Going on a backpacking trip and would love to brew coffee along the way?

We’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ve gathered 6 quick and easy ways to make coffee while backpacking. We will show you options like instant coffee, portable backpacking coffee makers, coffee bags, and more.

Keep reading to learn more.

1. Instant Coffee

Instant coffee is one of the best ways to brew coffee while backpacking. It has many benefits, but it is not for everyone. Let’s talk about its pros and cons.

The major advantage of instant coffee is its convenience in terms of time savings. You just have to measure the amount of powder and water you want, add some hot water, and stir. All of this in less than a minute.

Its learning curve is almost nonexistent, so anyone can prepare it, additionally, since instant coffee dilutes in liquid, it produces no waste in comparison with other brewing methods.

The final advantage is that usually, instant coffee is cheaper in the short term because you don’t need to buy any additional equipment.

However, the major downside of instant coffee is its flavor, it will never be as good as coffee brewed with fresh grounds.

Our top picks for the best instant coffee for backpacking:

2. Portable Battery Powered Coffee Machine

Coffee makers are usually confused with bulky machines only used in stores or at home. Well, that’s not the case.

The Makita DCM501Z Cordless Coffee Maker, as the name suggests, is a coffee maker that doesn’t require to be connected to a power source to work because it is powered by a potent Lithium battery. That makes it the best backpacking coffee maker option.

This coffee maker brews up to 3 cups of coffee of 5oz each. Additionally, it doesn’t need paper filters since it comes with a permanent drip filter.

These features are extremely helpful to make coffee while backpacking since you can enjoy several cups of coffee and you don’t need to pay extra money or extra storage on paper filters.

Apart from its extremely convenient battery, its design is very compact. It is only 8-9/16″ tall with a 3-1/2″ cup clearance, so you can store it easily in a bag. Or, if you don’t want to do that, it has a handle at the top that you can use to carry it around with you.

Despite all of these benefits, we only recommend this coffee maker for short backpacking trips since when it doesn’t have a battery it is pretty useless.

In case you are camping and you have a power generator, we would also recommend the K-Mini or K-Express, which are coffee makers that require a power source to work, but are kind of portable too.

3. Coffee Bags

In short, coffee bags are small portions of coffee inside sealed bags of paper, exactly the same as tea bags, but instead of tea, coffee.

The way they work is very simple, you add the coffee bag inside a cup with boiling water and wait for 2 to 5 minutes. The longer you leave the bag in the water, the stronger the coffee will be.

These bags also come in a lot of varieties, like decaffeinated coffee, and in several roasts, for example, light roast or medium roast.

So, their major advantage is that they are extremely easy to use and make coffee really fast. The major downside is that the flavor is not as good as if you were using a normal coffee maker like a coffee pot. The flavor is very similar to instant coffee for backpacking.

Our top picks for the best coffee bags for backpacking:

4. Collapsible Pour Over

If you really like pour over coffee this is a pretty good option while backpacking due to its extreme portability.

Collapsible pour over coffee makers are made of silicone and, as the name suggests, they can be easily stored by collapsing them.

Since they are made of silicone, they are very resistant, cheap, and they do not absorb odors or chemical taste, extremely convenient properties.

To make coffee while backpacking with one of these products, you just have to put your collapsible pour over a cup, insert a filter, add some coffee grounds, and then pour hot water over the grounds.

Our recommendation for enjoying pour over coffee while backpacking is the collapsible reusable silicone coffee dripper by Kuissential.

5. AeroPress Go

The AeroPress Go is a portable espresso coffee maker that doesn’t require electricity to function. It is another excellent choice to make coffee while backpacking.

It can produce from 1 to 3 servings of espresso coffee depending on the amount of water you add. Also, the coffee seems to be pretty good according to many reviews from previous customers.

Additionally, it comes with a handy mug and some accessories perfect for bringing this coffee maker with you everywhere.

The device itself is very simple to use, but it requires some practice to use to brew the best coffee possible from it.

6. Cowboy Coffee

This method has been used by wilderness travelers all over the years. It’s a unique way of brewing coffee that actually tastes pretty good, but it requires some technique.

First, you need a good pot with a handle, a pair of sturdy gloves, or a heavy cloth, and a cooking fire or portable stove.

First, you need to add some water to the pot and put it in the fire until it boils, and then add the coffee. It is recommended to add one tablespoon of coffee grounds per person. Also, 8oz of water per person is a good measure.

After about 5 minutes, remove the pot from the fire, and wait until it cools a little bit until the grounds are at the bottom of the pot.

Now, you just have to stir and pour your coffee into a cup. Make sure to do it slowly because you don’t want coffee residues in your cup.


These were 6 quick and easy ways to make coffee while backpacking. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages, so we recommend that you experiment a little with them to find out which one is your favorite.

Personally, our favorite way to prepare coffee while backpacking is the AeroPress method due to its convenience and nice flavor.

Fall is a fantastic time to go camping and hiking in the Great Lakes State. Summer has come and gone and you’ve had your fill of the state’s beautiful beaches. Now it’s time to enjoy the fall foliage, vibrant colors, and cooler temperatures that will keep everyone cool and comfortable on the trail.

But, what if you want to bring your kids along? Spending more time outside with your children has countless benefits, and it’s a fantastic way to bond as a family.

So, whether the kids have a fall break from school or you just want to go exploring on a long weekend, let this serve as your guide to taking kids backpacking in Michigan, and how you can enjoy every moment by planning, preparing, and staying present.

Why Should You Go Backpacking?

There’s no denying how enjoyable it is to spend time outdoors in the fall. The air is brisk, the colors are beautiful, and you don’t have to worry about as many bugs or other pests bothering you if you’re on the hiking trail. Maybe you already know and appreciate the benefits of being outside when it comes to your personal well-being. However, if you’re on the fence about putting together a camping trip with the kids, consider the many benefits that will come with it.

First, it’s important for kids to spend more time outside. Nowadays, kids tend to spend more time indoors than ever. Unfortunately, that can take a toll on their mental health. Studies have shown that kids who spend more time outdoors are smarter, more attentive, and less anxious.

Nature is a great healer, and will benefit your children’s physical and mental well-being. Some of the biggest benefits of kids spending more time outside include:

  • Better physical health
  • Reduced risk of anxiety and depression
  • Improved sensory skills
  • Greater attention span
  • Greater social/emotional development

In addition to the benefit of spending time outside, camping with your kids helps them build survival skills, boosts self-esteem, and gives them the chance to disconnect from technology for  a while. It’s a wonderful way to reconnect as a family and strengthen your bond.

How to Prepare Your Kids for a Backpacking Trip

Whether you’re a beginner backpacker or you have years of experience, it takes a little extra time and preparation to make sure your kids are ready for a backpacking trip in Michigan.

It starts with having the right gear. You might know what to pack for yourself, but it’s a good rule of thumb to create a checklist so you can ensure every family member has everything they need in their bag, including:

  • Raincover
  • Water bottles
  • Snacks
  • Extra clothes
  • First aid items

It’s also a good idea to pack some kind of bug protection in your backcountry kit. It might be fall, and there will likely be fewer bees, wasps, and mosquitos. However, harmful pests like ticks are still lingering in thick, wooded areas. They love to hide in dry leaves and grass, so keep yourself and your kids protective with the right clothing and repellents. A single tick can cause Lyme disease, which can make children especially sick. If you’re making your backpacking trip a family affair and bringing your dog along, make sure they’re on a flea and tick preventative to reduce the risk of them getting bitten.

In addition to packing the right gear, make sure to educate your children on how to stay safe while backpacking. Consider doing some “roleplaying” in your neighborhood or a local park to give them a better idea of what to expect. Your personal safety plan is up to you, but you might want to consider including things like:

  • Using a buddy system
  • Having your kids carry whistles
  • Making sure they know how to stay on marked trails
  • Teaching them to stay within your view while you’re hiking

By keeping everyone safe, you’ll all be able to enjoy your experience that much more. You’ll also implement better outdoor habits in your children from a young age that they will carry with them into adulthood. They’ll know how to keep themselves safe on the trail while respecting nature at the same time.

The Best Family-Friendly Destinations This Fall

Once everyone knows what to pack and how to stay safe on the trip, it’s time to decide where to go backpacking with your kids. Thankfully, Michigan doesn’t have a shortage of beautiful fall backpacking locations the entire family will enjoy.

If you’re planning on a weekend getaway or an extended trip, one of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in the great outdoors is to check out some of the state’s awesome campgrounds. You’ll experience the natural beauty of a Michigan fall and can enjoy some family-friendly activities when you’re not on the trail, including everything from roasting marshmallows over a campfire to telling kid-friendly ghost stories with a cup of warm apple cider in the evenings. If you’re backpacking with your kids, some of the best family-friendly campgrounds Michigan has to offer include:

  • Dunes Harbor Family Camp – Silver Lake
  • H. Day Campground – Glen Arbor
  • Lake Leelanau RV Park – Lake Leelanau
  • Logan Hills Campground – Hale
  • Sandy Pines – Hopkins

If you want to take a longer trip and head outside the Great Lakes State, the midwest is ripe with fall beauty and wonderful hiking trails. Consider visiting some nearby national parks in neighboring states, like Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. In addition to great hiking trails and beautiful colors, the park offers railroad rides. What kid wouldn’t love that?

Chances are, you’re closer to a great backpacking or camping spot than you might think. If you have younger kids, consider looking locally at nearby parks or campgrounds to enjoy the backpacking experience without having to venture too far from home.

Indiana Dunes State Park in Michigan is another great option for backpacking with kids. While it’s typically known for being a “beach park,” it’s not to be missed in the fall. Indiana Dunes has great hiking trails, campgrounds, and serves as a great fishing site if you want to catch your dinner. It’s also a popular geocaching location for locals and tourists alike. If you’re spending a few days there, try going geocaching with the kids almost anywhere in Michigan. It will help them build map-reading and problem-solving skills, and they’ll love being able to look for “treasure”.

While many people consider summer the best time to head out and go exploring with the family, fall might just be the superior season! If you’re looking for something fun, educational, and beneficial to enjoy with the whole family this season, consider taking your kids backpacking in Michigan. You’ll teach them a lot about nature, and enjoy some time together without digital distractions or the stress of everyday life. You might even start an autumn family tradition that you come back to each year.

Snow-capped mountains, coniferous forests, and gently frosted streams – a winter hike is one of the best ways to catch the beauty of the winter landscape. It also presents a challenging and rewarding outdoor activity for you to go solo or with friends.

All hikes need to be prepared for in a way that ensures safety and comfort – but none more so than those attempted in winter. As you’ll learn, the season presents greater challenges than just keeping out of the cold.

In this article, we’ll look at what to wear for winter hiking, what gear you should be using, and some tips to retain that ever-important heat in the frigid winter months. With the right equipment, you’ll be able to get the most out of these affirming, exciting outdoor experiences.

What Are The Perfect Clothes For Winter Hiking?

We’re going for a comprehensive guide to what to wear for your winter hiking outfit, so let’s start the top down. As a general rule – warmth is the name of the game, but it’s not the only metric to consider when finding the perfect set of clothes for winter hiking. As we discuss each garment, we’ll be assessing its benefits and potential flaws.

What Hat Should I Wear For Winter Hiking?

Starting off on our list of cold weather hiking clothes – the hat. It’s often said that we lose most of our heat through our heads – this isn’t strictly true – but a sensible piece of headwear is a vital part of what to wear for winter hiking.

As with all items on our list, a good hat isn’t just about providing warmth but comfort as well. Think of how the tops of your ears feel when exposed to the cold wind – it stings, doesn’t it. That’s because your ears aren’t particularly fatty, and therefore aren’t as well insulated. It can be a shock to all those tiny blood vessels.

You can make up for this with a piece of headwear that covers them, such as a beanie. Polyester blends are popular, and typically more affordable than other materials. Wool offers the highest amount of heat retention at the lowest weight – but may not be waterproof, something you’ll come to value as all that snow settles on your head. This is where acrylic knit beanies come in handy, and they often include a microfleece interior to retain that level of warmth.

Whatever material you choose, you can go out into the snow in style – their popularity and versatility mean that many brands offer warm beanies that are the height of winter hiking fashion. To summarize:

  • Look for something that covers the tops of your ears, like a beanie or other wooly hat.
  • Choose a material that is waterproof, but still warm, such as acrylic knit with a fleecy interior.
  • Go for something that’s lightweight and unobtrusive.

And what do those little bobbles do, you might be wondering? Nothing – they were once used to denote ranks and status but are now just a cheerful remnant of winters passed.

What Jacket Should I Wear For My Snow Hiking Outfit?

In snowy conditions it's essential to have the right winter hiking attire

In snowy conditions it’s essential to have the right hiking attire

Once again, as is the general rule for a snow hiking outfit, warm and waterproof is the key. Puffy jackets do this best, and synthetic insulation is a popular option for its water-resistant qualities.

Traditional down insulation, while made from fluffy feathers that trap air to retain heat, becomes heavy and virtually useless once damp. For a dry cold weather hike, this may be your preferred option – it’s also far lighter, but if you’re entering areas with expected snowfall, the bulkier synthetic insulation is a better bet.

Regardless, in very cold climates make sure you have something that covers the torso and arms. Bodywarmers are a popular choice for what to wear for winter hiking – flexible and covering the vital chest area – but naturally provide less coverage.

Go for a tall collar that extends over the neck (this is fairly standard for most outdoor jackets) in order to protect that area as well.

Hikers may consider a scarf over the top of a looser fitting jacket to keep the collar tightly pressed to the neck stopping cold air from entering, but this may restrict movement and provide unnecessary bulk.

A good quality, well-insulated, waterproof, form-fitting jacket covers all the basics.

What Gloves Should I Wear When Winter Hiking?

While other areas are vital for retaining heat, the extremities are the most receptacle to the effects of cold, including the nasty and devastating effects of frostbite.

You’re going to be weighing up protection and dexterity here – you’ll want to wear something that offers plenty of heat, but you’re also probably looking to use most of your equipment with your gloves on, potentially even those finicky GPS screens. Mittens, while certainly warm, are probably not the best things to wear for winter hiking.

We can’t stress enough that in snowy or wet environments – make sure your gloves are waterproof. The last thing anyone needs after potentially falling in deep snow is cold hands and gloves that won’t dry out – in fact, we would advise bringing a spare pair in any situation. Windproof and waterproof qualities are an absolute must, despite how bulky they can be, and make sure they stretch over the wrists to stop snow and other elements from getting in.

What Trousers Should I Wear When Winter Hiking?

Any warm, water-repellent trousers will suit your hiking needs. Synthetic fiber is a popular material that suits these requirements – look for a stretchy fabric with breathable qualities for maximum comfort, and make sure that the fit is just right. You’ll need those stretchy qualities for better flexibility and demanding uphill walking.

If you’re wondering what boots to wear – we’ll move on to that in our next section.

What Gear Should I Bring With Me on a Winter Hike?

As vital as the right set of clothes – you’ll want a good set of boots and kit to take with you on a winter hike. Here’s some essential gear for hiking in the snow.


Your gear for hiking in the snow starts with a good pair of winter hiking boots. The ideal pair guarantees warmth, durability, and that all-important fit. Here are some factors you’ll want to consider for optimum functionality, and comfort.

  • Weight – the overall weight of the boot, including the weight of the insulation.
  • Shaft height – how high your boots rise up towards the leg.
  • Warmth – how good they are at retaining heat.

Waterproofing is a must regardless of whatever boot you’re going for – but there are costs and benefits to these other factors, and should be selected based on the kind of hike you’re intending on.

In terms of weight, think about how long you’ll be hiking. Heavier boots may cause a strain on your feet and your overall energy levels on longer excursions.

Shaft height depends on the kind of terrain you’re getting into. A high shaft is best in thick snow or potential water crossings, as it will reduce the chance of these frigid, uncomfortable elements entering at the top of the boot – this will however add an unfortunate bulk that can be more restrictive to your movements.

For warmth, boots are generally given a temperature rating to inform the consumer about the level of cold they can withstand, so consider what kind of climate and how much the temperature may drop in the area you’re going to be hiking in before you purchase.

In terms of fit, remember that you’ll likely be wearing thick socks, so make sure you wear these while trying your boots on. And don’t forget to give them a test run before purchase, including on different inclines, to ensure that they don’t slip.


In areas with frequently frozen surfaces – hiking microspikes are essential gear for winter hiking. These are devices consisting of a series of spikes and chains that can be tethered to the sole of the boot, digging into the ice and preventing slippage. They’ll also increase the surface area of your foot stopping you from sinking even deeper into the snow.

Other Equipment

  • A waterproof, lightweight backpack to carry all your equipment in – including that extra pair of gloves.
  • Sunglasses are always helpful in providing better visibility against the bright winter sun.
  • A sturdy pair of poles to help keep you steady and upright when hiking.
  • A buff to wrap around the neck and cover the lower face for comfort and heat.
  • An emergency bag and head torch for safety.

Tips for Staying Warm

Now that we’ve covered what to wear for winter hiking – here are a few ways to keep warm that’ll prove invaluable in a challenging winter hike.

  • Keep snow and water out however you can. This doesn’t just mean buying waterproof clothes – make sure your gloves are wrapped tightly around your wrists, and consider whether your boots can deal with the depth of whatever snow or water is ahead. These elements will result in dampness, and your gloves and socks will take a long and potentially dangerous amount of time to dry.
  • Think about your layers. A great jacket is essential – but layering up underneath will help to trap air and insulate your body. Thermals for both your torso, sleeves, and legs can be vital in those seriously cold climates.
  • Pack a hot drink. It’ll not only warm you up but keep you hydrated and energized on longer hikes.
  • Plan! Consider the climate of the area you’re hiking in. Consult local guides, other hikers, or the internet for information. And don’t forget to check the weather forecast!

 See for more outdoor & hiking hacks and guides.

Exploring Romania’s wild and vast Carpathian Mountains will be a unique and memorable experience for tourists who don’t know what to expect. Romania has a lot of potential for hiking, trekking, backpacking trips, mountain biking, climbing, and all things outdoors – even though it’s a less known destination for this. Which is exactly why you should consider visiting Romania for your next hiking vacation!

Boasting a wide variety of hiking trails that wander through stunning natural landscapes, majestic peaks reaching 2,500m altitudes, dense woodlands, plenty of natural attractions, quaint little villages still unspoiled by the touch of the modern world and a rich wildlife population, Romania rightfully deserves the title Europe’s last wilderness reserve.

The Carpathian Mountains dominate the country’s relief and circle the famous region of Transylvania which is a popular destination for tourists all over the world. So for those of you who want to go hiking in Romania, explore the Carpathians and discover the wonders of Mother Nature – we’ve got you covered. In this article we’ll tell you about three places you can go hiking in Romania and how to plan your trip.

Hiking in Piatra Craiului Natural Park

Piatra Craiului Natural Park Romania - hiking trails for all experience levels

Piatra Craiului Natural Park – hiking trails for all experience levels


Rising at the eastern extremity of the Southern Carpathians, Romania’s Piatra Craiului mountains are a favourite among hikers and climbers for the best hikes in Romania.

This range might not be the largest, nor the highest (the maximum altitude is reached at La Om Peak at 2,238m altitude) in Romania, but what really captivates hikers are the distinctively rigged limestone summits which are unlike any other mountains in the area. The unique crest scratches the sky like a natural barrier and magically draws hikers – and all eyes – to it.

The mountains in Piatra Craiului also boast rich vegetation and animal life which is why it’s also a natural park. Enjoy some of the best hikes in Romania while taking in stunning scenery.

There are plenty of trails in Piatra Craiului for all experience levels. They’re perfect for hiking day trips for medium experienced hikers or for family trips with kids.

If you’re a beginner, the best option would be following the trail that takes you from Fântâna lui Botorog, all the way through the Zarnesti Gorges, with spectacular vertical walls bordering the valley (which are also popular for rock climbing), continues towards Cheia Pisicii, and ends at Valea Vlădușca. It’s a 6 hours trail in general, but it really depends on your pace and how many stops you make along the way.

You can also check out the trail that goes uphill to Curmatura Hut (the only accommodation in the mountains) also starting from Fântâna lui Botorog. The hike takes just under three hours and is available all year round.

You’ll begin your ascension following the indicators on the left side of the fountain, through the forest, until you reach Poiana Zanoaga. Here’s where the path splits in two, and you’ll have to follow the yellow markings until you’ve finally reached Cabana Curmatura, a beautiful mountain chalet that also serves as a starting point for the trails going up the ridge of Piatra Craiului.

If you’re looking for more challenging trails towards the ridge or even to summit La Om Peak, these can be done in one-day hikes of approximately 8-10h starting from Pestera village.

These hiking trails in Romania are recommended for experienced mountaineers able to sustain effort and a quick pace, and we would recommend hiring a hiking guide as it’s easy to get lost especially in the evening as it gets dark. Besides the challenge, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Rucar-Bran Corridor and Bucegi Mountains if the weather is on your side.

Hiking in Bucegi Mountains

Bucegi hiking in Romania's Southern Carpathian Mountain range

Bucegi hiking in Romania’s Southern Carpathian Mountain range

Hiking trips in Romania’s Bucegi mountains are also very popular due to the massif’s proximity to Bucharest and the existence of cable cars in Sinaia and Busteni taking people up to the plateau and offering a very easy start to any hiking trip. It’s a two-hour trip to Bucegi from the capital and less than an hour from Brasov by either car or by train.

But it’s not just accessibility that makes Bucegi Mountains such an appealing hiking destination in Romania. The striking glacial landforms such as Valea Morarului, Padina Crucii, or Tiganesti glacial lake, the famous natural rock formations Babele and The Sphinx, the breathtaking views from Omu Peak at 2,505m altitude and the numerous circuit trails contribute to its reputation as one of the best hiking areas in Romania.

The town of Busteni, located in Prahova Valley, marks the starting point for most hiking trails in Bucegi, Romania. The cable cars from Busteni or Sinaia will take you straight to the Bucegi plateau at 2,200m altitude.

Once you’ve reached the plateau, you can continue your trip and visit well-known natural attractions such as The Sphinx and Babele rock formations, Bolboci Lake and Caraiman Cross where you’ll get superb views and, if lucky and the sky is clear, see the Black Sea 350 km away!

Heroes' Cross on Caraiman Peak with its spectacular view over the Carpathian Mountains

Heroes’ Cross on Caraiman Peak with its spectacular view over the Carpathian Mountains

Since Bucegi is quite a compact massif, you can cover multiple hiking trails on the same day. From Babele, you can easily reach Omu Peak after only a 3-hour hike one-way, or head towards Crucea Caraiman, following the red cross markings.

Compared to some of the other best hikes in Romania, both of these treks are very easy, even for inexperienced hikers, so you don’t need any special gear apart from adequate footwear and clothing.

One thing you should keep in mind when planning a hike in the Bucegi Mountains is the popularity of the mountain resorts at their base and the accessibility of the mountains which attracts many people who want to spend time in nature.

This can often lead to traffic jams on the road, queues at the cable car, fully booked accommodations and a large number of tourists walking these trails on the plateau, especially during summer months in Romania. That’s why it’s best to plan your trip early on if you intend to stay overnight at one of the mounting cabins nearby.

Hiking in Apuseni Mountains

Trekking in the Apuseni Mountains in Romania

Trekking in the Apuseni Mountains in Romania

The Western Carpathians formation South – West of Cluj-Napoca are generally known as Apuseni Mountains although they contain many ranges and Apuseni Mountains and Natural Park is only a small part of it in the South.

Nevertheless, these mountains have a special appeal for outdoor lovers being one of the most popular hiking destinations in Transylvania, Romania. The Carpathian mountains have many natural attractions among which numerous caves (400, to be more precise) including glacial caves like Scarisoara Cave, karstic landscapes ideal for via ferrata and rock climbing, breathtaking waterfalls and beautiful picturesque valleys.

There are many scenic routes that you can wander on in Apuseni National Park, but also plenty of places to rest and relax. Given that the area is densely populated and quite well developed, there are many accommodation options to choose from in small villages like Marisel, Rachitele or Garda de Jos.

Besides having an easy starting point for your hikes, you’ll get a feel of the local Carpathian community by staying in traditional guesthouses, eating home-grown products and immersing yourself in Romanian culture and traditions.

Cetațile Ponorului in the Apuseni Mountains

Cetațile Ponorului in the Apuseni Mountains

Cetațile Ponorului, Lumea Pierdut, Padis Plateau or Cascada Bulbuci are just some of the famous natural attractions that you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Apuseni mountains. If you want to see all of them we recommend hiring a hiking guide who can also transfer you by car between areas as otherwise you would need 8-10 days to explore the entire region and see all these beautiful sights.

Also, if you happen to reach Vladeasa massif, make sure to check out Pietrele Albe, a fascinating limestone complex situated near Rachitele village.

A Note About Safety when Hiking in Romania

Wherever you choose to go on your hiking or backpacking trip in Romania, make sure to be prepared and do your homework. Hiking infrastructure is not very well developed with few signs or maps in English and few accommodation options deep in the mountains.

Also, Romania is home to the largest brown bear population in Europe and many other wildlife so if you’re planning to go hiking in Romania on your own, consider taking a pepper spray with you or hiring a guide who knows what to do in these unexpected encounters.


Pin The Best Hiking Destinations in Romania

Pin The Best Hiking Destinations in Romania

Are you ready to embark on the challenge of hiking the Appalachian Trail, or want to know how to prepare for hiking up Kilimanjaro? In this article, we will talk about fitness tips, gear recommendations and more information for how to train for a thru hike for beginners.

What Is Thru-Hiking?

Thru hiking is hiking an established long-distance trail end to end within one hiking season. The term thru hike can also be used more generally to refer to any hiking trip where you are carrying your own gear on your back for overnight trips. In comparison with camping, you’ll be using the power of your own legs to arrive at your destination, and often with a large backpack in tow.

On a thru hike, you will usually go for multiple nights in a row, and you will have to bring everything with you: your shelter, clothing, food, and cooking equipment.

Thru-hiking is an amazing experience. It will allow you to test your limits and challenge yourself in ways that might surprise you. You may be hiking for days or weeks on end, and you will need to stay focused. It is also important that you take the proper safety precautions and prepare yourself physically and mentally.

How to Physically Train for a Thru Hike if You’re a Beginner

There are a few hiking fitness tips that can help you train for your first-time thru hike. On a typical thru-hike, you’ll be hiking for at least 5 days in a row, so you will need to build up some stamina in order to get to the appropriate fitness level.

Focus on Overall Fitness

Taking part in various forms of aerobic fitness like cycling, swimming, running and group fitness classes will not only give you a solid aerobic base, but will also help you gain confidence and momentum as well.

Targeted Exercises to Train for A Thru Hike

In addition to overall physical fitness, there are certain muscle groups that you should train before embarking on a long hike. Large muscle groups like your quads, glutes, and core will need to be in tip-top shape to ensure you have the endurance and condition for your long hike. The most efficient way to train a muscle group is through resistance training, but luckily most of the reps can be done with minimal equipment.  The Thru Hikers Workout from REI gives some good exercises that can help beginners get in shape for your thru hike.

Start with Short Hikes

To start out, you should try going for shorter hikes in order to see if this is the hobby for you. Gradually add more and more distance until you work your way up to the typical distance covered on a thru-hike.

Hike with your Pack

Eventually, you’ll want to try hiking with a pack on in order to train your body for the extra weight. As much as you can, you should simulate the true conditions for your hike, which means either hiking with your full pack of gear, or adding weights to your pack.

Prepare for diverse scenarios

You should also practice hiking in different weather conditions to test out your gear and your pack set-up. You want to make sure that you’re prepared for the worst case scenario, so try hiking when it’s raining or snowing. If your pack starts getting wet, take out everything and stuff it into dry bags (waterproof bags). Practice what you would do if you get caught in a sudden rain storm, or if the weather suddenly becomes much colder.

Safety Precautions for Beginner Thru Hikers

There are certain safety precautions you should take if you’re a beginner to thru hiking. You should always have an emergency first aid kit with you. You should tell someone where your hiking trail is, and when to expect you back.

The Best Gear for Thru Hiking

As a beginner, part of how to train for a thru hike means preparing your gear ahead of time. Make sure you have all of the hiking essentials so that you are safe on the trail, and so that your hiking experience is enjoyable.

When thru hiking, you will need to be hyper-focused on keeping your pack ultralight. Every tiny ounce adds up over time. With the right hiking gear, you will be able to hike further each day with miniml physical discomfort.

Here is a list of some of the most essential gear for a first-time thru hikers, but the specific gear will depend largely on which trail you are hiking and which weather you may be faced with.

  • The right hiking boots – be sure to take a few long hikes in them beforehand to break them in
  • A hiking backpacking – Your pack will become like an extension of your body, and choosing the right pack is one of the most crucial decisions during trip preparation.
  • Ultralight backpacking tent
  • Ultralight sleeping bag
  • Ultralight cooking gear
  • Water purification tablets or a water filter
  • Safety equipment like a knife and a first aid kit
  • Trekking poles – Even with the best training, trekking poles are essential on thru hikes. They can help save your hips and back from unnecessary aches and pains. Trekking poles are said to take 25% of the strain off of your knees, which means you will be able to go further distances with minimal physical discomfort. They might also be critical if you will be crossing streams or treacherous terrain.

The Best Thru Hikes in the World

You have probably heard of the famous PCT and Appalachian Trail thru hikes, but there are plenty of established thru hikes found all over the world. Each of these hikes come with their own particular characteristics, so the packing and training will vary slightly for each thru hike.

Here are the most famous thru hikes from around the world:

  • The Appalachian Trail (United States) Distance: 3,510 kilometers (2,180 miles)
  • The Pacific Crest Trail (United States) Distance 4,265 kilometers (2,650 miles)
  • The South West Coast Path (UK) Distance: 1,016 kilometers (630 miles)
  • Te Araroa (New Zealand) Distance: 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles)
  • Continental Divide Trail (United States) Distance: 4,990 kilometers (3,100 miles)
  • Grand Italian Trail, Sentiero Italia (Italy)Distance: 6,166 kilometers (3,830 miles)
  • Great Himalayan Trail (Nepal) Distance: 1,700 kilometers (1,056 miles)
  • Hokkaido Nature Trail (Japan) Distance: 4,585 kilometers (2,849 miles)
  • Trans Panama Trail (Panama) Distance: 800 kilometers (497 miles)
  • Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail United States) Distance: 1931 kilometers (1,200 miles)

These are all high on the list for avid thru-hikers. If you don’t have a ton of spare time to do one of these thru hikes in a full season, some people choose to do portions of the trail a little bit at a time. Over a few years, you will be able to complete the entire thru-hike.

We hope you are equipped with the knowledge you need in order to train for your very first thru hiking adventure. Covering vast distances on your own two legs with everything you need on your back is an incredibly rewarding experience. Enjoy!


How to Train for a Thru Hike

Pin How to Train for a Thru Hike