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Thru-Hiking 101

Welcome to the Atlas Guides Thru-Hiking 101 blog!

Here you will find all the resources necessary to accomplish a thru-hike!

We split up all of our resources by categories which you can choose from the list below.

a preson holding a phone with a dead battery showing on the screen

10 Tips to Save Your Phone Battery on Trail

We know that in order to use our app out on the trail, you have to keep your phone battery alive! Here are some tips to try and keep your phone from dying quickly while you’re out hiking off the grid.

Read More

Backpacking gear laid out on the floor.

9 Luxury Items to Consider Bringing on Your Thru-Hike

A luxury item can make a huge difference on your thru-hike. Here are some items you may want to consider bringing with you on your next thru-hike or backpacking trip.

Read More

8 Things You Should Do to Prepare for a Thru-hike

Preparing for a thru-hike can be overwhelming if you don't have a plan. Here are 8 steps to get you started on your incredible journey.

Read More

Five different sized backpacking cooking pots on a table.

Does the Diameter of Your Cooking Pot Matter?

We tested the difference between five different diameter pots to see if one size performed better than another. This is what we learned...

Read More

A backpacking stove being connected to a fuel canister.

Should I disconnect my stove or keep it connected to the canister?

I always wondered whether I should leave my stove connected to my fuel canister or if it was better to take it off. Here's what I found...

Read More

Thru-hiking FAQ Answered by the Community

We talked to some of our favorite thru-hikers about their experiences and advice for newer hikers. Here is what we learned.

Read More

A man in a red jacket wearing sunglasses.

How to Make an Ultralight Glasses Case for Your Thru-Hike

Regular glasses cases are heavy. We came up with a better, more ultralight idea for you to consider on your thru-hiking or backpacking trip.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

11 Tips to Pack a Bear Canister

Are you going to bring a bear canister on your next thru-hike or backpacking trip? Here are some helpful tips to consider!

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Fuel Canister Cap? Or No Cap?

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

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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!

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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!

Read More

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!

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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?

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Bowline knot

Useful Knots for Hikers: The Bowline

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

Read More

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

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

Read More

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...

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

a preson holding a phone with a dead battery showing on the screen

10 Tips to Save Your Phone Battery on Trail

We know that in order to use our app out on the trail, you have to keep your phone battery alive! Here are some tips to try and keep your phone from dying quickly while you’re out hiking off the grid.

Read More

Backpacking gear laid out on the floor.

9 Luxury Items to Consider Bringing on Your Thru-Hike

A luxury item can make a huge difference on your thru-hike. Here are some items you may want to consider bringing with you on your next thru-hike or backpacking trip.

Read More

Five different sized backpacking cooking pots on a table.

Does the Diameter of Your Cooking Pot Matter?

We tested the difference between five different diameter pots to see if one size performed better than another. This is what we learned...

Read More

A backpacking stove being connected to a fuel canister.

Should I disconnect my stove or keep it connected to the canister?

I always wondered whether I should leave my stove connected to my fuel canister or if it was better to take it off. Here's what I found...

Read More

A man in a red jacket wearing sunglasses.

How to Make an Ultralight Glasses Case for Your Thru-Hike

Regular glasses cases are heavy. We came up with a better, more ultralight idea for you to consider on your thru-hiking or backpacking trip.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

11 Tips to Pack a Bear Canister

Are you going to bring a bear canister on your next thru-hike or backpacking trip? Here are some helpful tips to consider!

Read More

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!

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

11 Tips to Pack a Bear Canister

Are you going to bring a bear canister on your next thru-hike or backpacking trip? Here are some helpful tips to consider!

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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!

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Five different sized backpacking cooking pots on a table.

Does the Diameter of Your Cooking Pot Matter?

We tested the difference between five different diameter pots to see if one size performed better than another. This is what we learned...

Read More

A backpacking stove being connected to a fuel canister.

Should I disconnect my stove or keep it connected to the canister?

I always wondered whether I should leave my stove connected to my fuel canister or if it was better to take it off. Here's what I found...

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Fuel Canister Cap? Or No Cap?

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

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

a preson holding a phone with a dead battery showing on the screen

10 Tips to Save Your Phone Battery on Trail

We know that in order to use our app out on the trail, you have to keep your phone battery alive! Here are some tips to try and keep your phone from dying quickly while you’re out hiking off the grid.

Read More

Backpacking gear laid out on the floor.

9 Luxury Items to Consider Bringing on Your Thru-Hike

A luxury item can make a huge difference on your thru-hike. Here are some items you may want to consider bringing with you on your next thru-hike or backpacking trip.

Read More

8 Things You Should Do to Prepare for a Thru-hike

Preparing for a thru-hike can be overwhelming if you don't have a plan. Here are 8 steps to get you started on your incredible journey.

Read More

Thru-hiking FAQ Answered by the Community

We talked to some of our favorite thru-hikers about their experiences and advice for newer hikers. Here is what we learned.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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!

Read More

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?

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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?

Read More

Bowline knot

Useful Knots for Hikers: The Bowline

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

Read More

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

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

Read More

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.

Read More

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...

Read More

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.

Read More

A lake reflects a nearby wildflower meadow and trees.
Download our popular hiking and biking guides!

Trail guides that get you to places you’ve dreamed of.

As the makers of Guthook Guides, Bikepacking Guides, and Cyclewayz, we help you navigate the most popular trails around the world on your smartphone. Our hiking guides and biking guides work completely offline. Let Guthook guide your next adventure!

Showers Lake Vista, Tahoe Rim Trail
Photo courtesy of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association
Showers Lake Vista, Tahoe Rim Trail
Photo courtesy of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association

Trail guides that get you to places you’ve dreamed of.

As the makers of Guthook Guides, Bikepacking Guides, and Cyclewayz, we help you navigate the most popular trails around the world on your smartphone. Our hiking guides and biking guides work completely offline. Let Guthook guide your next adventure!

Download our popular hiking and biking guides!