Planning ahead

Create great experiences hiking, backpacking and pursing other sustainable outdoor recreation by planning ahead. Here’s a primer for picking the best places and being prepared.

Basic preparation

The best wilderness hikes and other adventures onto public lands begin long before you get to the trailhead.

Gear and safety essentials

Outdoor recreation breeds innovation, but not all of it supports conservation-minded, sustainable fun. Here’s how to green your next gear buying trip.

Outdoor ethics

Hiking, backpacking and other outdoor recreation requires more than trail maps and cool gear. It’s also important to bring along a proactive attitude toward conservation, and a thoughtful set of outdoor ethics.

Sustainable recreation

Outdoor recreation can harm our wild places if we don’t minimize the impact of hiking, backpacking and other outdoor fun. By following these sustainability tips, you can protect wild getaways and the natural wonders each hold. 

Wilderness and pets

Wild places offer escapes for the whole family, whether you have two legs or four. But there’s more to hiking with your dogs than simply dropping the tailgate of your pickup and letting them run wild.

  • Michael Reinemer

    The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument will be a unit of the National Park Service and was announced on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which was established on August 25, 1916.

  • Max Greenberg

    The next fiscal year starts on Oct. 1, meaning that Congress is running out of time to cobble together "must-pass" appropriations legislation that will pay for the day-to-day expenses of the federal government.

    But in what has become a sad annual commentary on some leaders' dereliction of America's conservation tradition, the process is gummed up with counterproductive “riders” that have no place in the appropriations process, and would hurt wildlands right when they sorely need our help.

  • Jennifer Dickson

    The court rejected a claim by Elko County Nevada that it owns a road, commonly known as the South Canyon Road, at the edge of the Jarbidge Wilderness within the federally managed Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The ruling officially disapproved a 2001 settlement agreement between the United States and Elko County that would have given the county the right-of-way.