Ultimate Guide to Camping and Backpacking

There’s nothing quite like enjoying what the great outdoors has to offer via a camping or backpacking trip to a stateside or international destination. However, careful planning and preparation are essential for a successful and enjoyable excursion. But don’t worry you’ll have to delay your trip because we’ve already done the research for you. Below, you’ll find 40 hand-picked resources that can assist you in choosing the perfect destination, learning how to pack only what you need, discovering other people’s unforgettable experiences, locating an app that will help you before and during your adventure and many other helpful links.


General Camping and Backpacking Resources

The resources in this section are a logical place to start browsing. They offer links to free forums with tons of camping and backpacking information, a historical overview of camping, backpacking training tips and more.

A Short History of Camping – This brief but informative history lesson about camping begins in the year 1861 and leads to our current time.

Leave No Trace – This nonprofit organization promotes and inspires responsible outdoor recreational behavior by educating others on how to visit nature without leaving a human footprint such as litter, erosion or anything else that causes harm.

Backpackers Basecamp – Visit this site for a free forum that has discussions about gear, food, destinations and much more for backpacker enthusiasts.

Trail Groove – This helpful forum contains sections for random camping and backpacking discussions, gear discussions, outdoor cooking discussions and much, much more.

Backpacking: Training Tips and Exercises – Before you embark on a challenging backpacking trip, make sure you’re in shape by utilizing these training tips and exercises.


Camping and Backpacking U.S. Destinations

The United States has no shortage of amazing and accommodating camping and backpacking destinations. All you have to do is make a choice.

America’s Best National Park Backcountry Campsites – Learn about the 20 U.S. National Parks destinations that comprise the top backcountry camping spots that are available.

Popular Backpacking Trips by State – Explore links to different backpacking trips by state. The links take you to detailed articles that will provide information about each trip.

North American Camping Trips – If you’d rather not have to worry about planning and you have a generous budget, check out these signature camping trips from REI. Find details about activity level, itinerary, cost and much more.

The 36 Best Places to Pitch a Tent in the U.S. – Organized by regions, this site provides information on the best features of different camping sites, the cost and optimal visiting times.

21 Best Places to Camp in the U.S. – No matter what your budget or interests, you can find a U.S. camping destination that meets your needs.


Camping and Backpacking International Destinations

If international camping and backpacking are in your future, browse the resources below to help with planning.

The 10 Cheapest Countries to Backpack – If you’re ready for a backpacking adventure, but you need one that fits your restricted budget, you’ve found the right resource.

Best Backpacking Countries – Check out this resource to get the inspiration you need to choose a backpacking destination. Don’t worry, the choices speak to travelers who have a budget.

Top 10 Places to Travel Solo – This is the ultimate guide for solo backpackers who need to stick to a modest budget. Find all the information you need to make your backpacking trip a success.

15 of the Best Places to Camp around the World – Complete with gorgeous pictures, this site details some of the most idyllic places to camp in the world.


Camping and Backpacking Tips

Even if you’re an experienced camper or backpacker, you may enjoy browsing the tips in the resources below. You might find something of interest.

Backpacking for Beginners: 12 Tips That Will Make Your Experience Better – If you’re a beginning backpacker, follow this link to get practical tips from experienced backpacker Sebastian Canaves.

89 Camping Tips to Camp Like a Champ – This site’s tips help you figure out the difference between what you need to be a successful camper and what you don’t need.

Tricks, Tips and Ideas for the Tent Camper – This site is worth a look for its valuable illustrated camping tips, tricks and ideas that come from years of experience.

41 Camping Hacks That Are Borderline Genius – You may already know some of these camping hacks, but they are still worth a look.

42 Ultralight Backpacking Tips – Learning to pack lightly takes time and experience. Start learning now by checking out this site.

10 Tips for Beginner Backpackers – When planning your first overnight backpacking trip, it’s wise to heed expert tips. Find them by following the above link.


Camping and Backpacking Podcasts

If you can’t actually be on the trail or at the campsite, the next best thing is listening to a related podcast. Check out the options below.

The First 40 Miles: Hiking and Backpacking Podcast – Beginners and basics on the hiking and backpacking trail is what this podcast focuses on.  Listen and learn about other people’s first trips and learning experiences.

Happy Camper Radio – This family-oriented podcast is all about camping. You’ll hear about new gear, camping sites, camping techniques and much more.

Sounds of the Trail – Enjoy this fun and entertaining podcast as it follows thru-hikers as they travel the trails.

In the Field Camping Podcast – This unique podcast records intermittently during camping season as the hosts are camping in the field. It also provides reviews of campgrounds and equipment.

S’more Outdoor – Listen to information about hiking, backpacking and more related to the outdoors with host and outdoor enthusiast Brett Traudt.


Camping and Backpacking Blogs

The following camping and backpacking blogs can help you learn how to pack lightly, plan your next camping or backpacking trip, learn a new way to enjoy flavorful and fulfilling meals in the wilderness and more.

The Blog of Trail Cooking – Visit this blog to learn about freezerbag cooking – a way to have delicious meals on the trail without all of the fuss and cleanup.

Backpacking Light – This blog’s goal is to aid backpackers in choosing gear that will allow them to pack lightly. It also includes a forum that allows users to share their own tips and tricks.

Go Backpacking – This blog includes an interactive map that allows you to choose a destination and view the backpacking trails. In addition, you’ll find informative articles that will help you plan your international trip.

The Broke Backpacker – Use this site to help you plan some amazing and unforgettable backpacking trips that won’t break your budget.


Camping and Backpacking Apps

Utilize the information and resources in the following apps to help make your camping or backpacking trip an enjoyable and snag-free experience.

Chimani National Parks – If you’re planning a trip to any of the 59 National Parks in the United States, download this app. It has a daily National Parks Service news feed, the ability to search campsites and much more.

Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder Mobile App – This app contains a comprehensive databank of every federal and state park located in America. It offers 20 different searchable activity categories to help users find the perfect park to visit.

Knots 3D – This interactive 3D app allows users to rotate a simulated knot to see everything you could see in real life. Use it to learn to tie over 120 knots.

First Aid by American Red Cross – When camping or backpacking, first aid knowledge is a must. Download this app for quick and easy first aid information. For the Android version of the app, click here.

Moonlight – Download this app to take advantage of camping-related recipes, activities, advice and more.

Camping List – This user-friendly app is pre-loaded with an extensive list of categorized items that are commonly taken on camping trips. Use it to help you avoid forgetting something important.

Survival Guide – This app provides actionable survival advice for those navigating the wilderness such as securing water, food and shelter and signaling for help.

Spyglass – Spyglass is a compass that can be laid over Google Earth maps to help locate position and calculate speed. It also has an inclinometer, viewfinder, GPS tracker, speedometer, sextant and many more tools.

iHandy Level – Need to level something at your campsite such as a tent? Use this handy app to help you accomplish the task.


Camping and Backpacking Clubs and Associations

Discover the missions of various camping and hiking associations as well as information about hiking and backpacking clubs in the following resources.

American Hiking Association – This association’s mission is to promote and protect foot trails and their surrounding natural areas for the benefit of the hiking experience.

Hiking and Backpacking Clubs – Hiking and backpacking clubs can serve as a way to learn from the experience of others and meet new friends who share your interests.

Northeast Campground Association – Visit this user-friendly site to locate campgrounds in the northeastern region of the United States.

Campground Associations  – Find information about various national and state associations for camping on this site.

Hiking Organizations – Follow this link to learn about the various types of hiking organizations and their goals.