If you have questions, want to research more, or whatever it may be, then this part of the guide may be for you. I have tried to compile a list of resources by category to help you along your journey. This is by no means a complete list, but it should point you in the right direction. I have also indicated whether the source is free, cost $$, or a mix,
Books and Magazines
There are a lot of books out there and several magazine dedicating to backpacking. Here are a few I recommend looking into if you are wanting to increase you knowledge of backpacking.
Backpacker – Dedicated to hiking, camping, and backpacking outdoors since 1973. Learn tips and tricks, read reviews, see photos of the destinations and more. (www.dealnews.com sometimes posts links to specials where you can sign up for 3 years for only $15! Keep a look out for it. You can also apply it to existing subscriptions).
Outside – Online and magazine resource for anything related to the outdoors (i.e. running, boating, hiking, snowboarding, etc.)
Forums are great places to chat with other people from around the country who share your interests.
Backpacking Light – “Backpacking Light is the world’s most passionate membership-based community, online magazine, and wilderness trekking school about traveling with a light pack through the wilderness and beyond.”
High Sierra Topix – “High Sierra Topix is a Sierra Nevada related community resource created by its members, for its members. We have several features to help plan trips, discuss locations, or just enjoy the Sierra Nevada from the internet.”
Survivalist Boards – Read about survivalist techniques, tips, and more when venturing outdoors.
There are a lot of opinions out there about the gear you use for backpacking. If you have a piece in mind or are looking for something to meet your needs, check out these sites.
Backpack Gear Test – 10 years of gear reviews in a variety of categories. It is a comprehensive list with a very simple interface.
Backpacker – Online site of Backpacker Magazine with gear reviews by professionals. Search a large database and find if the gear is right for you.
It is always good to read what others have learned and, thankfully, you can do so online. Other fellow hikers have created their own guides to share with friends, family, and others.
Adventure Alan’s Ultralight Backpacking – A single users experience and guide to become an ultralight backpacker.
Backpacking the Sierra – In depth guide for beginners and experienced backpackers regarding trips into the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Hike Light – A user’s guide to backpacking light. Complete with free eBook and descriptive gear list designed for a 3 day adventure.
Professionals may not be aware of some of the perks they have. Whether you work in law enforcement, at an outdoor store, for the Park Service, or something else, you may be surprised as to what special discount a company will give you.
Promotive – Signing up is free. Find a group you belong to, which they have dozens of them, and fill out a form. Once approved you’ll have access to that groups discounts.
There are dozens of stores out there to choose from. Many sites carry the same equipment, but have different sales going on when others don’t. Best to shop around to find a good deal. Below are links to online stores broken into two categories: retail and discount. Some stores may have both, but if the main site purposes is primarily retail then it will be listed under retail. An example is REI.com vs. rei.com/outlet
- The Clymb – “Every day we share new personalized sales events featuring incredible deals on the premium outdoor equipment and fresh adventure lifestyle looks you love.”
- eBates – They don’t sell any gear, but after signing up you do get cash back (up to 10%) on purchases at various outdoor stores. You just have to go to their site first then select the outdoor store (backcountry, REI, cabella’s). Very simple to do and they mail you a check quarterly.
- Gear Trade – “GearTrade was co-founded in June 1999, in Provo, Utah, by a group of outdoor enthusiasts and entrepreneurs who noticed a need for a convenient marketplace for individuals and companies looking to buy and sell used and retail outdoor gear.”
- Sierra Trading Post – “In these days of tight household budgets, we are meeting an important need: stretching our customers’ dollars. Our customers save up to 70% (and sometimes more) on name brands.”