The Federal Forest Service has a fantastic guide that gives a great general overview of backpacking, and it touches on most of everything discussed below. I would start here if you are new and need a comprehensive overview.

Pre-Trip Checklist: Feel like you’re forgetting something? Use these checklists to make sure you don’t leave something important behind.

Safety: Whether your hike is 4 hours or 4 days, we want you to be safe! Consider these links before heading out on your journey.

  • Red Cross First Aid Courses
  • Wild Animal Safety: Educate yourself; avoidance is the best protection from encounters. Bear spray can be a great investment, but it will not help you if you don’t know how to handle the situation properly. Please educate yourself before hiking in a wilderness area. Don’t let this deter you from being outside; this knowledge will prepare you so that you can enjoy an anxiety free experience!

How-To’s: Learn the basics and some great tips too!

Regulations:  If you are hiking for multiple days, it may be necessary to obtain a backcountry permit. Call the location that you want to hike before the trip to ensure you have the right permits. These pages contain information regarding alcohol, firearm, camping, and other regulations within State Parks and National Forests.