8 Awesome Free Online Outdoor Resources

Maps

Topo MapsUS Topo Maps – free topographic maps covering nearly entire US. Maps include most of the feature classes of traditional topographic maps. A great tool for anyone planning a longer hike or backpacking trip in the wilderness. Topo maps can be downloaded free of charge at: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo

 

 

Gear Reviews

Gear ReviewsOutdoor Gear Lab – have you ever wanted to buy an outdoor product and been stumped about which product is best?  Outdoor Gear Lab provides trustworthy reviews and side-by-side comparisons of latest high-quality outdoor gear. Reviews are not sponsored by manufacturers. http://www.outdoorgearlab.com

 

Travel

Travel ForumLonely Planet Thorn Tree Travel Forum – if you’ve ever done any international backpacking or travel, you are likely very familiar with the Lonely Planet Travel Guide Books. A possibly even more valuable resource is the Thorn Tree Travel Forum, where experienced travelers share travel information, advice, hints and tips. http://www.lonelyplanet.com

 

Hiking

Hiking TrailsTrails.com maintains a huge library of hiking itineraries. Search by location. While a paid subscription is required to see detailed information, the free service usually plenty sufficient to find a great trail. http://www.trails.com 

 

Outdoor Etiquette

Leave No TraceLeave No Trace is a great resource for novice and experienced adventurers to learn about outdoor etiquette and backcountry ethics. At a minimum, anyone spending time in the outdoors should be well aware of The Leave No Trace Seven Principles. http://www.lnt.org

 

Inspiration

InspirationThe Dirtbag Diaries is a highly recommended and widely praised source of inspiration within the global outdoor community. Check out the podcast for inspiring audio stories from some of the most interesting adventurers in the world. Topics include backpacking adventures, life lessons, and climbing stories that will make your palms sweat! http://www.dirtbagdiaries.com

 

Camping

Camping PhotosCampsite Photos maintain a huge archive of pictures and descriptions of campsites. We use this tool every time before booking a campsite. Search by campground name or location to see pictures of the campsite you plan on booking. Also features a list of “best sites” for each campground.  http://www.campsitephotos.com

 

Find a Park

Find a ParkNational Parks Service provides a great search tool for finding National Parks, National Monuments, National Trails, and more. You can search by Name, Activity (hiking, biking, climbing, paddling, etc.), Location, and Topic (caves, cemeteries, battle fields, fossils, volcanos, etc.) http://www.nps.gov

 

What’s your favorite online outdoor resources? Send us your list!

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