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Guthook Guides Blog

Keep up to date with everything that's happening at Atlas Guides with our Inside Atlas Guides series, read stories told with data or learn more about how to make tech work for you with our Tech on the Trail series, or see the places we're exploring with our Trip Report series.

Blog Archive

Browse through our entire chronological blog history or check out our most recent posts to see what we’re thinking about and working on right now!

A pack of 3 BIC Mini lighters in the grass.

Will a BIC Mini Lighter Last for Your Entire Thru-Hike?

As one of the most popular lighters for thru-hiking and backpacking, we decided to conduct a test and see how long a BIC Mini lighter would last.

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A bear canister full of Mountain House meals.

12 Backpacking Foods You Can Cram in a Bear Canister

We analyzed the calorie density of 12 different backpacking food items to illustrate the theoretical maximum number of calories that can be placed in a BearVault BV500 bear canister.

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A screenshot of the appalachian trail elevation profile in the Guthook Guides app.

Highest & Lowest Points on the PCT/AT/CDT

What are the highest and lowest points on the Triple Crown Trails (Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, and Continental Divide Trail)? Find out by taking a look at our elevation profile data.

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A BV500 bear canister full of snickers.

How Many Snickers Can Fit in a Bear Canister?

Snickers bars are a very popular thru-hiking and backpacking food because of the high-calorie density they have. We decided to test it out and see how many Snickers we could fit into the average bear canister.

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7 Thru-Hikes on the West Coast

While many folks are familiar with the Pacific Crest Trail, the west coast of the United States is home to a number of other notable thru-hikes.

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Thru-Hiking Calorie and Food Weight Calculator

Calculate how many calories you'll burn while hiking and plan how much food you'll need to bring on your trip using our Calorie & Food Weight Calculator.

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Five different backpacking stoves attached to five different fuel canisters

We Tested 5 of the Most Popular Backpacking Stoves

We tested five of the most popular lightweight backpacking stoves to see which performed the best and which is the most affordable.

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Soto WindMaster stove attached to a fuel canister

Soto WindMaster Stove Review

The Soto WindMaster was the overall best ultralight stove tested. Here is what we tested and why it ranked #1.

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The Snow Peak LiteMax stove attached to a fuel canister.

Snow Peak LiteMax Stove Review

The Snow Peak LiteMax was the lightest stove tested and the easiest to assemble and disassemble but had long boil times compared to the other stoves tested.

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Soto Amicus Stove Review

The Soto Amicus performed well at an affordable price while being one of the lightest stoves tested. It also compacts up nicely and is easy to assemble.

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The MSR PocketRocket Stove attached to a fuel canister.

MSR PocketRocket Deluxe Stove Review

The MSR PocketRocket Deluxe was the second best performing ultralight stove tested.

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The MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove attached to a fuel canister boiling a pot of water.

MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove Review

The MSR PocketRocket 2 is probably one of the most used stoves for long distance backpacking. It has a reputation for being durable and getting the job done.

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Fuel Canister Cap? Or No Cap?

Should you carry the cap that comes with your fuel canister? We describe the reasons you should.

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Hike the Lost Coast Trail: Why the LCT is So Special

As one of the (if not the) only true coastal wilderness experiences in the contiguous US, the 24 miles of the Lost Coast Trail is unparalleled in its magic.

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Thru-Hiking 101: 4 Popular Fuel Canisters Compared

I analyzed the differences between the MSR IsoPro, Snow Peak Giga Power, OLicamp and the Jet Boil Jetpower fuel canisters to see which performed the best.

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Thru-hiking 101: Calculate the Cost of Your Thru-Hike

How much does a thru-hike cost? We put together a thru-hike cost calculator so you can estimate the cost of your next long-distance hike based on your own hiking style.

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5 Stove Tips That Will Save You Fuel

The best way to make your fuel last is to follow these five simple stove tips. Doing so can potentially double the life of your fuel canister.

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Useful Knots for Hikers: The Sheet Bend Knot

One of the most important knots a hiker can learn is called the "Sheet Bend." This knot is great for joining two lines together and can be very useful while out on the trail.

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A backpacking fuel canister being weighed on a scale.

Thru-Hiking 101: How Much Stove Fuel Should You Carry

The best way to determine how much fuel you will need while hiking is to test your stove at home before your hike. Here are some equations to help you out.

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A trail next to a lake and some mountains.

Thru-Hiking 101: Leave No Trace (LNT) Principles on Trail

Leave No Trace is a broad set of principles that we should all use to guide our outdoor behavior. Here is our take on the Seven Principles as they apply to no-impact hiking.

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Thru-Hiking 101: Measuring Cup Hacks

Cooking a meal on the trail can be more difficult than cooking meals at home. Here are some tips and hacks to convert your cooking pot into a measuring cup.

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A variety of backpacking spoons in a line on a table.

The Best Ultralight Backpacking Spoon

A backpacking spoon is one of the most cherished pieces of gear a hiker carries. We tested seven different spoons for performance, price, and weight to help you make your utensil decision!

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Thru-hiking 101: Warehouse vs Retail Food Prices

When it comes to purchasing backpacking food, taking advantage of warehouse stores like Costco or Sams Club can save time and money. Here are some tips to help you shop smart for your hike.

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Four lightning strikes on a dark and flat mountain.

Understanding Lightning & Thunder on the Trail

When hiking or backpacking, it's very important to understand more about lightning and thunder to help keep you and your trail family safe.

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The inside of the Timberline Lodge Buffet on the PCT in Oregon.

Thru-hiking 101: Tips for Planning your Food in Town

Town food can be one of the most expensive parts of long-distance hiking. Here are some tips on where to eat and how to best spend your money when in town.

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Thru-hiking Gear Review – SlingFin SplitWing UL Tarp

Dahn Pratt, a Triple Crown hiker, reviews his initial impression and experience with a SlingFin SplitWing UL Tarp in the Canadian Shield.

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A view of Copper Manor Motel from across the street.

Thru-hiking 101: Trail Town Accommodations

This post covers one of the most expensive things you can do in town: stay the night. Here are options from camping outside of town to staying in a motel.

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Trail Permits: What You Need to Know

We've collected permit information for nearly all of the trails we offer guides to. Permits can be complicated, and we aim to make it simpler for you!

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A pile of backpacking food on the ground in front of a backpack.

Thru-hiking 101: Intro to Trail Food

Preparing food for a long backpacking trip can be overwhelming. We provide some tips on how to choose the right food for you!

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How Many Calories Do You Burn While Thru-Hiking?

This blog post considers different body weights and hiking styles to provide a better estimate of the number of calories you will burn while backpacking.

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Sawyer Mini, Micro and Squeeze Review

I wrap up my series of Sawyer filter reviews by testing the flow rate of the Sawyer Mini against the Squeeze and Micro.

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The Effect of Shoe Weight on Hiking Speed

Paul conducted an experiment to set out and see if he can provide scientific evidence that a lighter shoe is better for long-distance hiking.

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Embrace the Punctuality: Thru-hiking the CDT on a time-crunch

Dahn thru-hiked the CDT in 95 days in between spending six weeks off-trail at four different weddings.

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Atlas Guides Our Company Trail Story

Our Company Trail Story: How Guthook Got Started

We decided that it was time we shared OUR Trail Story with you all. From 1997 until now, here is the story of how our company was started and the journey we took to get to where we are today.

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A woman sitting on a rock in the woods.

How to Optimize Your Break Time While Hiking

What is the optimal break time when you want to hike big miles?

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(Don’t) Hike for Change featuring Fidgit

Fidgit examines decisions to postpone or cancel a long distance hike through the lens of ancient Central and South American mythology and a 20,000 mile trans-American journey.

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Tips and tricks for the Guthook Guides App

10 Quick Tips & Tricks for the Guthook Guides App

We have some tips and tricks to help you use our app to its full capability. Check them out and see if you learn something new!

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A woman standing on a hill in the snow covered mountains.

My (Postponed) Trail Story featuring Rabbit

Rabbit, a.k.a. Rachael DeLano, decided to put her plans to hike the Arizona Trail, West Highland Way, Colorado Trail, and the OR section of the PCT on hold.

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Hiking in New Zealand: Te Araroa Trail Culture

Dahn Pratt shares practical advice on hiking and trail culture along Te Araroa. A 1,800 mile (3,000km) hike through both islands of New Zealand.

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Hikers laying out on a rock.

My (Postponed) Trail Story by Cyclops and McGoober

Chris and Kimberly, a.k.a. Cyclops and McGoober, were getting ready to start their thru-hike on the Continental Divide Trail when they made a hard decision to postpone their hike.

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CATlas Guides April Fools Joke

CATlas Guides

CATlas Guides now let's you Check-in with your cat and see what paw-some adventures they go on. Just kitten! We hope our April Fools joke made you smile!

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My (Postponed) Trail Story by Flamingo

Phill Toomasian, a.k.a. "Flamingo", was attempting a Calendar Year Triple Crown until he had to get off the Appalachian Trail due to COVID-19.

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Six Moons Design Deschutes Zero-G Shelter

Thru-hiking Gear Review – Deschutes Zero-G Shelter

A Triple Crown hiker, explains his decision to bring a Deschutes Zero-G shelter on his 2019 thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail.

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How to send a check-in blog banner

How to Send a Check-In in the Guthook Guides App

Here are step-by-step instructions to send a Check-in in the new social feature in your Android and iPhone Guthook Guides app.

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A GORP trail mix of nuts and fruit.

12 GORP Varieties to Hike With

Originally written for The Trek. Trail mix is a hiking staple: easy to make and eat. It can get a little monotonous, though, so why not try a variety?

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Hadrian's Wall

My Trail Story by Mindy

Mindy Bell shares her experiences exploring England as she hiked on the Cotswold Way, Coast to Coast, and Hadrian's Wall Path.

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6 Instant Coffee Brands for Thru-Hiking

We taste-tested 10 different instant coffees and a few mocha mixes. Find out how they taste, how much they cost, and whether this is a good choice for your backpacking trip.

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A group pf hikers smiling on the Pacific Crest Trail.

My Trail Story by Little Skittle

Becca Bergstrom, a.k.a. Little Skittle, reminds us that we all start somewhere and offers encouragement to anyone thinking of hiking in 2020.

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GSI Outdoors Coffee Rocket Maker

8 Ways to Make Coffee While Thru-Hiking or Camping

We tested eight different methods for making coffee in the outdoors, each with varying taste, cost, and weight.

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Measuring the amount of toothpaste on a toothbrush.

How Long Will My Toothpaste Last On A Thru-Hike?

Have you ever wondered how long a travel-size tube of toothpaste should last? We did the research so you will know.

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A hiker standing on a mountain looking out at a beautiful landscape.

My Trail Story by Early Bird

Deserrae Potts, a.k.a Early Bird, shares the story of how she went from a completely broke student and inexperienced backpacker to a thru hiker in one year.

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Guthook standing next to the Mount Katahdin sign.

Why is our app called Guthook?

A lot of people ask why our app is called Guthook Guides and how it got its name. Guthook, himself, is here to explain everything from the beginning.

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A Sawyer water filter separated into three pieces.

Review: We Sawed a Sawyer Squeeze Filter in Half!

We disassembled a Sawyer Squeeze filter to show you how it filters water and why you should backflush it to keep it clean.

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Tomato plants are growing in 5-gallon buckets.

Bringing Leave No Trace to Life Off-Trail

Originally written for The Trek. Leave No Trace is a daily practice for hikers. How do we bring this practice home? I explore ideas of a zero waste life.

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My Trail Story by Chad Lubinski

Being an outdoor enthusiast his whole life, Chad Lubinski set out on a PCT section hike to see if the long-distance hiking lifestyle was for him.

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A girl with borwn hair smiles in the rainy green forest.

The One Piece of Gear You Never Knew You Needed

Originally written for The Trek. Dental care in the backcountry often seems pretty self-explanatory but there are many options for dental care on trail.

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A PCT thru-hiker standing next to the northern terminus.

Congrats Featured 2019 Thru-Hikers!

Each of these hikers contributed to our "My Trail Story" blog series and have all completed thru-hikes this year! Congratulations to these 2019 thru-hikers!

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A hiker on the John Muir Trail.

My Trail Story by Beta

During his John Muir Trail thru-hike, Beta (a.k.a. Zach Terpstra), woke up in the middle of the night by the loudest noise he had ever heard in his life.

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A man and woman stand on a cliff on the Appalachian Trail.

My Trail Story by Furiosa

Amber Redfield, a.k.a. Furiosa, shares the lessons she learned after injuring her knee on her Appalachian Trail thru-hike and continuing to hike regardless.

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A hiker on the Te Araroa.

My Trail Story by Adam & Leigh

Adam and Leigh share their story of thru-hiking the Te Araroa and then deciding to thru-hike Pacific Crest Trail the following year.

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A group of hikers sitting in the back of a truck.

My Trail Story by Starburst

Jennifer Mabus, a.k.a. Starburst, shares why she decided to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail and how it changed her life.

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Three hikers walking through a dense green forest.

Thru-Hiking Lingo 101

New to the thru-hiking world? Don't worry! Check out these terms to learn the "thru-hiking lingo" and you'll be a part of the hiker trash fam in no time.

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A hiker in the desert.

My Trail Story by Tiny Slice

Justin Kernes, a.k.a. Tiny Slice, shares about his Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiking experience from before he started his hike to where he is now.

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Useful Knots for Hikers: The Bowline

The Bowline knot creates a secure loop that can be very useful while hiking.

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A girl hugging her dog on the Appalachian Trail.

My Trail Story by Nav

Nav is thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail with her pup, Arrow, and her amazing trail family ("tramily") that they found along the way.

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Useful Knots for Hikers: The Round Turn and Two Half-Hitches

The round turn and two half hitches is a useful knot for backpackers.

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Two hikers pose in front of a John Muir Wilderness sign.

My Trail Story by The Purple People

Jillian and Logan Ivey, a.k.a The Purple People or The Mailboxes, experienced some serious "hiker hunger" on their thru-hike of the John Muir Trail in 2018.

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A view of a sunrise above the trees.

My Trail Story by KP

The incredible trail magic that Scott Siler, a.k.a KP, experienced on the Appalachian Trail resulted in a wedding invitation and a restored faith in humanity.

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A hiker walking on a red dirt hill.

My Trail Story – Jeff Garmire Sets the Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Arizona Trail

Jeff Garmire, a.k.a Legend, established the newest Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Arizona Trail on April 22, 2019.

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Hiking Tip: What To Do When Your Phone Battery Gets Too Cold

Your battery indicator doesn't always tell you the truth. When hiking, here is what you should do if your phone battery gets too cold...

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A view of a trail through dead grass on a hill.

My Trail Story by PYT

Dave Mizelle, a.k.a. PYT, shares his close call with nature while hiking in the Roan Highlands section of the Appalachian Trail.

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Review: Sawyer Mini, Micro and Squeeze Compared

I wrap up my series of Sawyer filter reviews by testing the flow rate of the Sawyer Mini against the Squeeze and Micro.

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A hiker standing on a mountain.

My Trail Story by Justin Helmkamp

Justin Helmkamp spent 40 days walking over 800 miles on Te Araroa in New Zealand.

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Review: Should I carry the Sawyer Syringe?

It is more effective to use the Sawyer coupler or a Smartwater bottle nozzle to backflush your Sawyer Squeeze filter than to use the Sawyer syringe that comes packaged with the Sawyer Squeeze filter.

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A hiker stands on an aquaduct pipe in the desert.

My Trail Story by Peanut

Peanut, a.k.a. Melanie Harsha, withdrew all of her applications to doctorate programs, adopted a dog, and started planning her first thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2016.

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View of lake Sunapee from a mountain

Mud Season Backpacking in New England

Spring in New England means mud and loose snow in the mountains. It’s a great time to hike if you can find the right locations, though. Here are a few of our favorites to get ready for bigger trips in the summer!

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A beautiful view of a green mountain hill with hikers on the trail.

My Trail Story by Puff Puff

Alex Mason, a.k.a. Puff Puff, is a Brit who has made thru-hiking her lifestyle. She hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2015 and hasn't stopped since.

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A man standing in the snow with a mountain and trees in the background.

My Trail Story by Jim Murphy

Jim Murphy took a wrong turn in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, walked straight into a forest fire, and shares the story of how he survived.

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Poodle Dog Bush: Is the Hype Legit?

Poodle dog bush is a plant along the Pacific Crest Trail in Southern California that causes severe, long-lasting irritation, worse than poison oak.

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A beautiful view of yellow covered mountains.

My Trail Story by Lara Handwerker

After meeting on the Appalachian Trail, this thru-hiking couple got married and decided to hike the Continental Divide Trail for their honeymoon.

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A man stands in front of a lake with a sunset reflecting in the water.

My Trail Story by Golden Girl

Alex Patino, a.k.a. Golden Girl, explains how he went from working in the fashion industry in NYC for seven years, to hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, Colorado Trail, and Appalachian Trail.

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A man in red standing on a mountain above the clouds with his arms in the air.

My Trail Story by Sochi

Ethan Gehl, a.k.a. Sochi, has hiked 6,000+ miles all over the world and shares what he's learned from his time in the wilderness.

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A woman standing on a mountain peak.

My Trail Story by PCP

Chelsea Fisher, a.k.a. PCP ("Pretty Cool Person") shares her journey of becoming a thru-hiker from the AT to the Long Trail, and now on to hike the PCT in 2019.

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A beautiful view of a lake and a snow-covered mountain.

My Trail Story by Crunchmaster

Trevor Pyke, a.k.a. Crunchmaster, shares how he's come to love thru-hiking and what he learned hiking the PCT, AT, and parts of the CDT.

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My Trail Story by Squishy

Emily Schrick, a.k.a. Squishy, talks about her experience thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and how she stayed motivated to finish.

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A beautiful view of a mountain and lake.

My Trail Story by Chicken of the Sea

Ben Coats, a.k.a. Chicken of the Sea, talks about the curveball he experienced on the Pacific Crest Trail and how he finished his thru-hike.

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A beautiful sunset on the trail.

My Trail Story by Anish

Heather "Anish" Anderson's first book, Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home, about her 2013 Pacific Crest Trail hike is now available! Read all about her trail story.

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View from Maiden Cliff over Lake Megunticook in Camden Maine

Miniature Wilderness in the Camden Hills

Our guides may be best known on long-distance trails, but my favorite use for them is to plan hikes in trail systems like Camden Hills State Park in Maine

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A hiker sitting on a rock with the sunset in the background.

My Trail Story by Craig Fowler

Craig Fowler shares his story of how he became a thru-hiker and bikepacker, and how he turned his passions into a full-time project.

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A group of hikers walking in a line along a road.

My Trail Story by Larry

Lani Advokat, a.k.a. Larry, has thru-hiked the John Muir Trail, Tahoe Rim Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the Colorado Trail in the last four years. Check out what she has to say about her experiences thru-hiking.

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A beautiful view of a pond.

My Trail Story by Yuengling

Alec Santiago, a.k.a. Yuengling, shares a few stories from his experience thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

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A woman stands in front of a lake by some mountains.

My Trail Story by Token

Read about what it's really like to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail by Kathleen Neeves, a.k.a. Token.

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A green meadow and valley descends through an evergreen forest nestled between rocky mountains.

A Lookingglass Lake Loop

As I plan hikes for this summer, I look back on some of my favorite trips from last year, including my hike to Lookingglass Lake.

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A view of the Te Araroa trail.

My Trail Story by Dahn Pratt

Dahn Pratt shares the jitters he experienced beginning his thru-hike or thru-tramp across New Zealand on Te Araroa.

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A view of snow covered trees with a cloudy sky.

My Trail Story by Flower Power

Allison DiVerde, a.k.a. Flower Power, offers her advice for those who are new to thru-hiking after her journey on the Appalachian Trail this past year.

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A hiker stands next to a horse on the Appalachian Trail.

My Trail Story by Nar Nar

Kyle O'Grady, a.k.a Nar Nar on the trail, shares the story of how he became a thru-hiker from his first ever hike to summiting Mt. Katahdin on the Appalachian Trail.

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A sunset over the mountains.

My Trail Story by Croc

Kate Stelfox, otherwise known as Croc on the trail, talks about her experiences thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail.

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A view of a lake.

My Trail Story by Grizzly

Our new "My Trail Story" series will feature thru-hikers of all ages and backgrounds sharing their personal, real life experiences from the trail. Michael Ivey, otherwise known as Grizzly on the trail, starts us off.

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Review: Sawyer Squeeze and Sawyer Micro Flow Rate Tests

We continue our review of the Sawyer Micro Squeeze and Sawyer Squeeze, this time with different squeeze containers, including the Vecto, Evernew, Smartwater Bottle, and Sawyer Squeeze Pouch.

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Hiker in the White Mountains on a foggy ledge

Guthook’s New Year’s Hiking Goals

Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Or are you going to forget them within minutes of making them? Check out how Guthook manages his New Years Resolutions— maybe his obsession can help you with yours.

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A girl hiking on a trail.

How Long Does it Take to Hike Each Trail?

Would you like to hike for 5-6 months? A few weeks? A few days? We've got you covered. See how long each of our trails are by time and length.

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Guthook's Holiday Gift Guide

Guthook’s Holiday Gift Guide

Give the Gift of Guthook this holiday season! We have trail guides for every type of hiker, thru-hiker, backpacker, or outdoors-lover on your list.

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10 Thru-Hiking Gifts for Under $20

Whether you're stuffing stockings or looking for affordable hiking gifts, you're sure to find something on this list.

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Hikers on a rocky river in Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine

Katahdin Woods & Waters Monument Planning

How do National Parks and Monuments decide how to manage their land? Guthook took a trip to see part of the planning process in person.

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Items in Sawyer Micro Squeeze package: Squeeze bag, filter, back-flush syringe, connectors, packaging material

Review: the New Sawyer Micro Squeeze

We review Sawyer's new Micro Squeeze water filtration system.

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A big group of PCT thru hikers starting at the southern terminus.

What is thru-hiking?

The definition of "thru-hiking" cannot be found in a dictionary. That's why I asked these thru-hikers to share what thru-hiking means to them.

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a tent and gear set up

10 Affordable Lightweight Gear Options for Backpackers and Thru Hikers

Ten affordable lightweight backpacking items that are a must for any trip.

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Two wooden buildings sit on a green field within a wooden wall at Fort vancouver National Historic Site.

Pathways to the Future: Rivers and Trails 2018

Last week I attended a symposium celebrating the 50th anniversary of National Trails and Wild and Scenic Rivers.

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Food packed for hiking trip arranged on a table

Guthook’s Backpacking Food Planner

How much food do you take backpacking? How much SHOULD you pack? Read how Guthook plans the right amount.

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Looking out airplane window

After the Trail: Post-Hike Depression

Many hikers have difficulty adjusting after a hike. Read what experienced thru hikers have to say about post-hike depression.

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Havasu Falls is a beautiful waterfall in the Grand Canyon.

My First Backpacking Trip to Havasu Falls

Hiking to Havasu Falls was an experience I will never forget. But here’s the thing, I knew NOTHING about backpacking.

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Choosing the Right Charger for your Thru-Hike

Since many hikers carry phones and portable batteries, we evaluated a variety of battery chargers and have some to recommend for long-distance hikers.

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A hiking backpack with many tools for trail maintenance sits on the ground next to a rock.

Trail Maintenance for Lightweight Backpackers

This set of maintenance tools is great and it fits easily in the side pocket of my pack.

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A view showcases snowy forests and distant mountains.

Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument

Last week I took a trip into the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, a new addition to the National Parks system.

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A shallow, clear rover winds through a meadow in front of an impressive mountain range.

Wind River Peak

After the NOLS course, I went back out to the mountains to climb Wind River Peak. At 13,192 feet, it is the highest in the southern part of the range.

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A rocky mountain range in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.

Sangre de Cristo Backpacking

We will enter the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness of the Rio Grande National Forest and spend five days bouncing between peaks.

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A sunset illuminates a calm lake surrounded by low mountains.

Backpacking Through Baxter State Park

For my second annual Baxter State Park backpacking trip, I went to parts of the park that few out-of-staters ever see.

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Rock formations are stark against blue water in an unnamed cove on Maine's Cutler Coast.

A Bold Hike at Cutler Coast

Though this was one of the most wonderful hikes I’ve been on, most hikers who visit Maine have never heard of the Cutler Coast.

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Getting the Most From Your Phone’s Battery

You’re ready to hit the trail, your fully-loaded smartphone in hand. But how long will it last when you’re not near an outlet?

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A graph shows statistics for hikers on the Appalachian Trail.

How Many People Hike the AT and PCT?

If you’ve been on the Appalachian or Pacific Crest Trail and thought, “there are a lot of people out here,” you’re not wrong.

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A screenshot from Guthook Guides of farms on the Appalachian Trail.

Birds Eye Stories of the Appalachian Trail

I’ve been fascinated by satellite imagery of the the Appalachian Trail. It tells a very different story about the landscape.

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A brilliant yellow and orange sunset appears from behind a snowy mountain.

Winter Solo on Tumbledown

The plan: hike to Tumbledown Pond and camp. The difficulty: almost nobody attempts Tumbledown in winter.

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clouds sit over a snowy mountain range.

Mount Tom & Mount Field

For Sunday’s hike, Siren and I headed to Crawford Notch and the Mt Willey Range for a snow-covered trip to Mount Tom and Mount Field in New Hampshire.

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A view from a rocky cliff shows distant snowy mountains.

Mt. Chocorua

Last weekend had much better conditions than the previous one, so I tried to make up for it by doing two great day hikes, starting with Mt. Chocorua.

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A snowy forest and trail are surrounded by fog.

Mt. Moriah

Another week of heavy snow in New England meant the mountains were ripe for exploration, so we headed out on an overnight hike to Mt. Moriah.

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A sunset glows over a snowy forest.

Cabot Mtn Winter Backpacking Trip

I ventured into the northernmost part of the White Mountains for a weekend of serious winter backpacking.

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A graph from the Guthook Guides app showing the steepest climb on the Continental Divide Trail.

What Are the Steepest Climbs on the AT, PCT, and CDT?

I analyzed elevation data to come up with an estimate of the steepest climbs.

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A clear body of water reflects trees and mountains.

Baxter Backpacking, Day 7: Finale on Doubletop

The 7th day of our Baxter backpacking trip. We had beautiful, clear skies and a view up to Doubletop from camp.

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A view shows green trees, a green valley, and distant mountains.

Baxter Backpacking, Day 6: Deeper to the North

In northeast Baxter, there’s some small mountains and ponds with small campsites on the shore.

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Sunlight illuminates a distant lake and mountains in a green valley.

Baxter Backpacking, Day 5: The Traveler

Tom and I set out over The Traveler Loop. I’d heard about how gorgeous the mountain was and had looked at it from Katahdin.

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A foggy view shows a green forest and a distant mountain range.

Baxter Backpacking, Day 4: North into the Past

After two days of hiking over Katahdin, I was looking forward to a day of long miles with little elevation: a day in the green tunnel.

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A rocky ridgeline sits under bright blue skies.

Baxter Backpacking, Day 3: Over the Top

As with all trails up Katahdin, ascending the Hamlin Ridge was more like bouldering rather than walking.

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Clouds settle over the top of Baxter Peak on Mount Katahdin.

Baxter Backpacking, Day 2: Katahdin

Like most trails up Katahdin, the Cathedral was more akin to bouldering than walking, with just as much use of hands as feet.

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A panoramic view of green mountains, forests, and blue skies.

Baxter Backpacking, Day 1: Drive and Run

I returned yesterday from seven nights of backpacking in Baxter State Park with my friend, Tom.

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A large tree stands in a green meadow.

Wrapping Up the Virginia Hike

We set out into the last bit of the AT in Virginia, between Shenandoah and Harper’s Ferry.

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An early sunset illuminates trees and distant mountains from this overlook.

High and Low in Shenandoah National Park

My memories say that Shenandoah is easy and boring. I learned that wasn’t accurate.

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Rolling green mountains extend as far as the eye can see.

Central Virginia App Mapping

After a day off, I was doing better. My aching feet were well rested and I was ready to hit the trail once again.

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A trail cuts through rolling hills and green farmland on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.

Southern Virginia AT Mapping

We hiked into Virginia's Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, one of the most-hiked parts of the AT in the south.

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A beautiful view overlooks a snowy landscape and a frozen lake.

Camden Hills Winter Cabin

I’ve been planning a winter wonderland camping trip for the last weekend of the year with several friends.

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Fall colors are bright in fallen leaves and leaves remaining on trees.

Rivers and Brooks and Leaves, Oh My!

I found some hikes in the White Mountains that proved that even in the “green tunnel” you can find a great wilderness trip.

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A view from Mount Hight, looking at the Presidential Range of the White Mountains National Forest.

Wild River Wilderness Backpacking Loop

I met up with Philip and Steve for a two-night backpacking trip through one of the wildest regions of the White Mountains.

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A view shows a distant mountain range and a nearby rocky mountain covered in green trees.

Tumbledown Mountain Double-Loop

I hiked two full loops in the Tumbledown range, a day hike that was lot more punishing and rewarding than I thought.

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A Month at NOLS

I took a month-long instructor course at the National Outdoor Leadership School. Our time there took us into the Wind River Mountains. Here's a report on that NOLS course.

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