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

    Strayed will receive the We Are the Wild Inspiration Award, which recognizes a person who embodies the spirit of wilderness and its transformative power.

    Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, said, “In this 50th anniversary year of the Wilderness Act, we present this award to underscore the importance of inspiring people to discover and care for our wild lands. Today we honor Cheryl Strayed for her remarkable story and for inspiring new generations to experience wilderness, which forms the backbone of the American spirit.”

  • Michael Reinemer

    President Obama will use his executive authority to create the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, an action that will improve outdoor recreation, safeguard vital water supplies and protect wildlife in the backyard of Los Angeles – the nation’s most populous county.

  • Michael Reinemer

    The Wilderness Society applauds the Obama Administration for advancing bipartisan efforts to further protect ocean ecosystems and their scientific value by using the Antiquities Act to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, an undisturbed island and atoll chain located 1,000 miles southwest of Hawaii. The proclamation builds on the approximately 83,000 square-mile national monument initially designated by President George W. Bush in 2009.