Thru-Hiking


The latest

Archive

With inflation on the rise, I scrapped plans for another long summer hike. On little daily walks through South Dakota’s Black Hills, I’ve rediscovered the surprise and delight of getting back to basics.

Michael Charles Lombardo, 55, frequently walked the famed trail with his pet Chihuahua

Scott Benerofe finished a rare and daunting southbound winter thru-hike of the AT. His self-proclaimed normalcy about the endeavor suggests such treks might not stay so rare for long.

It’s way more expensive and not as comfortable. Our gear director weighs the pros and cons of an über-light kit.

Each year, more families seem to earn attention by taking to long trails with small children. What are their motivations, and is it bad for the kids?

The cause of Paul “Grandmaster” Classen’s fatal fall is still unclear

For many hikers, stopping can be harder than continuing, even if it’s a good idea

After finishing the Appalachian Trail, I experienced severe pain in my lower right leg. Little did I know, toe socks and spacers would be my saving grace.

In the ten years since she published her memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, her life has changed dramatically—and so has the trail itself

Water weighs a lot, audiobooks weigh nothing, and more semi-philosophical tips to guide rookie trekkers to a strong finish

Join us for a live Zoom Q and A with the beloved author, presented by the Outside Book Club, on Tuesday, April 5

Our March pick is Cheryl Strayed’s classic memoir of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. We’ll conclude the conversation with a live Zoom Q and A on April 5.

After months of pandemic-induced isolation, one Vermont family dove headfirst into a 272-mile adventure

The pain I experience while thru-hiking draws me back to the present and makes me more aware of my privilege

“The world and how it interacts with me changed the day I came out as trans”

I want to thru-hike part of the AT or PCT, but I’m the main caregiver in my household

In their fifties, Marcia and Ken Powers began long-distance hiking. Lessons they learned on trail prepared them for the next phase of their lives.

Initially I was drawn to before-and-after photos of thru-hikers, but after I finished my first long trail, I saw these posts for what they were: unhealthy

Many of the skills involved with long-distance hiking also lend themselves to going faster on trails

In six years, Constantine and Magpie have collectively hiked 30,000 miles. What do they do now that they’ve learned their lessons from—and found love on—the trail?

Rahawa Haile set out on the AT during one of the most tumultuous periods in our political history. The story she wrote about it for Outside in 2017 hit a nerve, and encouraged many others to get out on the trail. We followed up with her to find out what scared her the most, the one piece of gear she couldn’t live without, and why thru-hiking is always worth it in the end.

Lo Phong La Kiatoukaysy, a.k.a. Lil’ Buddha, started thru-hiking America’s trails after 9/11. He hasn’t stopped yet.

A writer with a few such times under her belt ponders whether or not speed enhances or detracts from the experience

A thru-hiker’s best tips for decreasing your garbage

I tallied the waste I created for a month of my thru-hike. It was embarrassing. Now I know how to begin fixing it.

Our culture columnist recommends six of the most interesting newsletters out there—from thru-hiking dispatches to Neko Case’s reflections on nature

Pawel Szafruga recently did the unthinkable by summiting all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in a single thru-hike. Will others follow?

Want to cook chocolate fondue, grilled cheeses, and cold-soaked meals with one device on trail? The Vargo Bot is the miracle that makes it happen.

This time the former AT record holder is heading southbound and shooting for a time of under 40 days

Because sometimes, you just want to get away from it all

That shiny sheet of plastic you have wadded up at the bottom of your daypack can help you stay alive. Will it help you stay comfortable? That’s a different story.

I always loved hiking but hated sleeping in a tent. When I stopped using one, I found new joy on the trail.

Take a break from NPS crowds by visiting these lesser-known designations, which we chose based on spectacular scenery, great hiking trails, and unique features.

After 2,652 miles, 400,000 feet in elevation gain, and more than 51 days, the ultrarunner finished his PCT thru-hike

You’re dead set on walking every inch of a trail, but your partner doesn’t mind skipping a section or two. How do you compromise?

When hikers have leftover food or gear, they don’t trash it. They drop it in a box for the next person who needs it, forming a beautiful network of anonymous interdependence.

Exercise may not be enough to make up for thru-hikers’ bad diets, a new paper suggests

From a long-distance thru-hike to exploring an urban park in your backyard, here's everything you need to know

More than 3,000 people attempt to walk the entire Appalachian Trail every year. Only about a quarter of them succeed. This intel from an AT thru-hiker provides key information to help you tackle and complete the 2,193-mile trek from Georgia to Maine.

Hiking remains a rare modern opportunity to be stunned by the unknown. Don’t spoil it by obsessing over a bunch of YouTube videos.

In an excerpt from his latest book, ‘Freedom,’ the celebrated nonfiction writer describes a journey along Pennsylvania’s train tracks with friends he met while reporting on the war in Afghanistan

When a group of friends decided to tackle Sentiero Italia, one of the world’s longest and forgotten trails, they had no idea that 1,500 others would join them along the way

In March, Emily Ford became the first woman to complete Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail in winter. She’s also become an unintentional ambassador of the outdoor industry’s quest for inclusivity.

Hiking can be a blast, but it won’t be if you're struggling every few feet. Here’s how to get ready for trekking, from easy day hikes to the longest thru-hikes in the world.

Sometimes the biggest threat in the wilderness is another human

Hiking was in vogue in 2020, but COVID-19 closures decimated the thru-hiking ranks. What did prospective hikers do with their unexpected time back home?

Monica and Vince Strawbridge and their four children hiked the PCT in 2018 and the CDT in 2020. Now the family has begun the AT.

What happens when a lifelong fraidy-cat sets out into the wilderness alone?

Staying in hiking shape during the off-season is a serious challenge, but it’s not impossible

We featured the Odyssey Triple Crown in our Summer Buyer’s Guide roundup of the best men’s hiking gear. “A wide toe box accommodates trail-swollen feet, while the stiff, cushioned midsole doesn’t pack out quickly,” our tester wrote.

Lots of people say they hike to change their lives. For some, that starts by changing their love lives.

Many hikers hope their treks will make them better at other sports. Instead, mine kept me from distance running for a year—a common side effect we don't discuss enough.

After devoting their spring to COVID-19 patients, two West Virginia brothers became the first identical twins to earn the triple crown of American hiking

From Washington to California, here are nine of our favorite short treks along the famous route

A pair of protective, breathable, comfortable bottoms is foundational to any adventure kit. We're here to help you find ones with the right features and fit.

Grizel is using her rising social media profile to spark a more nuanced conversation on nature's power to heal

After months of trespassing and hiding from rangers, two hikers completed the Appalachian Trail in June. Their sagas raise questions about what it means to be outdoors in the United States right now.

Thru-hiker traffic on this western trail is growing faster than the volunteer community's ability to handle it

What a locked-down Outside travel editor has been making to eat her way around the world during the pandemic

In his latest video for Backpacking TV, Eric Hanson breaks down what kind of shoe might be the right choice for your hiking style

For Warren Doyle, who has thru-hiked the trail nine times, it comes down to mental—as much as physical—preparedness

In the South, a series of hostels have welcomed hikers, defying trail closures and guidelines. They say they're acting on behalf of their communities.

We've been married 13 years and backpacked more than 12,000 miles together. This is what we've learned.

I watched 40-plus hours of thru-hiking vlogs. These are the ones that are worth your time.

In our comprehensive review of the best sleeping pads, the Z Light SOL was our favorite closed-cell foam option. “It’s light and durable, and no Z Lite user has ever had their night ruined by a leaking pad,” tester Ryan Stuart wrote. Bonus: the pad doubles as a seat…

Walking away from the adventure of a lifetime is hard, but it makes coming back to it especially rewarding. Here, five thru-hikers share their stories of failing and coming back for more.

Hostels are closing, volunteers are staying home, and trail organizations are advising hikers to cancel their plans

Despite the coronavirus, you can legally thru-hike the Appalachian Trail right now. But should you?

A wilderness medicine expert and former AT thru-hiker shares her tips for tackling a long-distance backpacking trip

Lucy Parks found trail culture far from fully accepting but refused to let fear stop them from thru-hiking the AT

An argument for supported hiking

Doctors told Trey Cate he'd never walk again after Iraq. Now he's organizing the most ambitious thru-hike of the decade.

Next