Now that you've set up base camp, it's time to do a little exploring! Grab your pack and put on your boots (or sneakers). It's time to go hiking!

Hiking consists of walking in natural environments. While often equated to mountainous or hilly regions, any scenic terrain will do, from the trails in your local park to the woods near your backyard! 

Studies have confirmed the health benefits of different types of hiking, including decreasing hypertension, improving mental health and increasing physical fitness.

Day Hiking 101: Packing a Backpack

You are ready to head out for a day of hiking! Do you know what you should take along with you? How should you carry it? Where should you store it? Join avid hiker Mary Cortese, Research Assistant with the Temple Ambler Field Station and PhD Candidate in the Temple University Biology Department, as she shares her essentials for a successful day hike! 

Hiking 101 — Tips for Getting Started

The American Hiking Society envisions a world where everyone feels welcome in the American hiking community and has permanent access to meaningful hiking, including urban, frontcountry, and backcountry opportunities. The organization provides extensive resources for your next hike, from the 10 hiking essentials and organizing your gear to using a compass, water purification and hiking with dogs! View videos from the American Hiking Society here.

Planning a Day Hike

Planning a day hike begins long before you set foot on the trail. Careful advance preparation helps ensure comfort, fun, and safety outdoors. In this outdoor skills video, Appalachian Mountain Club experts Eboni Cooper and Mike Miccuci explain how to plan a memorable day hike, step by step. Video by the Appalachian Mountain Club (2017, January 30). View more videos from the Appalchian Mountain Club here

Tips and Techniques for Long-Distance Hiking

Jason Henschen, an adjunct instructor who teaches camping and hiking courses for Temple's Kinesiology Department in the College of Public Health, knows a little something about preparing for long-distance hikes. He has completed the "Triple Crown of Hiking" by hiking the entirety of the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. In this video, Jason shares some essential tips, and some important do's and don'ts to get ready for going the distance!

Planning a Backcountry Trip

Careful trip planning enhances fun and safety and helps to lower your environmental impact. Video from Leave No Trace. View more Leave No Trace Videos here.

Trail Safety

Whenever you head out on the trail, it is always important to follow the proper safety procedures. We're heading to Yosemite National Park for some important trail tips from Temple University graduate Conner Caruso. Conner was interning as a preventative search and rescue technician and emergency medical technician at Yosemite as part of the ProRanger Philadelphia program, a partnership between Temple University and the National Park Service to train park rangers. As part of the program, he also interned on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

How to Use a Compass

Navigation is one of the Ten Essentials of hiking. Most outdoors people take a compass with them on every adventure. But how do you use them? In this REI Expert Advice Video, learn what you need to know to navigate easily, safely and with confidence. Watch to learn the parts of the compass, how to set your declination and how to take a bearing from a map and in the field. View more videos from REI here.   

How to Read a Topographic Map

Knowing how to use a topographic map is an essential skill when traveling in the backcountry. Here are some tips from Appalachian Mountain Club Outdoor Guide, Emily Davenport, to help you get started.

Outdoor Gear Essentials: Sleeping Gear and Packpacks

Whether hiking or camping, having the right gear is essential! In this video, Kathy Salisbury, Director of the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University, shares tips on finding the right sleeping gear and backpacks for what you're planning to experience outdoors and when.

The 10 Essentials for Hiking

Regardless of the length of your trip, from a three-hour hike to a three-day or three-week expedition, all hikers should carry the 10 essentials — a list developed by the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department, the public agency responsible for the majority of search and rescue operations in New Hampshire. In this outdoor skills video, Appalachian Mountain Club experts Eboni Cooper and Mike Miccuci cover what these items are and why you need them. Video by the Appalachian Mountain Club (2017, January 30). The American Hiking Society also has its take on the "10 Essentials of Hiking." 

Common Beginner Hiking Mistakes

Everyone starts off as a beginner. Whether you are new to hiking or rediscovering it, here are some tips from the Appalachian Mountain Club to help you recreate safely and responsibly.

Discover the Forest — Activities for Your Next Hike

Hiking can happen no matter where you live. It’s a great way to explore a new place, and get some exercise while you’re at it. Discover the Forest put together a list of activities that has all the information you need to get started in identifying trees, studying nature, geocaching, tracking wildlife, stargazing and much more — including what to do, what to bring, and what activities are near you. View videos from Discover the Forest here.

Trail Etiquette

On almost any hike, you're likely to encounter other people on the trail. Good trail etiquette helps ensure that everyone enjoys their experience outdoors and that the trail is left in good condition for its next visitors. In this outdoor skills video, Appalachian Mountain Club experts Eboni Cooper and Mike Miccuci explain how to be a good steward on the trail. Video by the Appalachian Mountain Club (2017, January 30).

Quick Tips for Hiking in the Heat

Need some hot tips for hiking in heat? REI’s “Miranda in the Wild” has got you covered in this video! This summer, a historic heat wave rolled through many parts of the country. If you are going to be hiking in extremely high temperatures, here are some quick tips for staying cool.

How to Pack Light When Hiking

Whether you’re preparing for a day hike or setting out for the backcountry, planning for the weather can help you stay safe, prioritize your gear, and keep your pack light. Check out these tips to help you to travel light and plan for different weather. Video from Leave No Trace.

Getting Kids Outdoors - Tips from the Appalachian Mountain Club

Let's face it. There are a lot of distractions that can keep kids from getting outside and exploring the world around them. In this video, the Appalachian Mountain Club offers tips on getting kids outdoors. Video by the Appalachian Mountain Club (2011, April 26).

Be Outdoors: Tips and Resources for Families

studying a map

Looking for ideas on where to take your kids outdoors close to home? Not sure how to get started? The Appalachian Mountain Club provides a wide variety of information and resources to help you plan the perfect outdoor adventure, from trip ideas to gear advice to outdoor safety. Visit here for more information. Photo by Raun Kercher, Appalachian Mountain - Club Delaware Valley Chapter. 

Why Should You Stick to the Trail?

Trails are hard to build and maintain and can deteriorate quickly from misuse. You don’t have to be an experienced trail crew member to help keep our trails nice and tidy. Here are some tips and tricks from Leave No Trace on how to help your local trail crews when you’re out on a hike.

Surface Hopscotch: Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

Hiking through the wilderness

One of the seven priciples of "Leave No Trace" is "Travel and and Camp on Durable Surfaces." The goal of travel in the outdoors is to move through natural areas while avoiding damage to the land or waterways. Understanding how travel causes impacts is necessary to accomplish this goal. Travel damage occurs when surface vegetation or communities of organisms are trampled beyond recovery. With Surface Hopscotch, an activity for children ages 8 and up created by Leave No Trace, participants learn about the differences between durable and non-durable surfaces. For additional activities, be sure to visit Leave No Trace.  Photo by Leave No Trace.

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