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.

  • For this report, The Wilderness Society reviewed data from more than 16,000 parcels auctioned off by the state. The analysis details more than a century of land sales that have privatized and closed off an amount of once-accessible lands nearly the size of the entire Sawtooth National Forest. Parcels often end up in the hands of some of Idaho’s biggest industries, while others have been turned into gravel pits, strip malls and even exclusive private fishing retreats and lakeshore hideaways for those wealthy enough to buy them.

  • Sample Letter to IRA Adminstrator DOC

  • In this report, we provide the policy framework for designating ORV trails and areas on federal lands, along with a series of recommendations based on recent case law and ten case studies from the Forest Service, BLM, and National Park Service that demonstrate both agency failures to comply with the executive order minimization criteria and good planning practices that could be incorporated into a model for application of the criteria.