Dayhiking is a marvelous way to experience nature; it’s approachable, a low time commitment, and easy to get into with little gear or experience. If you’re an avid dayhiker, you may be curious about taking the next step into overnight hikes. You should: Backpacking takes all the joys of dayhiking to the next level. You can go further, see more, and test your limits while connecting with yourself and your hiking partners off the grid.
Spending your first night in the backcountry can be intimidating. If you’re nervous, try car camping first—you’ll be able to practice using all of your gear, but can easily bail if you become uncomfortable. Then, level up to a short overnight, starting with just a couple of miles. Backpacking requires more planning than a dayhike, but fear not—here’s everything you need to know to make the leap.