More than most of the other hobbies I’ve been involved with, backpacking benefits from a strong culture of dedicated bloggers. Most evenings after tea I find myself skimming through their various offerings looking for inspiration for trips as well as any number of handy hints, tips and gear reviews. I’d like to highlight seven blogs that I read regularly and suggest why you should too.
Brian’s Backpacking Blog
This was the first backpacking blog I read after deciding to take the plunge into this strange world. Luckily Brian writes regularly and eloquently about new gear, innovative approaches to old problems and the occasional trip into the American wilderness. Brian’s Backpacking Blog helped to get me hooked. It is very well presented, easy to navigate and covers a wide range of topics. I’d definitely recommend it to someone getting into hiking.
Chris Townsend Outdoors
A true voice of experience. Chris is a veteran of many long distance hikes around the Americas, the UK and Europe, author of more than 20 outdoor publications and a regular contributor to TGO magazine. It is clear from Chris’ blog that he is passionate about backpacking, the natural world and the skills and gear that can help you enjoy it. A top read for anyone into hiking… and the photography isn’t bad either.
Peter Macfarlane writes for Trail, my personal favourite outdoors monthly. Since taking up hiking I’ve particularly enjoyed Peter’s first looks at new gear and his humorous outlook on life. After spending a bit of time on this blog I finally noticed the blindingly obvious link to his Lighter series of articles written for Trail between 2007 and 2009 – these provide a great starting point to anyone looking to lighten their load.
Hiking in Finland
In Hiking in Finland, Hendrik Morkel has created an excellent resource for people interested in ultralight backpacking, bike packing and some of the amazing destinations around northern Europe. One particular item I enjoy is his The Week in Review feature. This rounds up a varied range of articles, blog posts and interviews from around the world of UL backpacking every week and can help turn people onto content they would not normally come across.
Paul’s Wild Camping and Dave’s Wild Camping
Two local boys who often get out on wild camps together; these are the type of blokes you’d have a laugh camping with. Although not the most polished blogs I do applaud them for their down to earth style, honest advice and regular YouTube videos which often show that they don’t take themselves too seriously. Brandy & coke, bacon sarnies and steaks all make regular appearances too which is a bonus.
After learning how to use an analog SLR camera whilst at university my skills have gone unpracticed for quite a few years. David’s blog makes me want to drop some cash on a new (or old) camera, hit the hills and make images as stunning as the ones he posts on Self Powered. Another thing I like is that this blog is not too text heavy; of course there is a place for both prose and photography when reporting on trips out but David just lets the images tell the story which is something I admire.
There are, of course, many more outdoor blogs that I occasionally peruse but these are the top dogs in my book. Each of them focuses on a slightly aspect of this hobby but each offers a unique insight into how individuals around the world enjoy their wild places. In a future post I will look at some specific articles that have influenced my first year out on the hills.
In the meantime if anyone has any suggestions for backpacking blogs that people should check out please leave a comment below.