Facing a failed marriage and an underwhelming job, Tonya Holt decided to sell her belongings, cancel her apartment lease, and set out on a six-month wilderness backpacking trip. Who she’ll be when she finishes, she isn’t sure.

Jim Tabor began stashing hand-carved spoons along the AT six years ago as souvenirs for through-hikers. His creations have come to symbolize the generosity of the tight-knit trail community.

Dale Sanders is an 81-year-old Kentucky-born retired civil servant who's leaving his wife and dog at home for the next five months to claim a record on the country’s most popular wilderness trail

Ever wonder what type of person takes six months off to hike the famous trail? Well, here's your answer. Presenting the average AT hiker, based on data from a 2016 survey.

This year, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy estimates that 3,400 individuals will attempt a thru-hike, making it one of the busiest years in the trail’s history. We met up with a few of these hopefuls as they set out.

Exploration of these mountains isn’t new, but it wasn’t until five years ago that the first traverse of the entire range was completed, by Chase Norton, then a PhD student at the University of Hawai’i.

At the cover shoot for the May issue of Outside, we asked 10 of the most influential women in the outdoor world a handful of questions about life, success, and happiness.

The author moved to the United States at eight years old and took her first camping trip soon after. The outdoors became an escape from the stressors of being a new American and a reminder that enjoying nature can be a privilege in itself.

Tried-and-true stuff that will let you go farther and stay out longer

As more hikers take on the 2,190-mile route each year, Lyme disease intensifies its spread across the eastern U.S.

Don't let rain or snow keep you inside. Tips from pros on how to make the most of the wet seasons.

A proposed 300-mile natural gas pipeline would cut a swath across the Appalachian Trail and could undermine protections for other National Scenic Trails across the country

Plenty of people are hesitant to camp solo, but for women, many of whom deal with catcalls during mundane morning jogs, it's harder to dismiss imagined sexual predators lurking in the woods. The author explores why she heads out alone anyway.

One of our most iconic wild places is under threat from mining and development interests. Two journalists hiked 800 miles to remind people why they should care.

Pro skier Kit DesLauriers had a goal; to ascend and then ski the highest peak on each of the seven continents.

16 lessons learned on the Pacific Crest Trail

Two thru-hikers have taken it upon themselves to pull the trash—thousands of pounds and counting—off the Pacific Crest and Appalachian trails

Outdoor tradition or dangerous, polluting, wasteful relic of the past?

The secret to ultimate fitness isn't all that complicated—just spend a month outside, hiking eight hours per day. Kyle Boelte breaks down how his body evolved into an efficient, fat-burning, testosterone-fueled machine over 29 days on the Colorado Trail.

An unknown hiker from Atlanta claims to have broken the Appalachian speed record. The question is: Can she prove it?

Belgian backpacker Louis-Philippe Loncke has taken down Death Valley and just abandoned his attempt to thru-hike Australia’s Simpson Desert. But he’s not done yet.

Twelve years after disappearing on a hike in western China, David Sneddon is being held captive to teach English in North Korea, according to a Japanese news report

Outsiders plying thru-hikers with sodas and chicken wings might appall purists, but trail magic is here to stay—and that's a very good thing

The 12-year-old Swedish trekking tradition comes to the United States with the goal of getting more novice backpackers into the wilderness

Should we continue blazing trails into wild places? Kenneth Brower doesn't think so.

Into the wild with Hollywood's homeless kids

No indulgent selfies or boring landscapes here. These Instagram accounts showcase the trail like you've never seen it before.

In Washington’s Enchantment Basin, you can have an epic poo with a view

Some argue that so-called trail angels, who hand out 
food and water (and beer!) 
to weary through-hikers, 
are cheapening what should be a life-altering experience

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The rules may be simple, but that doesn't make it easy

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The core of the 15-person crew that assisted Hamilton

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Hamilton’s footwear of choice needed to be lightweight, grippy, waterproof, and breathable

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To break the record, Hamilton relied on friends, family, a 4WD truck, high-calorie powder mix—and all-around breathable, waterproof shoes with GORE-TEX® SURROUND® Footwear technology

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Hamilton averaged nearly six peaks a day during the attempt

The number of thru-hikers on the trail has skyrocketed in the past five years. It may be time to think about how to control the crowds.

We caught up with Ace Kvale and Brendan Leonard at 5Point Film Festival to discuss their new film 'Ace and the Desert Dog'.

"You know, there was this whole other world. There was the outdoors. There was the wilderness."

"My cerebral palsy contributes to my unique cadence and my poor balance, but I refuse to let it define who I am."

Ever wonder what it's like to hike the ever-more crowded PCT? I'm about to find out.

EPA district administrator Jared Blumenfeld talks about why he’s escaping it all, and how to be a pescatarian on the 2,650-mile trail

GPS trackers and cell phones give us a false sense of security in the wilderness. And with more thru-hikers than ever set to take on the Appalachian Trail this year, we should be on alert.

In 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes, Jennifer Pharr Davis hiked from Georgia to Maine—a total of 2,181 miles. That time stands as the women's record for fastest thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. In this short video from filmmaker Kerrin Sheldon, Davis talks about what the…

Whenever he needed to check his email, Mahabir Pun made a two-day trek from Nangi, a mountain village in western Nepal, to Pokhara, the nearest city with Internet access. In 2001, he sent an email to the BBC asking for ideas on how to connect his remote community to the web,…

Officials at Baxter State Park, at the north end of the AT, are concerned about an anticipated increase in the number of thru-hikers tramping through the park. Their solution? Hiker registration cards.

One of the hardest parts of the PCT is simply getting to the southern start, in the middle of the desert by the U.S.-Mexico border

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Completing the Appalachian Trail takes grit, patience, and sometimes a little help from the angels

No one has ever completed the 2,180-mile trail heading southbound and starting in December, but this full-time hiker is trying

The New Hampshire politician shares his state pride by tackling a legendary hiking challenge—over and over

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Helping out Appalachian Trail through-hikers has allowed "Ponytail Paul" Stiffler to finally find peace in his own life

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When Ponytail Paul headed out into the woods, he just wanted to help hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Instead, what he found set his world on fire. …

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When Ponytail Paul headed out into the woods, he just wanted to help hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Instead, what he found set his world on fire. Learn more about how Every Trail Connects at rei.com/h/trails.

When George Rue started hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail six summers ago at age 18, he carried a sketchpad, intending to use it as both diary and camera.

Trevor Thomas lost his sight as a young man, but that hasn’t stopped him from turning pro as a long-distance hiker. His insights will give you a whole new perspective on the outdoors.

Heather Anderson just crushed the record for the fastest known unsupported Appalachian Trail thru-hike. That makes her the biggest badass you’ve never heard of.

Walk the Ridge, from filmmaker Mathieu Le Lay, is a short film that aims to share the deep feelings one can experience while hiking in the mountains. Le Lay spent several days hiking four mountain peaks in the French Alps with his…

Michal Huniewicz is a UK software developer with a knack for photography and a penchant for visiting places most tourists wouldn’t touch. The Saharan country of Mauritania certainly qualifies as one such place.

In 1990, a grisly double homicide on America’s most famous hiking route shocked the nation and forever changed our ideas about crime, violence, and safety in the outdoors

Overcrowding on the country’s most popular thru-hiking destination may come to a head, as the route’s managers contemplate imposing a hiker limit

From beer to bourbon, here’s how to cut loose (safely) while camping

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Whether you sign up for an official work day or simply remember to follow trail etiquette, it’s easier to do your part than you might think.

Nothing beats campfire cuisine, if you know what you’re doing

The former Appalachian Trail speed record holder responds to how she feels about Scott Jurek’s FKT and reflects on her time on the trail

Hiking and backpacking are some of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors. Our beginner's guide shows you what type of gear you'll need for everything from a short day hike to a multi-day backpacking trip. …

Scrutinizing what kind of tent, sleeping bag, and pack you need for a multiday trip can be difficult. Here’s a comprehensive overview of how to find exactly what you need and assess it with confidence.

Think Cheryl Strayed is tough? Meet these guys.

In this exclusive series from the PCTA and Fox Searchlight, Outside contributor Ali Carr Troxell hits the trail and talks about what kind footwear you’ll need for different types of hiking. Wild, based on the novel by Cheryl Strayed and starring Reese Witherspoon, is now playing in…

In this exclusive series from the PCTA and Fox Searchlight, Outside contributor Ali Carr Troxell talks about the most important gadgets for the backcountry. Wild, based on the novel by Cheryl Strayed and starring Reese Witherspoon, is now playing in theaters across the country.   …

In this exclusive series from the PCTA and Fox Searchlight, Outside contributor Ali Carr Troxell hits the trail and shows you how to prevent every hiker’s smallest nightmare: blisters. Wild, based on the novel by Cheryl Strayed and starring Reese Witherspoon, is now playing in theaters across the country. …

Photographer Ian Tuttle set up camp three times throughout the summer on the Pacific Crest Trail, capturing snippets of the 2,663-mile trail that stretches the length of the West Coast. He made portraits of those he met, asked them questions, and even followed up with a few after their time on the trail.

Central Cascades, Washington

We're all familiar with digital detoxes, but one young man took it a step further. Many steps further in fact.

Paul D. Paur left behind all his worldly possessions and entered the Appalachian Trail in early June. Concerns about his mental health surfaced alongside reports from fellow hikers that Paur is looking for God. What's he really doing there?

When 24-year-old David Sneddon disappeared hiking around western China, officials chalked it up to a drowning. Only a decade later did another scenario emerge: maybe David had been kidnapped and taken to North Korea.

Google wants to build the world’s best off-road map. And they want your help.