Hiking 2.0: Five Favorite Sites
I've always been an outdoors guy, and my passion for cool technology has been with me since childhood. In this 2008 environment of all things becoming Webby, it thrills me that both my passions are merging. I spend far too much time browsing the Web in search of the best trails, gear, photos and the next great outdoor adventure. Here are some of my favorite sites:
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game where you use your GPS to find hidden bounty, or geocaches. It had its heyday in the early 2000s when hand held GPS devices became more popular and readily available. Just the same, it's still great fun, and a cool excuse to combine hiking and technology.
If you're planning a serious hike or backpack, you need topography maps. It used to be a lot harder to obtain specific mapping information, but it today's digital age, it's easy, and free! Created in 1879, the United States Geological Survey has cataloged all topography for the United States. You can search for and download PDFs of your next hiking destination, or for a couple bucks, you can order a paper version. And considering it's a government run organization, for me, the maps show up fairly fast (about a week).
This site has reports from a growing number of people who hike some of the longest and most well known trails. From the Pacific Crest trail, to the Appalachian trail, this is a great resource for first hand accounts.
Some of my friends tell me that this site is need of a refresh, but in this complex web 2.0 environment, I find the site's simplicity refreshing. A large group of regular hikers send updates with firsthand knowledge and photographs of hiking trails listed for over a dozen countries.
Got your own favorite hiking site?
Chime in below.