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I love hiking with my husband because we both love the outdoors, the physical effort feels good in the fresh air and beautiful scenery. To be in nature, where the only things we hear is the crunch of gravel beneath our shoes, and the beat of our pumping hearts. The early air and early light is infused with a spirit of exploration and infinite possibilities, it never fails at stimulating our brains and infusing our hearts with positivity. If we venture far away from city lights, we hold communion with our ancient human ancestors by gazing at the even older starlight, sparkling in the black pond of the cosmos. Our bodies and brains go to sleep, only to be woken up by the natural sound and light of a fresh morning. We greet the new day, eager to repeat another adventure.
But having great experiences while hiking and camping is the result of mindful planning. We couldn’t go far without having food, light gear to carry around, a first aid kit and an emergency signaling device kit.
In order to have a successful and great experience in the outdoors, we count with our three most important things: Google Maps (we download the offline map of the region we will explore), All Trails app (this app has the largest collection of detailed information of trails, so we can hit the trails with confidence), and REI (all-in-one place to find hiking and camping equipment of high quality, but it is expensive… but our lives literally depends on this equipment).
These are most of the apps, tools and store that we use in order to prepare for our hiking and camping trips:
www.nps.gov: The National Park Services website is a great tool to check restrictions on wilderness hiking and camping sites information on National Parks, National Monuments, National Memorials, National Historic Sites and Trails.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_state_parks_by_U.S._state: Is a great place to find all the state parks in the US, since The National Park Services website doesn’t manage state parks.
www.google.com/maps: We use this website to download the offline map of the region we will explore.
www.alltrails.com: This is a helpful website, but it is even better to have the app installed in your smartphone so you can have access to all the information of the trails offline. This website has the largest collection of detailed information of trails, so we can hit the trails with confidence.
www.rei.com: We love this all-in-one place to find hiking and camping equipment of high quality, but it is expensive… but our lives literally depends on this equipment.
www.big5sportinggoods.com: This underrated store will blow you away! This is my second option sport goods store. I must admit that when I go inside their small looking stores, I always doubt that they will have what I am looking for… but it’s funny that they always say: “Yes, we have it. Let me go to the back to get it for you.”… Love it!