How often do you go backpacking? Once a year? Once a month? Once a week? If you are going as often as once a week or even once a month, then you probably know a thing or two about backpacking. Even so, there are always new techniques being developed and new things you can learn that can make a big difference on your next adventure. If you only go once a year, then you can likely learn a thing or two from the experts that will save you a lot of grief on your next backpacking trip.
One site that I have found to provide trustworthy information on the latest backpacking equipment, gear, and techniques is from Backpacker Magazine
. They have been around much longer than most of the other sites out there and so their information comes from a long history of experience in the outdoors and particularly in backpacking. They have a vast archive of information relating to backpacking destinations, backpacking gear, and helpful backpacking techniques for the beginner as well as the grizzled veteran. They also have a community with a vast membership that allows the members to discuss any outdoor related subject. Their forum is one of the most helpful backpacking forums I’ve found for sourcing helpful information on my backpacking woes.
The next site on the list is The Backpacker
. Most of the reviews and information on this site come from everyday visitors like yourself, who have had personal experience with a particular piece of gear or a specific trail. The writers of The Backpacker also provide handy tips and how-tos as well as other interesting articles relating to backpacking. The site is really designed as one big backpacking community aimed at bringing all backpackers to a common goal of enjoying the great outdoors.
One last notable resource is a great review site for backpacking and other outdoor gear. Gear Review
was started by a group of outdoor enthusiasts who spent lots of time doing what they love outdoors. They began testing gear and writing reviews on the stuff that they used in an effort to educate fellow enthusiasts on what types of gear really works and what gear doesn’t measure up. Their reviews are some of the most objective you will find on the net. Unlike the visitor reviews you find on The Backpacker, the writers for Gear Review are very professional and over time have developed a detailed and systematic way for reviewing gear which really gives you a great overall view of each product.
Keep in mind that there are many other resources out there for backpacking information. The three that I’ve highlighted here have offered a wealth of great information that has really helped me avoid many of the pitfalls made by beginners. Things like: the types of clothing materials to wear. How your pack should fit on your back. Who makes the best lightweight backpack. So, if you’re just getting started, these sites should be your first step in preparing for your trip. If you have been at it for some time now, you will want to stay up to date on the latest gear and techniques. And if I’ve left a great resource off that you feel needs to be mentioned, please add it to the post in a comment.