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Extreme Camping Tips: Make Sure You Pack the Right Hiking Gear & Boots

Is your inner adrenaline junkie calling out for more extreme camping adventures? Stepping up the intensity of your next outdoor excursion offers the rewards of exploring new places, checking something off your bucket list, and giving you bragging rights at the bar. However, it also carries risks you should be prepared for. Learn about new activities to add your skill set, hiking gear and training you’ll need, and adventure travel locations to start preparing for with our extreme camping tips.

Extreme camping opportunities
There are always new adventures to be had in the great outdoors, so get outside and explore some of our favorite extreme camping activities:

Mountain running: With the right adventure hiking gear and experience, you can start racing up mountains for an incredible workout, not to mention the view at the top. Our barefoot shoes made for trail running have the protection your toes need for racing over rocks and roots, as well Vibram soles with the strong grip needed to run on the rock face above the tree line. 

Winter hiking: Winter camping requires proper adventure hiking gear, like a sleeping bag that will keep you warm despite low temperatures and a tent that can withstand snow and wind. If you’ll be heading over mountain tops you’ll need cramp-ons for your insulated hiking boots to provide additional traction over snow and ice.  Finally, make sure you have snow shoes to strap on to your hiking boots to keep you on top of deep snow. Before winter camping for the first time, be sure to talk to someone who is experienced to get the safety tips and hiking gear you need for your extreme camping trip.

Solo Hiking: Hiking alone calls for additional safety precautions and it may mean taking different hiking gear as you’re only packing for one. Carefully plan your trip and inform others where you’re going before you go. Make sure you also have supportive hiking boots with strong traction to reduce the chance of injury when you’re hiking alone. Before heading out on a solo hike, it’s important to have several years of experience under your belt and survival training in case of an emergency.

Technical climbing: Technical climbs are an incredible adventure, but they also require precision, skill and new hiking gear. If you’re thinking about taking up technical climbing, start small at a local gym with a rock wall, take on some trails with more bouldering opportunities, and head out with certified instructors to do smaller rock faces. Barefoot shoes can be a great gear choice here as they allow your feet to fit into the cracks and smaller ledges, while providing a strong grip.

Great adventure travel spots
It’s not just about what you’re doing; sometimes it’s more about where you’re going. Adventure travel provides tougher terrain with rewarding views and extreme camping opportunities. Whether it’s the next state over, or halfway around the world, incredible extreme camping challenges await. Get outside and check out these spots that help you go beyond your own backyard and explore something more:

• Climb Mount McKinley, Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua: Alaska, Africa and Argentina. These more extreme camping trips require stamina, preparation and offer incredible views at the end. Tack them on to an extended adventure travel trip whether you’re salmon fishing, on safari or surveying South America.

• Hike the Mont Blanc Circuit: Climb to where the hills are alive on this journey through the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. Advised for strong hikers, guided hikes through the mountains of these three countries will test your limits, but the breathtaking scenery is certainly worth it.

• Conquer the Grand Tetons: After you’ve master technical climbing, put it to the test in the Tetons. With paths for both intermediate and advanced climbers, these foreboding mountains offer a challenge for any outdoor explorer. But if you can meet it, and cross the Cathedral Traverse, you’ll be left with a breathtaking view of the range and the valleys beneath.

• Explore Manchu Picchu: Set in a gorgeous tropical rainforest in Peru and overcome by time and moss, Incan architecture remains as a reminder of the frail balance between man and nature. Follow the Salcantay Route to the ruins for a trek through South American culture, beauty and history. 

• Complete the Appalachian Trail:  From the mysterious south to the mountainous north, the Appalachian Trail covers 14 states and everything from swamps and farm country to historic battlefields and challenging mountain peaks. Whether you do a section at a time, or set out to complete it all at once, the Appalachian Trail offers the opportunity to meet new people and explore new places, while presenting the physical challenges of extremely varied terrain.

When preparing for these more extreme camping adventures, allow yourself plenty of time to plan and learn the techniques you’ll need on the trail. Then, be sure to get the right hiking gear and backpacking grade hiking boots that will hold up in the toughest conditions. For more information on these and other extreme camping opportunities and how to get where you’re going, check out the National Geographic bucket list  put together in 2011.

1/19/2013
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