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There is nothing more depressing than heading to a beautiful national park, pulling into a campsite only to find that your camping neighbors spend the entirety of their days in the Great Outdoors inside their monster, air-conditioned RV watching movies and playing video games. The whole purpose of heading into Nature is to actually get out and experience the wildness that our urban lives have covered up with concrete and buildings.

The best way to truly enjoy the natural world is through leaving behind the car and allowing your own two feet to take you into the embrace of mountains, forests, and prairies. In this section of our blog we will offer a wealth of well-researched information on how you can find the perfect trail, either for a day hike or for a multi-day backpacking adventure, to soothe your urbanized spirit.

We have several articles that offer information on the best hiking and backpacking trails in a number of national parks that will allow you to escape the crowds and find your hidden piece of Shangri-La. Furthermore, we also offer advice on the best outdoor gear that you will need to keep you well equipped while on the trail.

There truly is a difference between hiking the paved nature trail at the entrance to a national park and finding an almost abandoned trail that will take you into the heart of unseen wilderness. By using our research to find the best hiking options for your next trip, you can be sure that you´ll be in for an adventure.

Best Hikes In Yosemite Valley

One of the best parts about visiting Yosemite National Park is going on different kinds of hikes in Yosemite Valley. You can get some incredible views by going on these hikes through this valley. Millions of tourists come to Yellowstone every year because they enjoy the variety of hikes that are possible along with the numerous amounts of outdoor activities that you can partake in too. Most people who come to Yellowstone do not enjoy hiking so you may be able to have some peace of mind by getting away from the large crowds in the spring or summer by being able to go hiking on the trails.

Half Dome

Difficulty: Very Strenuous
Distance: 17 miles for a round-trip
Hiking Time: 12 to 14 hours depending upon expertise level
Elevation Change: 4,800 feet

Trailhead: The route to the top starts with the Happy Isles, which is shuttle stop #16. You are going to need to follow the Mist Trail to the top of Nevada Fall. Lastly, you’ll follow the signs leading you to the top of Half Dome.

Half Dome has the distinguished reputation of being the most popular hiking destination in the valley. While it is the most famous of all the hiking trails, it is also the most challenging to do. You have to ascend over 8.5 miles to reach the summit and then it’s another 8.5 miles back to complete the trail. The actual hike can take up to two days or less. You have to be in top physical and mental shape in order to accomplish this hike. You may need to use metal cables and a harness in order to help yourself to the summit. You need to be strong to make it to the top but once you do, you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views in the whole Yosemite National Park.

Mist Trail

Difficulty: Strenuous
Distance: 3 miles for a round-trip
Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours total
Elevation Change: 1,000 feet

Trailhead: The Mist Trail also starts within the Happy Isles like the Half Dome trail. You can go to the shuttle stop #16, which is at the eastern end of the Yosemite Valley. After you get to that shuttle stop, you need to cross the stone bridge and follow the path to the left.

While Half Dome is the most famous and the most strenuous trail, Mist Trail is the most popular with Yellowstone hikers. It’s pretty popular because you can see some of the most amazing scenery when you’re hiking along the trail. You can go by the banks of the Merced River and then head up the stone steps to see the Vernal Fall, which is 317 feet high and is an amazing and awe-inspiring waterfall. You should be aware that this particular trail could get quite crowded especially during the summer season at Yellowstone. However, if you’re not looking for too much of a challenge but want to see the beauty of the national park, Mist Trail is a good option.

Nevada Fall

Difficulty: Strenuous
Distance: 7 miles for a round-trip
Hiking Time: 4 to 5 hours
Elevation Change: 1,900 feet

Trailhead: At the end of the Mist Trail, start at the top of Vernal Fall on the way to Nevada Fall.

From the Mist Trail, it’s pretty easy to go on the Nevada Fall hike afterwards. It only takes a little over a mile from there to get to the top of the Nevada Fall at about 600 feet. You’ll have much less hikers to deal with since it’s less popular than the Mist Trail and you can get a lot of beautiful, and scenic views there too. In order to return to the beginning of the trail, you can loop around back using the John Muir Trail.

Yosemite Falls

Difficulty: Strenuous
Distance: 7.6 miles for a round-trip
Hiking Time: 4 to 5 hours
Elevation Change: 2,600 feet

Trailhead: Begin at Camp 4 to start the trail. Then, you’ll take a shuttle to Yosemite Lodge, which is Stop #7 to cross the street to Camp 4. The hike starts between the camping ground and the parking lot.

To get to some beautiful waterfalls that are over 2,000 feet in total height, you’ll have to undergo the strenuous hike of Yosemite Falls. It will not be easy physically, you’ll sweat a lot, and it will be a long way up to the top, but the views of Yosemite Falls are truly incredible. You can even see the Upper Yosemite Fall after going up the 135 switchbacks in total. You’ll be able to go above the waterfall itself to see the entire area. If you’re not willing to put in all of that effort, you can go to the Columbia Point instead, which is only about 1.2 miles away from the trailhead. It’s not as strenuous of a hike, and you will still get some great views of the valley.

Four Mile Trail

Difficulty: Strenuous
Distance: 9.2 miles for a round-trip
Hiking Time: 5 to 7 hours
Elevation Change: 3,200 feet

Trailhead: To begin the Four Mile Trail, you’re going to need to go between Sentinel Beach and the Swinging Bridge on Southside Drive.

While millions of tourists come to Glacier Drive for the spectacular views, you can earn them and get some exercise by going through the Four Mile Trail. It’s a great hiking trail because you can get clear views of all of Yosemite Falls. If you don’t want to hike the 3,200 feet up to the top of Glacier Point, you can choose to take a shuttle bus up there instead and just hike down the 3,200 feet down into Yosemite Valley. If you want more than just the Four Mile Trail, which is actually over nine miles round trip, you should consider doing the 11.5 mile hike, which includes the scenic Panorama Trail and ends at the Mist Trail. If you’ve got the energy, it’s one of the best hiking trails in Yosemite on par with Half Dome in terms of its’ difficulty and also its’ reward.

RELATED CONTENT

Start planning for your next trip now! Know the perfect time to visit the national park. Check this guide: The Best Times to Visit Yosemite

Top Five Overnight Hikes in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the United States, and rightfully so. The beautiful mountains, pristine rivers, herds of wild buffalo, blazing hot springs and Geysers and so much more make this place a truly one of a kind environment.

It can be frustrating, however, to head to Yellowstone in hopes of getting a taste of the natural wilderness only to find that everywhere you go, you are surrounded by thousands of talkative tourists whose radios, picture taking and the like kind of takes the magic out of the moment.

While Yellowstone is known for drawing a crowd, there are also some fantastic places you can go to get away from the crowds and experience the essence of the wildness of one of America´s most iconic national parks. Below you´ll find information on five fantastic overnight hikes in Yellowstone National Park.

Ice Lake and Chain of Lakes

If you are looking for a hike that will take you away from the crowds as quickly as possible, this is the option for you. While it is only a 1.4 mile hike to this backcountry campground, that is more than enough distance to separate you from the majority of tourists who frown upon carrying their bed in a backpack.

They call this trail the chain of lakes because the trail follows a number of mountain lakes that form in descending fashion throughout the mountain. Ice Lake is the closest one, and you can choose how far you plan to go. Wolf Lake is about a 4 mile hike making it a bit more secluded than Ice Lake.

Howard Eaton Trail

For experienced backcountry backpackers who like the thrill of trying to blaze their own trail, the Howard Eaton Trail offers a unique challenge. This trail hasn’t been maintained in a number of years. While there are still parts of it where a trail is recognizable, other parts have been lost to vegetation.

Trying to find your way along a lost trail offers a healthy dose of adrenaline to anyone. Throw in the fact that this is prime grizzly bear country and you´ll find yourself instantly on your toes during the entirety of the hike. The old Howard Eaton Trail is the best place in the park for people wanting to explore on their own.

Bighorn Pass

If you want a little longer hike, the Bighorn Pass backpacking trip will take you close to 9 miles into the wilderness. This hike takes you along the Gallatin River and is one of the best places to find black bears, grizzly bears, and herds of elk.

There are a number of backpacker only campsites along the way and you might even be able to find a campsite near a marmot colony. Their friendly chirping will keep you entertained throughout the night.

Lamar River

The best place in the whole park to see the Lamar Valley and offers perhaps the best scenic, panoramic views. Furthermore, along the Lamar River you will most likely find bison footprints, and if you know how to recognize, the iconic gray wolf.

This area is known as the American Serengeti because of the huge amount of wildlife including bear, elk, antelope, wolves, and much more.

How to Get In to the Backcountry at Yellowstone

To get away from the crowds at Yellowstone, you can´t simply take a tent and sleeping bag and head into the wilderness. All backcountry travelers and campers need a permit to camp outside of the regular campgrounds.

You will need to apply at least 48 hours ahead of your planned trip. If you are planning to hike during peak summer season, you might also find that many of the backcountry campsites that you wanted to reserve have already been reserved, so plan accordingly.

The Hidden Wonders of Yellowstone

If you have seen Old Faithful and done some of the more common day hikes at Yellowstone but want to get away from the crowds, the backcountry of Yellowstone offers a glimpse into a whole different side of this classic National Park. Do your planning ahead of time and pick any of these five fantastic backpacking trips to get a taste of the unspoiled wilderness of Yellowstone.

Top 7 Day Hikes in Washington State

Rainforests and Open Meadows

Washington State isn’t often considered to be one of the most ecologically diverse states of our country. Nestled into the top northwestern corner of the United States, it often gets passed up on for other supposedly more exotic locations for hiking.

The difference between eastern and western Washington are so striking, however, that it might feel like you´ve travelled across the world after a short 5 hour car drive. From the lush Cascade Mountains and the Hoh Rainforests in the western part of the state to the dry, wheat fields and prairies of the eastern part of the state, Washington offers a number of uniquely different ecosystems and environments.

A fantastic vacation idea would be to start in the Spokane area of eastern Washington and drive all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Along the way be sure to check out some of these awe-inspiring day hikes.

Oregon Butte

The Blue Mountains in the south-eastern part of Washington aren’t as famous as their western counterparts, but they still have plenty to offer. The ridgeline trail that goes through the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness will take you to a beautiful overlook. On a clear day you will be able to see down into the valley of wheat fields and open spaces.

Tolmie Peak Lookout - Eunice Lake

There is something undeniably magical about mountain lakes, and the Tolmie Peak Lookout stairs down into the pristine Eunice Lake which shines like a sapphire amidst an emerald green softwood forest.

Located near Mount Rainier National Park, this simple day hike will offer you beautiful views of one of the most iconic peaks in the state of Washington while also taking you up to almost 6,000 feet elevation.

South Coldwater Trail

Mount Saint Helen´s might not be as active as it was a couple of decades ago, but this trail in the South Cascades region offers you a pretty unique experience. You will be able to take in pretty cool views of the old volcano itself while also appreciating the roaming herds of elk.

The South Coldwater Trail rambles through treeless valleys which still give testament to the power of destruction that Mount Saint Helens caused. At the same time, the renewed landscape filled with wild flowers speaks to the power and resiliency of the natural world.

Sunrise Ridge

In the northern part of the Olympic Mountains you can find a unique trail in Sunrise Ridge. This trail which is within Olympic National Park is a wildflower-lover´s delight. If you time it right you will find field upon field of every type of wildflower including lupine, larkspur and everything in between. This is also a great trail to come upon all sorts of wildlife.

Hoh Rainforest Trail

Really? A rainforest in the United States. While many of us might think that rainforests only exist in Brazil or Indonesia, the United States does have its own swath of untouched, virgin rainforest in the Hoh National Park.

Walking through the lush greenness of the Hoh Rainforest Trail is an experience unlike any other. Monstrous trees hung with thick moss and the unending song of hidden birds will make you feel like you´re in another country. The relatively open understory allows you to truly take in the beauty of America´s only rainforest.

Rialto Beach and Hole-in-the-Wall

While many people might think of the beach as a place to relax on the sand, the Pacific Coast of Washington is a perfect place to explore sea side cliffs and forests. The Rialto Beach and Hole-in-the-Wall offers a short 4 mile loop trail that is coastal hiking at its best. If you´re lucky, you might even find some tide pools filled with starfish and other unique sea creatures

Larch Lake

In the Central Cascades, Larch Lake trail offers one of the most secluded places you can get to in a day. This hike isn´t easy as you´ll gain over 2,500 feet of elevation in 12 round trip miles, but if you make it to the lake you´ll be greeted by one of the Cascades best kept secrets.

Hiking this trail in early fall is by far the best time as the azure glow of Larch Lake will contrast beautifully with the golden leaves of fall time.

A Must See: Spider Meadow

If you are in the Cascades Region, you will also want to check out Spider Meadow. A 13 mile round trip hike will take you through meadows and alpine highlands while giving you glimpse into the unique ecosystem of Glacier Peak Wilderness area.

Washington: So Much to See

Chances are that during your cross-state excursion throughout the state of Washington you´ll also come across dozens of other beautiful areas beckoning for you to stop and explore. You might not even be able to drive more than a couple miles without feeling the itch to see what´s over the hill. Exploring Washington State through these day hikes will offer you a glimpse into the natural beauty this state has to offer.

Seven Amazing Things to See in the Smoky Mountains

Let´s face it: not everyone is built for enduring the elements during a five day, strenuous backpacking trip up some 14,000 foot mountain. That´s what makes the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee so great. Even a few steps off the road and you´ll feel like you´re enveloped in a beautiful, pristine wilderness.

Watch the Sunset from Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the park at 6,643 feet. You can take the leisurely drive through the forest to the top of the dome where you will be greeted by outstanding panoramic views of the hazy, surrounding mountains. There is simply no better place to catch a sunset here in the park.

Laurel Falls Trail

If you are not in the best shape or don´t enjoy hiking up steep mountains, the Laurel Falls Trail offers a nice stroll through the woods. The 2.6 mile loop trail is mostly flat with a few small hills. But don´t let the ease of the hike fool you into thinking you won´t get to see much.

The culmination of the hike is a view of a gorgeous 80 foot high waterfall splashing into a small pool at its base. If you plan it at the right time of the year, you can also enjoy the flowering rhododendrons. This is a great hike to do with young children as it will open up to them the wonders of the natural world without not being too strenuous for their young legs.

Ramsey Cascades Trail

While the Laurel Falls are pretty accessible to anyone, the Ramsey Cascades Trail is a pretty strenuous trail. This 8-mile hike increases close to 2,000 feet in elevation which means that you probably won´t run in too many other people.

The trail takes you through beautiful forest and follows the gushing waters of a stream. If you make it to the end of the trail, you´ll be greeted to the park´s tallest waterfall with over 100 feet of fall. In the small pool at the bottom of the fall you should be able to find uniquely colored salamanders.

Watch the Foliage from Campbell Overlook

One of the most unique places in the park to see the autumn foliage is Campbell Overlook. It is the best place in the park to see towering Mount LeConte and other forests. You can get there by car, or, if you prefer, through numerous hiking trails.

Hike Up Mount LeConte

The Alum Cave Bluff Trail will take you up to the top of Mount LeConte, the most iconic peak in the Smoky Mountains National Park. While there are several different trails to help you get up Mount LeConte, this trail is the steepest, less-frequented, and offers several unique sights along its way.

From a spot called Inspiration Point you can hike through an arch and get a view of the “Eye of the Needle” a hole in a rock in a nearby ridge.

Hike a Part of the Appalachian Trail

The Applachian Trail goes from Georgia all the way to Maine. If you´re not up for spending 6 months crossing the entire country by foot, you should at least hike a part of the trail that crosses through the Smoky Mountains. Standing Indian Mountain is our pick for the best place to get on the AT and can easily be done as a simple overnight backpacking trip.

Roarking Fork Motor Nature Trail

If hiking isn’t your thing, the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail takes you into the heart of the Smokies. You will pass by old homesteads and also have the option to walk to the Rainbow and Grotto Waterfalls, both of which should not be passed on.

A Must See

There are hundreds of things to see in the Smoky Mountains, but one thing that you absolutely can´t miss is Cades Cove. This beautiful rolling meadow offers a loop tour that you can hike, drive or bike and offers a glimpse into centuries past.

Cades Cove used to be an agrarian settlement and you can still see beautiful constructions of old log cabins hidden in the thick woods. It´s also a great spot to catch a glimpse of a black bear, if you´re lucky. Like most places in the park, the best time of year to visit is in the fall time to enjoy the beautiful colors on the trees.

The Smoky Mountains: A Comfortable Wilderness

Any of these travel ideas throughout the Smoky Mountains will offer you a truly unique experience. From backwoods hiking to comfortable and accessible wilderness, the Smokies offer a little bit of everything for families, independent adventure seekers, and everyone in between.

Seven Amazing Things to See in Yosemite

The Unending Beauty of Yosemite National Park


Imagine visiting a national park where over 95% of the close to 750,000 acres were designated as pure wilderness. Now imagine the fact that the vast majority of the four million people each year who visit only spend their time in the seven square miles that make up Yosemite Valley.


Despite being one of the most beautiful national parks in the United States, much of Yosemite still remains an unexplored wilderness.


Yosemite National Park is filled with breathtaking mountain ranges, waterfalls, mountain lakes, glaciers, and towering redwood forests. There is truly something for everyone in this impressively picturesque World Heritage Site, and we´ll take you through seven of the most amazing things to see in Yosemite.




Hike Yosemite Falls


Yosemite Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the United States dropping close to 2,500 feet from the top fall to the lower fall. For the more adventurous of people, you can take a strenuous several mile hike up to the top of waterfall enjoying gorgeous views along the way.


Spring is by far the best time to visit when the snow melt and extra rains bring the waterfall to a crashing roar. If you do hike to the top, you can even wade in the river only feet from where it eventually crashes over 1,000 feet downwards to the second fall.



Hike Half Dome


Half Dome is another daunting adventure for backpackers and hikers alike. The granite dome that juts up into the sky is rounded on three sides but a sheer granite face on one side, thus giving it its name.


An incredibly strenuous 8.5 mile hike will take you to the top of Half Dome via hundreds of stairs carved into the granite rock. Alternatively, for the truly adventurous, you can choose to mountain climb the sheer granite face on Half Dome´s northwest face.



Take Your Kids Gold Panning


California used to offer the promise of striking it rich during the hay days of the California Gold Rush. Today you can still find a number of rivers where gold can be found if you bring the right patience and skills.


The Main Fork of the Merced River is one of the best places in the park to search for gold. You will need to bring your own panning equipment, though there are several nearby stores that will sell you what you needed to try and strike it rich.


Climb the Nose of “El Capitan”


For adrenaline junkies, what could be better than trying to climb up a 7,500-foot granite monolith that offers more than 3,000 feet of free fall to the valley floor below? El Capitan is a massive rock formation located in the northern part of Yosemite Valley.


Even experienced mountain climbers often need a minimum of five days to complete the climb, so make sure you plan accordingly.



Drive Through Tioga Pass


For people who aren’t up for climbing up steep mountain faces, Yosemite still offers access to beautiful, breathtaking panoramic views. The Tioga Pass is a mountain pass through the Sierra Nevada mountains that approaches 10,000 feet.


Route 120 drives right through the pass and is the eastern entrance way into the park. Leave early in the day to get the best views.



Walk Through a Grove of Sequoias


The Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias will help you put your size in perspective. During a leisurely walk through the old growth forest you can even walk through a massive tunnel carved out of a dead sequoia.


For a more secluded experience the Mariposa Grove of Sequoias is just up the road.



Watch a Sunset from Olmsted Point


One of the best places to watch a sunset in Yosemite National Park is at Olmsted Point which is an overlook off of the Tioga Road that offers a wonderful view into the canyon with views of Half Dome and other lakes. Olmsted Point offers some of the best views of the park for those who aren’t willing or able to scale mountain faces.



Final Thoughts


Yosemite National Park is without a doubt one of the most beautiful national areas of the United States. Whether you are looking for the adrenaline of free climbing El Capitan or want to drive to Tioga Pass to enjoy the views, Yosemite has adventures waiting for everyone.

RELATED CONTENT

Check out this next guide about camping places in Yosemite: What are the Best Places to Camp in Yosemite?

Best Hiking Tarp under $50

Hiking tarps need not be overpriced. You can find the best hiking tarp under $50 that’s sure to offer what you need. After researching numerous products, we’ve come up with the top three models and hot picks.

Our Hot Picks At A Glance: 

YUEDGE Portable Lightweight Waterproof Rain Tarp

With this tarp, you get an awesome deal. For less than $50, you have a lightweight, waterproof and durable tarp that offers exceptional water shedding capability.

  • Made with sturdy polyester that resists wear to last a long time

  • Provides shade and protection from extreme weather conditions

  • Ideal for various purposes

YUEDGE-Portable-Lightweight-Waterproof-Rain-Tarp-Rain-Fly-Tent-Tarp-Shelter-Sunshade

OUTAD Waterproof Camping Tarp

A multi-purpose tarp that costs less than $20 is absolutely worth the money. Available in four colors and three sizes, you can choose the tarp that suits your needs. Whether you need one for picnic, camping, hiking or going to the beach, this product works for you.

  • Made with high density waterproof fabric

  • Easy to carry with drawstring bag included

  • Comes in various sizes and colors

OUTAD-Waterproof-Camping-Tarp-for-Picnics-Tent-Footprint-and-Sunshade

Stansport Reinforced Brown Rip-Stop Tarp

This versatile tarp is friendly on your pocket but is awesome for its price. The heavy duty rip stop material is a durable solution to your hiking needs. It is waterproof, and can be used as base for your tent or ground cover.

  • Made with rust-resistant grommets and rope-reinforced edges for durability

  • Can be used as shelter, boat cover, firewood protector and shade

  • Waterproof and easy to carry

Outdoor-Products-Rolled-Tarp

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Best Hiking Tarp

When finding the best hiking tarp, it is important to get as much reliable information as you can in order to make an informed decision. After careful research, we’ve come up with the top three choices to make things easier for you.

Here's Our Top Picks At A Glance:

Aqua Quest Guide Tarp

This waterproof, compact and durable tarp is certainly a good catch. With hydrostic resistance of 20,000 mm, not even a drop of rain can get through it.

  • Weighs only 1.1 pounds, pack it on its own sack and keep it in your pocket

  • Highly versatile for you can hang it, make a tepee or peg into the ground

  • Has reinforced stitching and heat taped seams for durability

Aqua-Quest-Guide-Tarp-Medium-10-x-7-ft

Vigor Waterproof Rainfly Tent Tarp

Weighing only 1.6 pounds, this tarp is not just literally light on your bag, but also on your budget. Made of high quality materials, it easily folds and offers enough protection against the sun and rain.

  • Made of rip stop nylon fabric that is waterproof of up to PU2000mm

  • Good partner for hammock but can be used as a picnic mat and shelter

  • Made with enhanced nylon ribbon for durability

Vigor Waterproof Rainfly 10x10 ft Large Tent Tarp for Camping and Snow Protection with Reflective Rope and Windproof Stakes

Eastern Ridge Waterproof Windproof Lightweight Durable Hammock Camping Tarp

The name says it all; this tarp probably has everything you are looking for-lightweight, durable, water and windproof. What more can you ask from this high-end tarp that’s sure to give your money’s worth.

  • excellent for travel for it is light at 19 ounces

  • offers plenty of rigging options as provided by the guy lines and ridgelines

  • easy to set up

Eastern-Ridge-Waterproof-Windproof-Lightweight-Durable-Hammock-Camping-Tarp

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Best Backpacks for Hiking

Are you an adventurous hiker or someone who is always on the go? If yes, you will definitely need a dependable backpack to get you through all your daily ventures. Whether it be a three day hike or just a two hour trip, our selection of bags and backpacks will provide the perfect fit for your needs.

A sturdy travel backpack is a necessity when heading out for a day trip, or even to take with you while traveling. In fact, it is one of the most important things you can wear--aside from shoes and clothing as it holds your gear.

From a week long trek to a short day trip, a quality backpack is important for holding all of your supplies without putting too much strain on your body.

There are many factors to take into consideration when picking a backpack to ensure you have made the right decision. You have to keep in mind the length of the hike, how much stuff you plan to take, and the weather.

We have compiled a list of top rated hiking bags for you to consider purchasing before your next venture.

Our Top Picks At A Glance:

Top 5 Backpacks for Hiking

Reliability and durability are important qualities in the best backpacks sought after by hikers and travelers alike. These features along with many others put these backpacks on the map as top selling and most liked by reviewers.

Camden Gear Backpack

Kicking off the top of our list is the Camden Gear Backpack, which is the most popular with the best bang for your buck--prices average around $30. This is quite large with 35L of available space and padding to keep everything safe inside--even a laptop!

With multiple pockets and compartments, you have ample room to carry your hiking gear such as a water bottle, camera, small sleeping bag, and other knick knacks without being bulky.

Each shoulder strap is sturdy and well padded complete with a front clip to evenly distribute the weight, making it a lightweight fit.It

Under its one year warranty, this is also covered by a 100% money back guarantee.

Camden Gear Backpack

Trespass Neroli Backpack

Up next, the Tresspass Neroli - a slightly smaller hiking and travel backpack, fitting up to 28L. Designed with activity in mind, its size makes it a practical piece for hiking, heading to the gym, or even a trip snowboarding.

The back portion and each shoulder strap are padded, so you feel comfortable during activity. Chest and waist straps are also attached, allowing the bag to give better support.

Two mesh side pockets can house water bottles, while another large mesh pocket is situated on the front for more storage.

A headphone access space is easily accessible for you to listen to music or make phone calls while on the go. The main compartment has additional internal pockets to fit your items and keep them organized. A secret pocket is also inside to secure your valuables such as a cellphone or wallet.

Trespass Neroli Backpack

Berghaus Twentyfourseven + 25 Rucksack

The Berghaus Twentyfourseven + 25 Rucksack is a favorite among those who want a versatile bag for hiking trips and daily use. Not only is it practical, but it is stylish as well with its sleek and simple design.

Holding 25L, the Berghaus is one of five backpacks in the Twentyfourseven line, which all have similar features, but carrying capacities ranging from 10L to 30L.

Designed with organization and comfort in mind, the Berghaus features numerous internal pockets dedicated to your holding your essentials, and even another space for a water bottle. Walking pole attachments are included for your adventure as are external pockets to hold an additional water bottle.

Straps are adjustable and are built-in for extra support along with padded shoulder straps. Reflective detailing increases the bag's visibility and safety.

The vented air foam material creates a breathable flow back system, allowing for comfort during activity. It is also hydration system compatible.

Berghaus Twentyfourseven+ 25 Rucksack

The Friendly Swede 25L Ultralight Packable Backpack with Paracord Keychain


With its great name, highly rated customer reviews, and around $15 dollar price range, its no surprise that The Friendly Swede made the top list of best hiking backpacks.

The rucksack itself is exceptionally light, weighing only 240g, but has the ability to carry 25L and fold into a small pocket. This is an ultralight backpack that keeps its lightness without sacrificing on the capacity, quality, or comfort.

There are two mesh side pockets with enough room to fit a water bottle. A keychain is also included made of paracord with a 350lb carrying capacity.

Made of rip-stop 210D grade nylon, this ultralight pack is durable and high-quality. A thin coating of polyurethane makes the backpack resistant to water, further protecting your belongings during inclement weather.

A lifetime warranty is provided to cover it, which can be accessed on the companys website.

The Friendly Swede 25L Ultralight Packable Backpack Daypack with Paracord Keychain

Under Armour Men's Hustle II Backpack

Under Armour is a well-known sporting brand, but not one normally associated with hiking--the Hustle backpack changes all of that. It made the list for being tough against the elements and long lasting, while holding up to 31L, and maintaining style.

At an average price of $30, the UA storm technology combats water, while keeping your stuff safe. The bottom is lined with abrasion resistant material to prevent wear and tear,increasing the bags lifetime.

Similar to a internal frame, Cushioned Heat Gear straps provide comfort to the shoulders and stay dry with the breathable material. This travel backpack is also lined with padding to prevent items from jabbing into your back during activity, while also protecting them from breaking.

There are internal multipurpose pockets to keep you organized. A separate compartment was created to house a pair of muddy shoes or dirty clothing while the connecting waterproof side stores your water bottles.

Under Armour Men's Hustle II Backpack

Other Quality Hiking Backpacks

G4Free 20L Lightweight Packable Backpack

This ultralight backpack is made with top notch nylon, with an abrasion resistant SBS metal zipper and is water resistant. It has a capacity of 20 liters, which is fantastic for your day trip or for an outdoor trip. 

This day pack has padded shoulder straps for more comfort. Because of it's lightweight material, you can easily fold it to a size as small as a sandwich. Thus, it comes with an ultra-compact pouch which you can use to fit in the folded bag when not in use, or when you want to bring an extra bag for your trip. 

G4Free

Vango Pac Packable Rucksack

This bag only weighs 190g, helping you reduce pack weight. But it doesn't mean that it has thin and weak material. This is made from a robust 200D ripstop nylon which is highly durable, and will surely not let you down.

Its wide and padded AirMesh shoulder straps provide more comfort and airflow between your body and the bag. The main compartment has a capacity of 15 liters, and it also has a front pocket as additional storage for your needs.

Vango-Pac-Packable-Rucksack

Andes Camouflage Camping

This ultimate backpack is ideal for all kinds of outdoor activities - hiking, camping, and many more. It has an overall capacity of 120 liters which is perfect to store all your needs and camping gear. 

No need to worry about backpacking or organizing your stuff - this bag has a lot of compartments to help you. It has a main compartment, three front pockets, side zip and side mesh pockets, and a small top pocket for easy access to some smaller yet important items. Compression straps are included to keep everything together and secure. 

The bag is made of tough polyester, making it durable for all types of weather conditions​.

Andes Camouflage Camping

North Face Men’s Vault

The North Face Vault Backpack is a 26 liter day pack. The bag features a main large main compartment where you can keep all your necessities safe and secure, and a secondary compartment with an organizer for all of your gear. 

Features include ​airmesh padded shoulder straps and back panel. It also has side stretch pockets for your water bottles.

North Face Men’s Vault

North Face Men’s Borealis

This comfortable, 29L capacity rucksack might be the one you've been looking for. This has a padded airmesh back panel and an adjustable shoulder strap to provide a snug fit.

It's complete of all the storage area you may need for your things - a roomy main compartment and a laptop sleeve for your gadget, a front stash pocket, and mesh side water bottle pockets. 

North Face Men’s Borealis

Buying Guide

Your backpack is an essential component in an enjoyable and successful outdoor experience. But remember that not all bags are created equal. The perfect hiking bag can look, feel, and function differently for everyone. When selecting the one that is best for you, there are certain aspects that you should consider. See the following factors below:

Purpose

Keep in mind when you plan on using your backpack. If its solely for hiking then youll probably need more specific compartments for your gear as opposed to someone also wearing this backpack for a commute.

Despite the purpose, reflective detail is always important at night to help you be seen and should be considered when selecting a backpack.

Size

There is no such thing as the perfect size when it comes to your backpack.While its great to have unlimited space for your necessities, you have to remember that you will be the one lugging it all around. Know the length of your torso - not your height - and choose a backpack appropriate for your torso length. 

Your backpack should also fit you. If your bag is too large or small, it won’t sit on your body properly and can cause you discomfort. Adjust the shoulder and hip straps to have an even and stable fit that is right for you.

Weight

Ideally, you want a light backpack, so that your gear will account for most of the weight. You may opt to get the one made from lightweight materials.

Capacity

The capacity is how much your backpack can hold measured in liters. It is an important factor because you want to have enough room to carry your supplies without sacrificing the overall weight of the backpack.

Pack Access

Accessibility is just as important as the other factors mentioned. When buying a backpack for hiking, choose the one that will give you great access to your most important stuff. You may look for backpacks with top load openings, hip belt pockets and front pockets for easy access.

Hydration Reservoir

Most hiking backpacks are hydration compatible, which means it has a built-in hydration system which allows the wearer to drink hands-free. When looking for a backpack to use for hiking, hydration packs are always a good option for a buyer. 

Waterproof

If you are an avid hiker who will be spending most of your time outdoors, then your rucksack should be waterproof. Nobody wants to open their bag to find wet clothes or soggy food. If your bag isnt waterproof initially, it should have the compatibility to attach a separate rain cover, protecting the contents inside.

Ventilation

While it is important for your backpack to be waterproof, you want to make sure that there is also proper ventilation. The diverted water can leave you feeling hot, damp, and uncomfortable. You want your bag to be made out of material that will dry quickly and leave you cool. The shoulder strap and back panel should have this feature to prevent water and sweat from leaving you soggy during a hike.

Support

Padded straps and compression straps can make or break a backpack. They can help evenly distribute the weight and pressure you feel, so you can carry it easily and have a comfortable journey. Padded hip belts can prevent soreness in your lower back and hips since around 70% of the weight sits in this area.

You may also look for bags with chest straps or sternum straps which give additional stability and help reduce jarring or tumbling of your rucksack. Both of these straps can soften the stress and preserve stability for your body during hiking. 

Conclusion

Choosing a backpack can be a daunting task with all the different bags and options out there. Reading reviews are helpful to determine which brands and styles are high-quality or popular, but remember - whats right for some may not be for you. So always put your own preferences first of what you want in a hiking backpack.

When buying a backpack, always keep in mind the purpose your backpack will serve you and all the other factors mentioned in this post. That way you will be able to find exactly the right fit for you and your hiking needs.

What are the Best Internal Frame Backpacks?

Most backpacks sold today feature internal frame that sits flush against the back, keeping the body’s center of gravity in natural position. Hikers can remain stable even on uneven terrain. Most of these bags have one or two long, aluminum flat bars placed against the back for support and rigidity. In purchasing the best internal frame backpacks, it’s best to pick one with appropriate capacity, fitting and support. We’ll take the guesswork out as we list the well-rated products.

Our Top Picks At A Glance:

TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack – Best Bang for your Buck

A mid-range priced backpack that has the key features most hikers would look for; Scout 3400 comes with mesh support, sturdy zippers, padded straps and bendable aluminum frame.

This top selling backpack is loaded with features that offer the best bang for your buck. It is ideal for light trips, offering 55-liter capacity and weighs 4.5 pounds. It boasts ultimate comfort with its torso adjustment that can fit a range of body frame sizes. The durable foam pad and molded channels provide good ventilation and comfort. You can trust its quality as it is built from durable materials. Keep your things organized in its multiple compartments.

TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack

Everest Hiking Backpack – Best Value

This backpack is an excellent internal frame pack at its price point. It is affordable but high quality, simply perfect for day trips and weekenders.

The medium-sized backpack comes in different attractive colors. It is made of ultra light, durable polyester fabric and is constructed with polyester lining. It comes with drawstring and buckle closures, zippered pockets and side compression straps. To ensure comfort, the pack is designed with heavily padded shoulder and back panels. The waist strap is adjustable to fit any body size. It even has hip belt pockets that allow you to access your things easily. The top is hooded while main compartments are zippered.

Everest Hiking Backpack

HBAG Discovery 80L 5400ci Internal Frame Camping Hiking Backpack – Awesome for the Price

This inexpensive backpack is easy on your pocket but is awesome in features. Be it short trips or long expeditions, it can provide storage for your most important travel gear.

You never have to worry about straining your back as this pack comes with adjustable, padded waist belt and shoulder straps. You can load up to 80 liters and carry it comfortably for it is padded in the lumbar area. Keep your things organized for HBAG has various pockets and compartments. The main compartment loads on top, making it easy to place or find your things. It has high quality SBS zippers and features an airflow system that reduces heat.

HBAG Discovery 80L 5400ci Internal Frame Camping Hiking Backpack

TETON Sports Fox 5200 Internal Frame Backpack – Best in Class

Teton remains true to its reputation in bringing high quality backpacks. This high-end bag offers extra large load capacity and is hydration ready, making it the right pack for serious hikers.

The rugged bag can accommodate up to 5,200 cubic inches, enough to bring everything you need for a weeklong trip. It is built to last for its is strategically designed using durable materials. The torso can be adjusted in multiple positions, making it ideal for any body type. The padding is made of open cell foam that makes airflow, providing comfort for carrying heavy loads. Professional hikers will surely find it a perfect companion for it is hydration-ready. It has innovative storage compartments but is surprisingly lightweight at 5.5 pounds.

TETON Sports Fox 5200 Internal Frame Backpack

Mountaintop 70L+10L Outdoor Sport Water-resistant Internal Frame Backpack Hiking Backpack – Best Mid-Range Pack

Serious backpackers looking for a mid-range priced internal frame pack will find this bag worth the investment. It is high capacity at 70 plus 10 liters and is designed for pro campers and hikers.

Made from waterproof material, the bag safely protects your travel essentials from splashes. It has ample room for your belongings, but ensures that your pack is neatly arranged for there are pockets on the top, sides, hip plus a main and secondary compartment. You can bring your sleeping bag and hydration bladder with you without worrying a bit. The frame system supports the pack and evenly distributes weight.

Mountaintop 70L+10L Outdoor Sport Water-resistant Internal Frame Backpack Hiking Backpack

Final Thoughts

Nowadays, Hiking Backpacks now come in various types and designs. Internal frame systems definitely help serious backpackers with the right support technologies that transfer load to the hips. Reading internal frame backpack reviews can help you choose the bag to purchase, but the decision comes from what your needs dictate. Decide on what you need and you can surely come up with the right pack that suits your budget.

Have you determined your needs and done your homework?

Related Articles

Thinking about going hunting? Check out our article about external frame backpacks before your head out!

What are the Best External Frame Backpacks?

Backpacks come in different forms, including those with an external frame. These are ideal for long backpacking trips because they are designed to carry heavier loads. Investing in the best external frame pack allows you to benefit from better ventilation that its counterpart.

Just be sure to pick a high quality hike backpack that best suits your needs and your budget. We have come up with the list of well-rated gear to make things easier for you.

Our Top Picks At A Glance:

ALPS OutdoorZ Commander Freighter Frame Bag – Best Bang for your Buck

You get your money’s worth in this high-end bag that works as a backpack and freighter frame. The top loading, external frame pack has a rifle holder, hydration pocket and other pouches that make it a perfect companion for your outdoor backpacking.

The pack bag is removable to the frame and offers a generous storage volume of 5,250 cubic inches. The frame can serve as standalone freighter frame if the bag compartment is removed.

It includes a spotting scope, two side hinged and front pockets aside from the main bag compartment. You can use the frame to haul your meat as it comes with a lashing system. The padded straps allow you to carry your heavy load comfortably.

Some other helpful features of this pack bag include its spindrift collar and lower door access for extra storage space and its durable fabric used throughout making the over all design incredibly strong.

ALPS takes pride in the quality of their products and follow a strict set of specifications and standards to provide you with the best. They are trusted and strive to develop the highest quality, performance-driven outdoor products so that's why they offer you a manufacturer warranty. If your product is defected in any way, contact them and they will take care of it!

ALPS OutdoorZ Commander Freighter Frame Bag – Best Bang for your Buck

Extreme Pak Dgt Camo Mountaineers Backpack – Best Value

This tough looking bag is easy on your pocket, for it is very inexpensive! It’s a heavy-duty pack for mountaineers who want extra storage and superior suspension.

This backpack’s compartment is big enough to hold 12 small duck decoys plus a few other items. It has six other pockets that allow you to bring everything you need in the day, like your water bottle and any other gear. You might even want to throw on your dog's pack!

This is the hike backpack that can handle external elements such as bad weather, due to its water resistant material. The extra straps and loops provide adjustable suspension and allow you to bring extras that won’t fit inside the bag but you still need to bring with you.

For comfort, the pack is built with an adjustable shoulder harness and waist strap. It looks like a military bag but it is perfect for hikers and campers as well. If you love long hikes and camping trips, this is the best external frame pack for the price and features.

Extreme Pak Dgt Camo Mountaineers Backpack – Best Value

Kelty Trekker Hiking Backpack – Awesome for the Price

Kelty remains consistent to their tradition of bringing excellent packs with this mid-range priced hiking backpack. It has plenty of pockets and simple and lightweight design that makes it ideal on any trail.

The comfortable frame has adjustable suspension, foam hip belt, padded shoulder straps, sternum strap, belt stabilizer and load lifter straps. Multiple pockets let you carry so many items in an organized fashion.

It even has a laptop sleeve and is hydration compatible, making it the perfect bag for serious backpackers. You can read other Kelty external frame backpack review to learn more about the product.

Kelty Trekker Hiking Backpack – Awesome for the Price

Outdoor Products Dragonfly External Frame Backpack – Most Affordable

This pack is low in price, but not in quality. The top loading bag is designed for entry-level hikers with a capacity of 2,780 cubic inches.

It is designed with your comfort in mind, that is why it features a superior suspension system. Padded hip belt and shoulder straps are adjustable while the mesh material keeps users cool even on long hikes.

It is built with bungee compression that keeps contents from shifting. It only weighs 3 pounds and 10 ounces, with 7 different pockets for multiple storage. It even has a lifetime guarantee on workmanship and materials!

Outdoor Products Dragonfly External Frame Backpack

ALPS Mountaineering Zion 3900 Cubic Inches External Pack – for Ballers

Another ALPS high-end backpack makes it on our list. It is loaded with features, giving good value for your money. Compared with their other backpacks, it is lower in price but was designed to meet the needs of users.

The Zion is built with top loading access and a compartment for a sleeping bag. It allows you to bring as much hiking essentials for it has numerous pockets including a large front pocket, zippered side pockets, and a big mesh pocket for your water bottle.

It also comes with ice-axe loops, daisy chain with carry handle, spindrift collar, hold-open bar, and is hydration compatible. Not to mention its padded waist belt and shoulder straps to give you extra comfort when carrying such a heavy load.

 ALPS Mountaineering Zion 3900 Cubic Inches External Pack

Final Thoughts

External frame backpacks offer durability, stability, and comfort. Apart from reading external frame backpack reviews, think about your important points of consideration in order to pick the best one around. Determine the product’s load support, material, padding, pockets, and capacity.

Choosing the one that suits your needs is not supposed to be difficult. Don’t let the wide variety of options confuse you. Instead, think about your needs. Most of these backpacks are cheaper than their internal frame counterparts, offering more bang for your buck!

So, what do you plan to use your backpack for?

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Got a pup you want to bring on the trail? Read our article about dog backpacks before you go on your next hike.