The number of people enjoying backpacking has been on the rise. According to Statista, more than 50 million people in the US took part in different hiking activities in 2021. Unfortunately, some people are still not familiar with important tips that will guarantee a great experience when hiking. Here are eight important backpacking tips to consider:

Always Train Before You Depart

It does not matter if you have been on a backpacking trip before or if it is your first; training before you depart is an important prerequisite you should consider. Like sports people, the best way to succeed is to train. Try hiking and see how it goes using the same travel backpacks you will carry. Make sure there are weights inside the bag. It will assist you in knowing how to tie the straps.

When training for backpacking, focus on increasing strength in major muscles participating in heavy lifting. Remember to do some drills for the lower back and shoulders. Work on your balance to ensure a stable base, making walking through uneven terrain easier. Complement all these exercises by performing biking, trail running, or any other cardio exercise.

Get the Right Backpack

You must get a backpack that fits your style and activities to ensure a successful trip. When hiking, you can encounter unpredictable weather, so you should get a ruggedly constructed backpack. Longer hikes will mean you will have to carry more gear.

When shopping for a backpack, ensure you go for one with a modular design capable of taking in all types of gear. You must always hydrate yourself to ensure your health condition is not affected. Ensure the backpack has a water bottle storage feature. According to the National Academies of Medicine, Engineering, and Sciences, women should consume at least 2.7 liters of water and men 3.7 liters daily.

Consider Carrying Lightweight Backpacking Gear

Ultra-light backpacks will always cost you more. However, every ounce will always count when carrying all you need for your hiking. Despite its high cost, getting a lightweight backpack will enable you to put the things you need.

You will need a light tent in the bag to accommodate everyone you travel with. It can get cold at night, especially when hiking in the mountains. Invest in a warm sleeping bag, as it will help make the difference between a miserable and successful trip. You should go for a three-season bag with a rating of between 4°C and 9°C.

Pack all the sleeping bag liners and hot water in a bottle. Go for lightweight fabrics that dry fast when rained on and wick moisture from the body. Depending on the activities you will be doing during your hike, consider having waterproof or windproof shoes and clothes.

Go for a Hike That Matches Your Abilities

When going for your first hike, go for one with a moderate elevation to start. It will provide you with hints on how you can handle tougher hikes. Try an overnight backpacking expedition before you embark on a week-long trip.

Most backpacking trails are circuits that can be tackled with different exit and entry points or directions. Your backpack will be heaviest when you first embark on hiking, so ensure the start point is the easiest. The first days will be the toughest since you are still in rhythm with the gear weight and hike.

Come Up With a Route Plan

After picking the backpacking area, you must plan for the route. Consider sketching different options just in case the first plan fails. Having more than one route plan and gauging reasonable miles will be very important at different backpacking levels.

Most beginner hikers must pay more attention to planning a route and mileage. You must always plan on your daily mileage. Most people prefer 5 to 7 miles a day. With this, you will get enough time to be acquainted with new gear and reduce the pressure of covering the ground.

Do Not Go Alone

Backpacking can be dangerous, especially if you are a beginner and alone. You can find yourself in trouble with someone to assist you. You should always be in a group, especially when going off-trail. If you are a first-timer, being close to other people will ensure you get help when you forget something important. They will be of help when stranded. Take a satellite phone with you and have a map to help orient yourself. Inform some of your people about your whereabouts.

When planning for your first-ever solo hike, consider going for a well-maintained trail. There are fewer chances of getting lost on such a rail. Settle for a terrain where you will not be taking lots of risks. The conditions and terrains should be within your abilities

Pack Meals

When packing meals for a hike, go for foods with lots of calories and can easily be rehydrated, especially when going to areas where you can refill water. Pack some protein and power bars, as they will give you many calories and energy to last throughout the day. Have nuts and fruits for lunch and pasta with soup or potatoes for dinner. Consider packing dried fruits for multi-tours since they are much easier to carry.

Tuna contains a huge percentage of protein. You can eat it with bread and cheese, which produce high carbohydrates in the body. It is great you pack it when going for your hike.   Ensure you carry all the empty cans back at the end of your hike to help preserve nature. Only convert to eating new foods you are familiar with during your expedition. Stick to the foods you are used to, and you enjoy eating. Ensure you pack a variety, as it will help keep you motivated after long hikes.


To ensure a great experience on your hike, you must prepare well and have all the necessary items. Remember to go for a backpack of the right size. The above backpacking tips will help ensure you have a successful hike.

Whether you were an avid hiker before becoming a parent, or a beginner yourself, introducing your kids to nature through hiking trails can be incredibly rewarding and a great way to entertain the whole family and make life-long memories. A successful hike with kids has just as much to do with packing the right gear as it does with having the right attitude, so it is best to cover all of your bases before setting out, share a few tips for a fun, successful, and safe hike with your kids.

1. Lead by Example

Instill good habits in your young hikers with a positive attitude, bravery, and respect for their surroundings. You want to ensure that they feel safe while respecting the power and unpredictability of mother nature. Teach them early on to stay on the trail, avoid harmful flora and fauna like poison ivy, and what to do when encountering wildlife. 

2. Start Small and Start Local

You wouldn’t sign up for a 10k race if you’ve only just started running. You want to start with manageable trails that gently introduce your new hikers to an activity that requires patience, stamina, and strength. Inevitably, you may get the “carry me!” request, so for your own sake, a shorter trail may be a good place to start for parents as well. Allow the kids to set the pace too, encouraging exploration and curiosity as they take in their new surroundings. 

3. Prepare with the Right Clothing

Expect the unexpected, and always bring an outfit change just in case the weather decides to shift dramatically. Your child’s clothing could be the fine line between an enjoyable hike and a miserable one. Opt for layerable, moisture-wicking clothing, stretchy and breathable pants, a wide-brimmed hat to prevent sunburns, and a windbreaker in case it gets chilly. Being prepared will prevent injuries while hiking such as wearing practical shoes and bringing sunscreen.

4. Promote Games in the Wild

Put together a few prompts or games to keep the kiddos stimulated throughout the hike. Bring along a nature journal for them to document what they see in the wild, and a magnifying glass to get a close-up look at different bugs and plants. Play eye-spy or follow the leader and allow their imaginations to run wild. Put together a nature watch key asking them to find a specific amount of items like birds, mushrooms, butterflies, etc. These experiences will foster an appreciation and adventurous spirit which will grow with them as they mature and advance in trails.

5. Having the Right Backpack is Key

Bring a carrier backpack in case your kids get tired on the hike

Bring a carrier backpack in case your kids get tired on the hike

Be sure to invest in a comfortable, lightweight, ventilated backpack with plenty of compartments. You want to be sure that you can bring the essentials such as a first aid kit, water bottles, sunscreen, spare clothing, hats, etc. It doesn’t hurt to stow away a carrier while hiking with a toddler so that you have the option of throwing them on your back if they become too tired.

6. Give Yourself Time, and Plenty of it

For the first few hikes, plan on doubling the time it might normally take to complete the trail, just to be safe. Kids are natural explorers and will probably want to take time to look at rocks and plants and ask questions, so be prepared to engage with their distractions whether it be splashing around in the creek or watching ants cross a log. It’s also important to account for plenty of breaks for rest, snacks, and hydration. Bring plenty of high-energy, healthy snacks that will keep their minds and bodies sharp and energized. A hungry kid often makes for a cranky kid, so keeping their energy up with a variety of snacks throughout the hike is key.

7. Encourage and Positive Reinforcement

Take moments to celebrate even the smallest achievements, whether it be making it across a long bridge or reaching the first mile marker. Stoke their engagement with plenty of encouragement so they remain excited and motivated throughout the hike. 

8. Teach Kids to Leave No Trace

Children are the future stewards of the lands and wildlife that occupy it, and it is crucial that we pass along the importance of taking care of these remarkable public spaces for everyone to enjoy. Bringing along gallon-sized zip-top bags to keep wrappers or empty juice boxes will do the trick. You can even implement a game with each child receiving a zip-top bag to see who can collect the most trash from the trail, emphasizing the importance of leaving the area in better condition than when you found it.

Sometimes walking is the best way to get to know a new place. If you’re road-tripping across Europe and want to make the most of your time away, exploring each country on foot is a great way to make the best memories before you return – including the beautiful country of Iceland. This article covers everything you need to know about exploring Iceland on foot, including the country’s dramatic landscape, and some of the best hikes in Iceland in summer.

Visiting Iceland in Summer

With 24 hours of light in summer and the chance to see the Northern Lights in the Fall, Iceland is a Nordic island nation known for its dramatic landscape of hot springs, volcanos, geysers, and lava fields. It’s a must-do stop for anyone travelling across Europe, and while it’s possible to explore Iceland by car, walking tours offer the chance to truly take in Iceland’s breathtaking scenery. For avid hikers, the best time to visit Iceland is in the summer, when you won’t have to deal with frozen-over trails and you can take advantage of the long days.

Iceland’s Geology

The landscape of Iceland has been shaped by dramatic forces over the past 30 million years, including active plate tectonics, volcanoes, and glacial movement. However, since Iceland itself is less than 33 million years old, scientists still define it as a geologically young island!

Iceland is one of the only places in the world that has an exposed divergent plate boundary at the earth’s surface, and with 33 active volcanoes, the vast majority of the earth’s volcanic features can be seen on an island roughly the same size as Kentucky…

The Three Best Hikes in Iceland in the Summer

Iceland utterly changes when you explore it on foot. Only you and your fellow hikers will truly understand the landscapes of this beautiful island that are usually hidden beyond the highway and other tourist routes. Here are some of the best hikes in Iceland in the summer:

The Laugavegur Trek

Exploring the Landmannalaugar highlands in Iceland on the Laugavegur Trek

Exploring the Landmannalaugar highlands on one of the best hikes in Iceland on the Laugavegur Trek

This is Iceland’s most famous hiking trail that leads intrepid explorers through black lava fields, colorful rhyolite mountains, black deserts and steaming hot springs – there’s a reason Laugavegur translates as the “Hot Spring Route” in English! The best time to visit the trail is during Iceland’s summer, when you won’t have to deal with frozen trails.

The Fimmvörduháls Trek

Thórsmörk, the grand finale of the Fimmvörduháls Trek

Thórsmörk, the grand finale of the Fimmvörduháls Trek

The Fimmvörduháls hike is Iceland’s second most famous hiking trail and leads you along the river up into the mountains, going through breathtaking waterfalls and a thrilling canyon that is up there with one of the best gorges in Iceland.

The Kjölur Route

The old-fashioned way of crossing the Icelandic highlands

The old-fashioned way of crossing the Icelandic highlands

Also known as Kjalvegur or the “Haunted Highway,” the Kjölur Trek leads between two glaciers into the very heart of the Icelandic Highlands. Going way back, people used horses to cross the Highlands, and ever since the Vikings first settled down in Iceland there has been a route connecting Northern Iceland, and the South. Compared to the other two routes mentioned, this hiking trek is known to be more challenging. However, with the right equipment and a good amount of hiking experience, it’s well worth doing. The best time to do this hike in Iceland is in the summer, to make sure you avoid thick snowfall.

The Best Hikes in Iceland – Final Thoughts

Don’t miss your chance to see some of Europe’s most beautiful scenery by embarking on one of the best hikes in Iceland during the summer. Iceland offers some of the most unforgettable landscapes, and by exploring the country on foot, you can discover some of this Nordic island’s most sensational hidden gems.

To ensure you have a great hiking experience in Iceland, be sure to get the AllTrails app before you go. The app has an extensive list of the best trails for hiking in Iceland, with reviews from other hikers to keep you up to date on the latest trail conditions. You can filter by trail difficulty, length, and suitability and download trail maps to help keep you on track even when you’re offline.

Are you planning a trip to Ireland in the near future? If so, you should consider adding one of the many long-distance hikes in Ireland to your bucket list. 

The best time to go hiking in Ireland is between May and October, as temperatures are slightly warmer, and you can enjoy pleasant weather during your hike. However, it’s important that you pack the right gear, should random rainfall occur. 

Many of the long-distance backpacking trails in Ireland will allow you to enjoy Ireland off the beaten path. During a hike, you may come across quaint villages which are definitely not on the average tourist’s radar. 

To ensure you have a great hiking experience in Ireland, be sure to get the AllTrails app before you go. The app has an extensive list of the best trails for hiking in Ireland, with reviews from other hikers to keep you up to date on the latest trail conditions. You can filter by trail difficulty, length, and suitability and download trail maps to help keep you on track even when you’re offline.

There is a wide range of long-distance hikes in Ireland, where you can either camp along the way or find accommodation in the middle of your chosen route. As there are so many long-distance hiking trails to select from in Ireland, we have narrowed down some of the best treks available to explore. 

1. Kerry Way  (214 km)

Torc Waterfall which stands at the base of Torc Mountain within the Killarney National Park.

Torc Waterfall in the Killarney National Park

Kerry Way is one of the longest signposted hiking trails in Ireland which begins and ends in Killarney, a popular coastal town in the Republic of Ireland. Killarney is known for its brightly coloured 19th-century architecture, including St Mary’s Cathedral. 

This hiking trail is a circular route that typically takes around 7 to 10 days to complete. Despite the length of the hike, it is a fairly easy route that is accessible to all levels. Although the terrain does differ, with everything from sturdy tarmac roads to boggy national parkland and farm areas. 

Along the way, you will discover interesting castle ruins and ancient Celtic monuments, as well as stunning mountain landscapes. At the start of the hike, you can also enjoy the beautiful Torc Waterfall, which stands at the base of Torc Mountain within the Killarney National Park. 

2. The Wicklow Way (128 km)

Wicklow Mountains National Park along the Wicklow Way - one of the best long distance hikes in Ireland

The J. B. Malone memorial above Lough Tay in the Wicklow Mountains National Park

The Wicklow Way is one of the most challenging backpacking trails in Ireland. The trail takes around 7 days in total, starting in the Dublin suburb of Rathfarnham and crossing 26 peaks throughout Dublin and the Wicklow mountains. The hiking trail ends in the small village of Clonegal in County Carlow.

The most popular route along the Wicklow Way is the north to south route, however, you can also take the south to the north route if you wish to start on low terrain and work your way up. 

Whatever route you take, you will be able to enjoy a wide range of sights including Marlay Park, Fairy Castle, the Powerscourt waterfall, the peaks of Djouce, and more. 

3. The Irish segment of the E8 Long Distance Trail (650 km)

Walk the start of the E8 Long-Distance Trail - one of the best long distance hikes in Ireland

Walk the westernmost portion of the E8 Long-Distance Trail in Ireland

The E8 trail was established as Europe’s first long-distance hike, and it starts in Ireland in Cork’s Dursey Island – the westernmost tip of Europe. The whole trail stretches to Istanbul, Turkey, although the Irish section begins at Dursey Island and ends in Dublin City.

Part of the route overlaps with some of the best long-distance hikes in Ireland including the Wicklow Way, the Kerry Way, the South Leinster Way, and the Blackwater Way. 

The Irish segment of the E8 trail goes from coast to coast and allows you to see all of rural Ireland including the bogs, mountains, windy country roads, old castles, and even ancient burial sites. 

4. Dingle Way (183 km)

Cliffs along the Dingle Way towards Slea Head

Cliffs along the Dingle Way towards Slea Head

Ireland’s Dingle Way is a circular backpacking trail that covers the Dingle Peninsula and takes around 6 to 8 days to complete. This is an easy to moderate walk with well-maintained terrain throughout. 

The Dingle Way starts and ends in Tralee, in the South-west county of Kerry. Tralee is known for its yearly Rose of Tralee International Festival, which is held every August. This is a contest that celebrates Irish women all over the world.

The Dingle Way offers stunning views of beautiful beaches, lively towns, and mountains. When you get to the foot of Mount Bradon, the difficulty of the trail increases, however, it’s nothing the average hiker can’t handle. 

5. The Beara Way (206 km)

Beara Peninsula countryside on the Beara Way - one of the best long distance hikes in Ireland

Beara Peninsula countryside on the Beara Way

The Beara Way is a circular long-distance hike in Ireland that begins and ends in Glengarriff, a tiny village in the Beara Peninsula of County Cork. It takes about 8 to 12 days to complete the entire backpacking trail, however, you can start the hike at various points.

Most of the backpacking trail is dry, there are parts of the walk that are boggy, so it’s advised that you bring waterproof shoes. There are also various steep climbs and rough terrain, so it’s important you stay focused while you walk.

During the walk, you will come across spectacular Atlantic views, as well as plenty of wild mountainous land. You will also have the pleasure of visiting Bere Island during the trail, where you will find historic military buildings, plenty of heritage, and even the opportunity to go whale watching. 

The collection of long-distance hikes in Ireland does not stop here, as there are plenty more backpacking trails and sights to explore on The Emerald Isle. 

For more facts on travel in Ireland, take a look at our Backpacking Ireland guide, which uncovers everything you need to know about Ireland including where to stay. It also discusses things to do while you are there, as well as Republic of Ireland visa requirements and work permit information. 

The Best Long Distance Hikes in Ireland

There is a reason New Zealand is a popular shooting location for fantasy movies and TV shows. The stunning and other-worldly landscapes make New Zealand one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There is no better way to take in this beauty than by hiking one of the best day hikes in New Zealand. That said, we have listed ten must-visit hiking trails in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

To ensure you have a great hiking experience in New Zealand, be sure to get the AllTrails app before you go. The app has an extensive list of the best trails for hiking in New Zealand, with reviews from other hikers to keep you up to date on the latest trail conditions. You can filter by trail difficulty, length, and suitability and download trail maps to help keep you on track even when you’re offline.

The Best Day Hikes on New Zealand’s North Island

The North Island is home to a diverse set of stunning landscapes. When comparing hiking conditions between the North and South Island of New Zealand, the North Island offers warmer temperatures on average.

From the alpine peaks in Tongariro National Park to coastal paths in Northland, there is something here for everyone, regardless of your hiking style.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro Alpine Crossing - one of New Zealand's best day hikes

One of the best day hikes you in New Zealand would be the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This hike is so memorable, that many people have heralded it as New Zealand’s Greatest Day Hike. When you try it for yourself, you’ll see that this is no flattery or exaggeration on anybody’s part.

Aside from the stunning mountainous terrain, you’ll be able to see emerald lakes and volcanic views. Since this is rocky and steep terrain, it would be a good idea to bring your hiking poles with you to be safe, even if you’re a veteran hiker. 


Tama Lakes Track

Another one of the best day hikes in New Zealand that you should try if you’re hoping to visit beautiful lakes in New Zealand is the Tama Lakes track. This particular hiking trail passes the Taranaki Falls trail, which you’ll pass by in order to get to the Lower Tama Lake lookout.

The Tama Lakes Track is a great trail for taking in the view of the Tongariro volcanic area. The whole track takes about 5-6 hours round trip.

Cape Brett Track

Te Toroa Bay from the Cape Brett Trail - one of New Zealand's best day hikes

Te Toroa Bay from the Cape Brett Trail.

If you want to go hiking along the New Zealand coasts, you should head to the North Island and try the Cape Brett Track. It’s a gorgeous coastal hiking trail that is at the far north of North Island. It’s considered one of the more challenging day hikes in New Zealand, because of the elevation changes and length of the trail. 

If you want to cap your hike off with a refreshing swim at the end of the track, you can head to the Deep Water Cove. It’s possible to do the hike in one day, but that would require you to skip part of the trail. If you have the time, you could consider staying in a hut along the way to turn your hike into an overnight adventure.

Pinnacles Track

Nowadays, most people are aware that New Zealand is the setting of many fantastical movies and shows. The most famous film set in New Zealand within the fantasy realm is the Lord of the Rings. If you want to see one of its filming locations in New Zealand, you should try the Pinnacles Track.

The Pinnacles Track is named so due to the pinnacles towering above you. These are pillars that the winds and water have shaped into what they are now. It takes just under 4 hours to reach the summit from the trail head, which makes the Pinnacles Track one of the best day hikes in New Zealand to enjoy the country’s beauty.

The Best Day Hikes on New Zealand’s South Island

New Zealand’s South Island is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the country. The Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park has plenty of options for breathtaking day hikes, so any trip to New Zealand should include plenty of time exploring the area.

But don’t forget to pay a visit to Wanaka, known for its incredible scenery, snow-capped mountains, and turquoise lakes.

Sealy Tarns Track

Near Sealy Tarns in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. One of the best day hike in New Zealand

Near Sealy Tarns in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

The Sealy Tarns Track is one of the more challenging day hikes for New Zealand hikers who want a bit more of an adventure. If you’re hoping to get a gorgeous view of Mount Cook and even Hooker Valley, the Sealy Tarns Track is where you should head to. The entire track takes 3-4 hours, and there are multiple viewpoints along the way for an excellent picnic spot.

Mueller Hut Route

Red Mueller Hut in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

The Red Mueller Hut in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

If you’re looking for unique and popular places to go to when hiking New Zealand, you should embark on the Mueller Hut Route. This route is trendy for its red Mueller Hut, hence the name.

Although you can finish this trail within one day, you also have the option of turning it into a 2-day trek and spending the night in the famous red Mueller Hut.

Hooker Valley Track

The Hooker Valley Track is one of the most popular day hikes in New Zealand. It is located within the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, South Island.

The Hooker Valley Track in Aoraki/Mount Cood National Park, South Island

Hiking in New Zealand will lead you to all sorts of places that you’ve never seen, let alone heard of before. Therefore, if you come across unique names for hiking trails, don’t be dissuaded.

Such is the case for when you make your way over to conquer the Hooker Valley Track that would lead you right to Hooker Lake. The trail crosses 3 suspension bridges and finishes at a lookout above Hooker Lake with an excellent view of Mount Cook.

This 10 km/6 mile hiking trail is one of the easier day hikes in New Zealand since it’s a flat trail. However, it can get quite crowded, so you should take this track early so that you don’t have to drown in the hiking crowds. You’ll be able to enjoy the Hooker Valley better that way.

Roys Peak Track, Wanaka

Roys Peak Track in Wanaka

Roys Peak Track in Wanaka

Roys Peak Track in the Wanaka region is one of the more challenging day hikes in New Zealand that gets you up to Mount Roy’s summit. It takes about 3 and a half hours to reach the top, where you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views. You should take this track sometime around January to October for the best experience.

Rob Roy Glacier Trail, Wanaka

Day Hikes in New Zealand - Rob Roy Track in Mount Aspiring National Park

Rob Roy Track in Mount Aspiring National Park

Beneath Mount Rob Roy, you can try the Rob Roy Glacier Trail, which follows the Rob Roy Stream after crossing the West Matukituki River. The gorgeous stream across the deep grey valley of rocks is a sight to behold. The track typically takes 3-4 hours and is considered an easy track, making it suitable for beginners.

Along the way, you’re going to encounter a beech forest and waterfalls, which adds to its value as a hiking trail.

Avalanche Peak, Arthur’s Pass National Park

View north from track to Avalanche Peak, Arthur's Pass National Park, New Zealand. One of the best day hikes in New Zealand

View north from the track to Avalanche Peak, Arthur’s Pass National Park

Another peak that you should consider climbing if you’re looking for a challenging hiking trail is the hike up to Avalanche Peak. This one-day hike in New Zealand can take five to eight hours, depending on your condition and hiking skills.

This is a challenging track to traverse, so make sure that you prepare and research beforehand. If there’s poor visibility or the peak is very snowy, it will be dangerous. However, if you go there on a good day, you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment after reaching the peak and taking in the view of the valleys below.

Hiking in New Zealand is an excellent way to explore the country. That’s because there are plenty of hiking trails that will allow you to explore the beauty of the stunning landscape. If you ever manage to go to this lovely country, be sure to take to the trails and enjoy the best day hikes in New Zealand.