck, you can see nature’s most electric light show.
Start your engines
PLAY THE NAME GAME
ISLAND TIME • Go deep in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains to find the heart of the country’s fight for freedom.
MUSHROOM HIKES • Embrace spring’s bounty on the country’s best fungi forages.
FIND PARADISE • PRESIDENTIAL RANGE-DRY RIVER WILDERNESS, NEW HAMPSHIRE
BIGFOOT MARKETING PLAN • It’s the perfect time for the Big Hairy One to consider rebranding.
TALK WILDLIFE LIKE A LOCAL • Study up on these regionally accepted names for common animals—then go on a hike to find them.
The Good Fight • BIG IVY, PISGAH NATIONAL FOREST NORTH CAROLINA
ANIMAL HOUSE • ROANOKE RIVER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, NORTH CAROLINA
In Da Club • … IN WHICH WE HONOR THE BEST HIKING CLUBS IN THE COUNTRY.
ALL FOR ONE • SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST, NEW MEXICO
LONELY LAKES • SUOMI HILLS RECREATION AREA, MINNESOTA
FOLLOW RANDY • Backpacker Tour GET OUT MORE
HOW TO THRIVE OUTDOORS • Mow down the miles with tips from a long-trail record setter. Plus: pants-free hiking, a core workout for backpackers, protein-rich recipes, scrambling safety, and more.
Hike Huge Miles • Few devour distance like Joe “Stringbean” McConaughy, who holds the overall speed record on the Appalachian Trail. Here are his tips for wringing more miles out of the day.
Swap Out, Slim Down • To make the bigger miles, you need to cut the right corners.
MAKE AN ULTRALIGHT SHELTER • Tyvek Home Wrap is a DIY backpacker’s dream. It’s cheap, sturdy, waterproof, and it weighs about .2 ounce per square foot—ideal for making your own A-frame tarp tent.
DITCH THE PANTS • Are hiking dresses, skirts, and kilts more than a novelty? Our scout frees her legs to find out.
HARD CORE • Strengthen your abs for better balance and all-day comfort on the trail.
POWER HUNGRY • Protein helps your body maintain muscle mass, prevents next-day soreness, and sustains energy. Pack it in with these filling, recovery-boosting recipes.
LOST AND INJURED • Roger Dannen, 75, slipped 60 feet down a rock face in remote Indian Canyons, near Palm Springs, California, in January 2018. He survived in the desert for three days.
GEAR PICKS AND TIPS • Stay light on your feet with the year’s best go-fast shoes. Plus: the 1,000-mile test, canyoneering gear, a featherweight solo tent, and more.
Speed Demons • Crush some trail on the year’s best lightweight hiking shoes.
CANYONEERING • If you’ve experienced one slot, odds are good you’ll be back for more. Use these picks from Steve Howe, owner of Redrock Adventure Guides in Torrey, Utah, to stay safe and...