I’m a firm believer that time spent in the wilderness will ultimately be your best backcountry teacher. That being said, we all occasionally need a nudge in the right direction. The following hiking-related websites are excellent resources for planning, gear, going lighter, nutrition and navigation:
Pmags.com – I like Mags’s down to earth approach to backpacking; his tips and advice are practical, too the point and often with a little humour thrown into the mix. His Quick and Dirty Guides are an excellent starting point for those interested in hiking America’s Triple Crown trails.
Mark Verber’s Recommended Outdoor Gear – Great source of information on light and ultralight backpacking. When it comes to gear, this guy definitely knows his stuff.
Backpacking Light – A wide-ranging source for gear reviews and ultra lightweight backpacking techniques. If you want to take the step from lightweight (ie. base weight of 10-20 lbs) to ultralight (ie. below 10 lbs), this is your best bet for online advice.
Section Hiker – Very good all-around site for anything and everything to do with backpacking. Gear reviews, how-to’s and trip planning; Philip Werner, the site’s author, is one of the most prolific outdoor writers on the web.
OA Guide to Map & Compass – Princeton Education’s easy to follow instructions on map and compass skills. In the age of Smart Phones and GPS which do everything except take you by the hand and lead you directly to your destination, map and compass proficiency remains one of the most fundamental ingredients of any hiker’s backcountry skill set.