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Thanks to people promoting it on social media, hiking and camping are enjoying a rise in popularity. Outdoor gear sellers and RV dealers are getting a boost in sales, and new #vanlife feeds show up every week. Despite the surge in participants, there are still a lot of places where you can hike for days without seeing another person.

If you don’t want to invest in a ton of equipment or spend a week in the backcountry, there are plenty of day hikes available, ranging from beginner to expert. Even cities...

That’s where all journeys start, whether you’re traveling a thousand miles, as in the quote, or just your local backcountry site for a weekend. The important thing is to actually get started with that step.

My scout troop camped once a month, regardless of weather. I’d say that 90% of our sites required a hike to get there. And if it didn’t, we’d have a day hike scheduled after we set up camp. That was just to tire us out so we’d actually be quiet and go to sleep that night....