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The Top 55 Outdoor Blogs You Need To Follow This 2017

TOP 55 OUTDOOR BLOGS YOU NEED TO FOLLOW 2017

The world is a wonderful place and it is filled with many stories to tell. If you’re a regular reader on Mad Outdoorist, you probably know a bit of my background (at least I hope so). But If you’re new to my blog, welcome! Let me give you a quick introduction.

My name is Joshua Lambert and I was lucky enough to be born to a family that loves nature and adventures.

Naturally, that love grew inside of me and I try to go out to explore as much as possible while pushing any limits I may have. This is something I hope you are able to do as well – which is why I write and share my experiences on my blog.

Since I’ve basically made the outdoors my home, I’ve collected a long list of my favorite blogs about the great outdoors and all things camping and hiking. These are blogs I enjoy reading and sometimes share information from as well.

Before I get carried away talking about myself, I better move on to the actual topic of this article – the top 55 outdoor blogs you need to follow this 2017 that will teach you everything you need to know about the great outdoors (apart from actually spending time there, of course!).

Just note that these aren’t in any particular order – they have been arranged randomly so don’t come after me thinking I’ve arranged these, no way.

So without further ado, let’s begin!

SoCal Hiker

SoCal Hiker is one of my go-to blogs when I’m looking for somewhere to hike and camp in Southern California. While most of his articles are about trails in Southern California, he doesn’t completely leave out trails outside of SoCal.

The blog was created by Jeff Hester as he was preparing to hike through the very famous John Muir Trail.

His guides contain his advice for hiking, gear you should have, and skills that are important to learn.

Outward Bound

http://www.outwardbound.org/

One of the coolest things about Outward Bound is that they offer courses that people can take, ranging from middle school kids all the way to adults about things like mountaineering, backpacking, sailing, and so much more.

Their blog is filled with pretty cool articles as well. It seems as though a lot of these articles are relatable for the younger audience such as students, with articles like “8 Learnings from Semester and Gap Year Courses”, and “Tips to Prepare For Your Summer Expedition.”

The Adventure Blog

http://theadventureblog.blogspot.com/

Cheers to those who still use blogspot – keeping the classic way of blogging! The Adventure Blog is a compilation of stories from Kraig Becker about his outdoor escapades.

There are some pretty cool videos about climbing that’s enough to inspire any couch-potato to get up and conquer any mountain – or at least try.

Beyond The Tent

https://www.beyondthetent.com/

Want to identify bites and stings? What about learn which food you can actually eat in the wild and which ones will kill you? Or are you looking for a list of camping food for you to prepare and cook outdoors?

Look no further than Beyond The Tent.

The blog is filled with informative articles written by Ryan Cunningham who also shares his adventures around the U.S. You can even download a free-ebook called Beyond The Tent’s Family Camping Guide.

Currently Wandering

http://currentlywandering.com/

Currently Wandering is a blog created by the Curren Family. They have taken their surname (Curren) and adding the –tly to create the word Currently, giving a very clever name to their blog.

This is great for mothers who like to travel but may not really feel comfortable yet since Jess Curren has a section called “Mommy Diaries”, but it caters mostly to families who want to spend time outdoors.

Tahoe South

https://tahoesouth.com/

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine Lake in North America and it is surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, creating one of the most beautiful vistas in the United States as well as one of the most famous.

Basically, if you want to know about Lake Tahoe, this is where you go. They even list out events going on so you never miss a beat and you can schedule your trip where there is something going on.

Brian and Ashley’s Blog

http://abhiking.blogspot.com/

Here we’ve got another blog that focuses on hikes in Orange County as well as the wider parts of Southern California, where you will find tons and tons of trails to hike. You may even find some trails you never knew existed by browsing through their blog.

If you can’t choose which one to go to, you can check out their Featured Hikes section and just pick that one! You can also sign up for their email list so you don’t miss a beat.

Trail To Peak

Trail To Peak is a more technical site full of information you need for hiking. Their descriptions offer details such as the distance, elevation, time to complete, difficulty, if water is available, if dogs are allowed, if permits are required, the condition of the trail, the best season to go, and more.

They also feature some backpacking articles about popular and beautiful trails such as The John Muir, Mont Blanc, Salkantay and Machu Picchu, plus a few others.

Kellogg Show

Do you have a big family? What about a family of 14? Yes, 14. The Kellogg Show is about the stories of Dan, Susie, Grady, Brody, Kady, Kerry, Kenny, Dally, Cardy, Maddy, Rowdy, Emmy, Elly, Coby, and their dog, Eddy, and what it’s like to travel around the world in an RV.

Their stories are so crazy that they’ve been featured on a number of different news channels already.

Just A Colorado Gal

Heather Balogh Rochfort is the Colorado Gal herself. Her story is pretty cool – she decided to quit her previous job as an associate editor for a local magazine once she saved enough money, then she sold all her belongings and left off for the greatest adventures of her life.

What I love about her is her environmental advocacies. As outdoor people, it’s important to remember that the only way we can continue on in our adventures is if we take care of the places we go to.

Camping With Style

Getting injured usually means losing the ability to do certain things. But for Shell, that definitely wasn’t the case. She started her blog after injuring her back in 2014 while snowboarding.

Writing about camping and spending time in nature helped her come to terms with her injury, and so Camping With Style was born.

Her blog has a bunch of useful articles but she also lists down competitions that are happening in case you want to join some.

Nobody Hikes In L.A.

https://nobodyhikesinla.com/

True, because everyone hikes in the outskirts and backcountry of California. Their site is pretty simple – you can find hikes by area, with quick view information on the difficulty.

Each of their articles about trails found have key information such as difficulty, distance, if dogs are allowed, rating, and best times to go. Some of the articles even have links or contact information to agencies that you can take the hike with to make your life a whole lot simpler.

Section Hiker

https://sectionhiker.com/

Section Hiker is a site with a huge compilation of different trails, as well as information on how you can prepare for them and all the things you might expect while going on there.

What’s great about Section Hiker is the sections on Ultralight Backpacking (if that’s something you want to get into) and the Appalachian Trail (if that’s a goal of yours for the future!)

Florida Hikes

http://floridahikes.com/

You’ve guessed it – this is a website mainly on trails in Florida. But don’t let the name fool you, there are some information on other states and other countries as well so it’s still pretty diverse.

You can browse through trails by the type or topic, plus there are tons of information about places you can camp, and do other activities.

I particularly enjoy their How-To section with articles like How To Find People To Hike With,” and “How To Pack For A Backpacking Trip”.

American Grouch

http://www.americangrouch.com/

One of the coolest things you’ll notice about this website is their rad cover photo of an engraved bottom side of what appears to be a knife for the outdoors. It gives you an idea or a vibe about the general idea of the website.

It’s one of those old-school blogs that run on blogspot, which I think has it’s own merits. The Grouch shares all kinds of useful information while telling his stories, and every so often features guest posts on his blog.

Hike Speak

https://www.hikespeak.com/

Hike Speak is one of the easiest sites to navigate, as you’ll be greeted with a trail finder on the homepage. Most of the trails on the site are in California, but there are a few from other states as well as Australia and New Zealand on there.

This is one of the technical sites again with key information you need before heading out to the trail. It is filled with detailed descriptions that will get you off your feet and planning your next hike.

Skinny Moose

This one is for you hunting and fishing enthusiasts, as the blog is filled with articles on hunting and fishing. But here, you will also find articles on shooting sports, water sports, power sports, mountain sports, general outdoors, conservation, and cooking.

There’s a lot of categories you can select to navigate around the site to read about the stuff you care about. You can even become a blogger with them if you want!

Hiking Project

https://www.hikingproject.com/

The Hiking Project divides their trail guides by states, along with a chosen featured hike from each state. That way, if you only get to go on one hike in the state you are visiting, you can choose the featured hike.

There are so many listed. Not surprisingly though, California has the most trails listed with over 2,377 trails. The next is Colorado, Washington, Utah, and then Texas.

If you are ever visiting these states, try to go for more than one trail so you really squeeze the most out of your experience!

Bald Hiker

Yes, Paul Steel is in fact bald. He started his website in 2010 recounting his stories of his times outdoors. Over time, the website has been filled with even more tales from friends he’s met all over the world.

The site is divided into Travel, Food and Drink, Animals and Nature, Health and Sport, and Kit – all these things that can help you when it’s your turn to brave the great outdoors.

Born To Be Adventurous

Born To Be Adventurous is geared more towards families. The information there can help you travel easier if you have your family in tow.

A section I highly appreciate is Green Up, filled with articles on the environment, sustainability, and minimizing waste, which as I have mentioned is very important not just to me, but anyone who is a lover of the outdoors.

Wild About Scotland

https://wildaboutscotland.com/

In Wild About Scotland, you have the choice to Escape, Explore, or Experience. Of course, the articles found here are all about Scotland with a lot of great reads such as “Top 10 Scottish Beach Campsites,” “Top 10 Places To See The Northern Lights In Scotland,” and more.

Basically, it serves as a wonderful guide for first-time travellers to Scotland, with information on the best places to visit and things to do so you experience everything the country has to offer.

The Hiking Life

Do you love organization? Then The Hiking Life is for you. The website is extremely organized, making it easy for you navigate around.

There are hikes listed by Continent along with the top hikes, numerous How To articles, gear lists divided by category, gear lists for thru-hikers, and more. They even offer trip consultation if you are worried about your first time hiking.

Wild Girl Writing

http://www.wildgirlwriting.com/

Wild Girl Writing is a very simple blog with a bunch of journal entries, hikes, and tips for the outdoors. It was created by Julie Trevelyan who found her way to Southern Utah and shares the places you can visit there along with tips for hiking in the state.

If you’re planning on visiting Utah, this is the guide that you can go to. There are tons of National and State Parks that she talks about so you can easily plan out your stay.

50 Campfires

50 Campfires is a great all around camping website filled with recipes, gear, tips, and places you can visit. They also have a digital magazine which you can subscribe to if you constantly want new content.

One of their latest articles, “Road Trip $2 Food Challenge” is one of my favorites and something I want to try for myself. Maybe you could too!

The Dirtbag Diaries

http://dirtbagdiaries.com/

Curious name because the site is far from it – in fact, it is very clean and pretty sleek in design! This site is actually more of a collection of podcasts about being outdoors, so if you’re tired of reading or are looking for something to listen to while on a long hike, you can check these out.

Personally, my favorite thing about this website are their amazing looking Episode cover artworks! Brilliant, just brilliant.

Expert Vagabond

Matthew Karsten is our Expert Vagabond here, wandering from place to place. He is an adventure travel photographer and blogger who explores the world, captures images, shares stories and tips from his adventures.

You can find destinations here from all over the world, not just the US, opening your eyes to the vast horizon that is our world.

Woods Monkey

How can you say no to a monkey? You can’t, so you might as well visit the site. Here you will find different articles ranging from gear reviews, how to articles, news, editorials, as well as shows and events.

You can also find videos that you can watch for gear reviews and how-tos to make things more simple to follow.

Cool Adventures

Here we have two people who left their jobs to pursue a constant adventure. Kim and Greg share their stories about traveling the world and sharing with us guides to the different places the visited.

They have guides for Vancouver, Venice, Prague, Paris, Kansas, Cabo San Lucas, Singapore, and so much more. Their articles are great guides for when you are visiting these places for the first time.

Internet Brothers: Meanderthals

Internet Brothers focuses mainly on the best hikes that you can find in Western North Carolina. An important section are the trail reports on there so you stay updated. Eventually they’ve expanded and listed a few other trails from other states.

The information on the trails are divided into categories such as the best hikes, hikes by level of difficulty, hikes with views, water, in the canyon, or in the forest.

Like most outdoor websites, you can find gear reviews and tons of beautiful photos that captures the magnificence of the outdoors.

The Ultimate Hang

https://theultimatehang.com/

Personally, this is one of my favorites. Mainly because I’m not that great with hammocks, and The Ultimate Hang has everything about Hammocks and Hammock Camping.

Here you will find tips and tricks for hammock camping as well as suggestions and reviews on the best hammocks available on the market.

A really nifty feature is the Hammock Calculator which estimates how high to install your anchor points depending on information you key in. That way, your hammock is hanging from a safe and comfortable height.

Chris Townsend Outdoors

Here we have another blog from someone who loves the outdoors. Chris Townsend is a writer about the outdoors and a photographer. He says he has the passion for the wilderness and the mountains, and he shares that passion with us through his blog.

Most of the hikes on his website are long distance hikes since those are his specialties. He is also a writer of many books, articles, other websites, and newspapers, so this guy knows what he is talking about.

He’s done the The Continental Divide Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Tour of the High Sierra, and so much more.

NJ Hiking

https://www.njhiking.com/

Just to put it out there, “NJ” stands for New Jersey, which is the destination on the spotlight for this website. There is also a bit of information on New York and Pennsylvania.

The couple who wrote this have made it a point to hike every trail in New Jersey and they decided to share the information they gathered while doing so.

Hiking Guy

The Hiking Guy (Cris Hazzard) is another one of my go-to guys when I am looking for information about a specific trail. This website is basically a catalogue for many different trails.

What I love about it is how the articles use the same format, so it makes things consistent and easy to read about, as well as makes it simple to compare hikes if you’re stuck choosing between a few favorites.

The Campsite

The Campsite, by Meghan J. Ward, is an award-winning blog that features a variety of different subjects. The goal of the blog is to share and learn from one another. After you’ve visited her site, you’ll come out with a better understanding about the outdoors that you can bring with you on your adventures.

It is now owned and operated by Alannah Jensen and Jen Whalen who are updating the blog in the weeks to come, turning it into Beyond The Campsite.

Play Outside Guide

http://www.playoutsideguide.com/

Who doesn’t want to Play Outside? I’d do that all day, all the time if I could. The website mainly focuses on Canada with trail conditions in Alberta. Here you can find places to stay and where to eat, along with a list of the best hotels, parks, and restaurants.

The blog is a creation of Karen Ung, who is an outdoor adventure and travel writer based in Alberta. Her goal for Play Outside Guide is to provide “everything families need to know to get outside and have fun”.

The Trek

Try to guess what this article is about? Of course, hiking! While there are numerous articles on hiking, the main focus of The Trek is thru-hiking. Here you will find guides to the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.

They also have a nice section on how to thru-hike if you’re new to it, as well as a comprehensive gear list that you can follow. If you’re a thru-hiker, you can even contribute and share your stories through their blog.

Basically, if you’re looking for a site on Thru-Hiking, this is the place to go.

Take Me Fishing

As the name suggests, this blog focuses on all-things fishing. It’s a highly educational blog written by fishing experts so you can learn how to do it. You can also find advice shared by people who live for fishing.

This is great for any fishing enthusiast as you’ll be entertained with crazy stories and learn some new tips and tricks when it comes to trying to catch that fish.

Camping In The Forest

From many parts of the U.S. to canada, we move on to England, Scotland, and Wales, which is the focus of Camping In The Forest.

On the site is a list of 16 campsites in the UK you can visit that is offered by the Forestry Commission. Each campsite has a description on the facilities that are available so you know how to prepare.

You can also find articles about camping, health and safety tips, and things you can do while outdoors. Even if you aren’t planning a trip to that part of the world just yet, you can still gain a lot of information just by reading the articles on there.

Hike Bike Travel

This is another one of my favorites solely based on how sleek and modern the website looks. But it isn’t just a pretty site, there is a plethora of useful information for you such as hotel reviews, travel tips, adventure guides, gear reviews, and even suggested books to read.

You can navigate through different countries, cities, towns, and states, with information even on other countries around the world like Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and so much more.

There you fill find guides to help you navigate and make the most out of your experience in that specific location – which is another thing I love about this website.

Adventure Journal

Adventure Journal was founded by a very well-respected man, Steve Casimiro. His accounts about his adventure are so sincere and passionate that you will find yourself captivated and reading till the wee-hours of the night.

He has so many articles it’s almost hard not to have multiple tabs open when going through his site. Something I enjoy in his website is the videos section – who doesn’t love a good video right?

The Outdoor Adventure

The Outdoor Adventure by Paul Osborn is a well-compiled resource full of articles about the great outdoors. is one of those resources you can find that is complete. Part of that reason is because Paul writes it together with other writers such as his friends, families, and even other readers.

You can find gear reviews, stories, food, cooking, bush survival, and tips for camping with kids.

One of their latest articles, “EccoTemp L5 – A Portable Tankless Propane Hot Water Heater” is one of my favorites and one I find will be very useful in the upcoming colder months of autumn and winter.

Get Out With The Kids

This website helps you do exactly what it says – Get Out With The Kids. They focus on helping you learn and understand how to enjoy family time through adventures and the outdoors, which is often overlooked these days due to things like smartphones and tablets.

This website is perfect for parents who are looking to bond with their kids through adventures and experiences. An incredibly useful section there is “how to get started,” especially if you are new to getting out with the kids. It is also filled with other useful information and the very essentials of things you need for camping.

Overall, this site is a great resource for beginners and their families!

Trail Cooking

Hands down – these guys have an incredible catalogue of different recipes and ways you can cook while out on the trail. You have freezer bag cooking, insulated mug cooking, one pot cooking, and even no-cook methods of preparing meals while outdoors!

If you’re new to camping, this is a great way to learn about the different options you have for preparing a meal. Just because you’re spending time outdoors, doesn’t mean you only have to settle for those pre-packed (and usually sodium-filled) foods.

Apart from trail cooking, you can find gear to use for cooking. A rather useful article is their “Top Five Essential Items Every Outdoor Chef Needs,” which will help you grab all the gear you need to get for your own adventure.

Hiking Forward

This blog was written by Scott, a husband and father of two girls who he has taught to love the outdoors. In Hiking Forward, he shares funny stories about their experiences while outdoors, making his blog great for readers looking for information on family camping.

There are a variety of categories to choose from ranging in gear all the way to camping with dogs. He even has some videos you can watch if you don’t really feel like reading anymore.

Modern Hiker

https://modernhiker.com/

Let’s start the list with a very modern blog with a modern design, appropriately named The Modern Hiker. It’s clean and sleek design will help you navigate around easily to find what you are looking for.

A feature I enjoy is that you can find a hike depending on your where you are, so you don’t have to search through tons of articles just to get a hike where you are or where you plan on going.

Majority of the articles are about trails but there are other articles such as gear reviews, list posts, journals, and how-to’s, which can be very useful.

Hiking The Trail

Here is another great source for beginners since there are a lot of quick tips and things you need to know about how to start an outdoor adventure. They have a lot of useful articles about things like fire safety, surviving long flights, knowing weather conditions, avoiding mosquitos, helpful knots, tips, and so much more.

But even if you’re a veteran, you won’t be left out. They have articles on the John Muir Trail as well as the Appalachian Trail that is sure to get your feet tickled into conquering those long hikes.

Paul Kirtley

This blog comes from Paul Kirtley, who is a professional bushcraft instructor. Basically, bushcrafting is ways to survive in the bush. The “bush” is a term for rural, undeveloped land or country areas.

If that’s where your next destination is, this blog will help you survive the bush and come back with great stories. You can even take courses if you are from the UK from Frontier Bushcraft.

Semi-Rad

Semi-Rad is far from being Semi-Rad, it’s actually pretty awesome. It is the creation of Brendan Leonard, who was a sponsored climber that lived in his van. His articles are both informative and funny – after all, he lists three things on the header of his site: humor, essays, and adventure.

His most popular essays include “Please Continue Instagramming Your Amazing Life,” “Your Best Vacation Is Someone’s Worst Nightmare,” “Sometimes You Get A High-Five From The Universe,” and more.

His sarcastic and witty style of writing is enough to make me laugh any day.

The Girl Outdoors

Girls haven’t always been associated with camping and hiking, but now some of my best outdoor buddies are girls. Sian Anna Lewis created this blog (which has won awards, by the way) dedicated to all of us lovers of adventure.

There is so much to read about on there, but my favorite section is her How To section with great articles like “How To Look After Climber’s Hands” and “10 Easy Switches To Limit Your Plastic Use” are among my favorites.

The Big Outside

The outside is an incredibly big place filled with wonder and adventure. It’s no surprise that there are hundreds if not thousands of websites dedicated just to the outdoors. So far, I’ve covered 49 and have 6 more to go – yet that won’t even make a dent on the long list of all the outdoor blogs out there.

The Big Outside was created by Michael Lanza, who is a writer, outdoor photographer, author and speaker. He has years of experience hiking, climbing, backpacking, trail running, skiing, paddling, and cycling. Lucky for us he’s sharing all his adventures to us.

Through his blog, you get a glimpse of what it’s like to explore not just the U.S., but the rest of the world as well.

Hikers Blog

For Hikers Blog, we move back to Europe where a group of Irish camping and hiking enthusiasts share gear reviews, trip reports, how-to articles, and guides that you can definitely use for your outdoor adventures.

One of the things that makes this blog unique (and is also something I find really cool) is that they sell photos that you can print out. The photos are of the beautiful scenery that they have gone through – a way to keep the outdoors inside and make you feel like you’re outside even though you’re probably stuck in your office desk or at home.

Living On Life

Living On Life is a great blog that was created by Michelle Eady. She is a Canadian girl that enjoys the whitewater, rock music, s’mores, and extreme sports. But what’s great about her is how she tries to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Her blog is an online journal about her experiences travelling around the world and all the things she’s learnt.

Cool Of The Wild

https://coolofthewild.com/

Clever reference, don’t you think? Cool of the Wild is an amazing looking blog filled with the regular articles you can find about camping and the outdoors.

What stands out the most to me is their “Pursuits” and “Inspiration” section, which pushes you to try something new and get inspiration from the world. Isn’t that why we all go out in the first place? It’s lovely to have someone put that out there.  

Another great section is the skills section, or what they call the “School of the Wild” where you can learn things like pitching a tent, making a soda can stove, making a fire starter, and more.

Camping For Foodies

If you’re a foodie like me, you’re sure to enjoy this website as well. When I first started camping, I found it difficult to get yummy food while out on the trail. Eventually I decided to get educated and learn about methods other people use.

Obviously, Camping For Foodies is a blog all about camping food. You can find an array of recipes from breakfast all the way to dinner, snacks, sides, soups, desserts, and so much more, that are geared specifically for camping.

They have a few other articles such as hiking tips, equipment, and RV camping. Or you can opt to receive a free-ebook or buy products directly from their site.

So Many Places

Could you imagine quitting your job and selling all your stuff to go on an adventure around the world? That’s exactly what Kim Dinan did back in 2012. Her blog aims to inspire people to take a step outside and explore the world around. So Many Places has won awards as well.

Her blog features articles about trips and things to do in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, along with books and guides to read, and ways that you can work with her.

One of my favorite articles from her is “2016: A Year in Pictures,” which is an amazing memoir of what it’s like to be her and experience the things she did last year.

No Money, No Problem: Traveling Without Money

Hiking-in-italian-Dolomite
Isn’t it human nature to want to go out and explore the world around us? Even as children, we find ourselves on the other side of that “do not cross” line, yearning to see what is out there. Even if we’ve grown up and managed to repress that desire because of the responsibilities of adult daily life, every once in awhile, we find ourselves sitting on our office chair, gazing blankly out the window wondering what is out there and daydreaming of all the places we want to go.
Sometimes, no matter how much we find ourselves wanting to pack a bag for an adventure, we reach into our pockets, fish out our wallets, and find nothing inside but a couple of old receipts, some spare change, and maybe even some cobwebs – struck with the reality of being grown up. The thing is, you don’t really have to worry about not having enough money to go on a trip. It has been done, and it can be done by you, as long as your desire to go out and travel is strong enough. This is a guide on how to travel without money.

PLAN FOR THE TRIP

travel-planning

The worst enemy of a successful trip is going unprepared. Even though it seems as though money is the universal answer to why people don’t go and explore the world, it is no longer an excuse – thanks to the people who have proven to us that money isn’t everything.

I remember a trip I took before with a friend that we didn’t plan out very well. We were supposed to stay 10 days on a beach and hiking trip. Then about halfway through our trip, we ended up with almost no money. It became really difficult because every step had to be properly calculated; every aspect had to be taken into consideration and though about really carefully.

It got me thinking about the ways to travel without money and how other people did it. I realized one of the very first steps is to make a plan.

Step #1:

Select Your Destination

Usually, our wanting to travel stems from the fact that there is a certain place you want to visit. Is it The Coliseum in Rome? The Taj Mahal in India? Or maybe it’s The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Whether the place you want to visit is a popular tourist destination or a simple visit to a new place with no spectacular landmarks, you need to choose your destination.

If you’ve decided to drop your regular life for an extended period of time, you’ll get to select more than one destination. Write down all the places you want to visit on a piece of paper – make sure they are places you really want to go to. As your planning will progress, however, the list may change.

Step #2:

Map It Out

Once you’ve figured out where you want to go, grab a map, and map it out. Look at the direction that you will be traveling. Make sure it is cohesive and you move in a proper, continuous flow. Moving in a clear and concise direction will save you money in transportation from having to go back and fourth, realizing you were going the wrong way.

Next, you need to figure out how long you want to stay in those places. How you decide will be entirely up to you. For example, chances are that you’ll want to stay in a popular city such as Rome a lot longer than you would a small town with not much to see. The problem with big cities is that accommodation will most likely be more expensive. There are other alternatives (which we will talk about in the next sections), but sometimes it won’t always be so easy. This is why planning is important so that you can have an idea of how actionable your trip really is.

Step #3:

Reach Out To Friends And Family

You will learn that friends and family will be very important on a trip like this. After you’ve set up your goals on where you want to go and how long you want to stay, the first real step you need to take is to see if you have any friends or family there.

Contact everyone you know and see if they will be willing to accommodate you into their homes so you get a place to stay for free. If they can’t open up their homes to you, they may have suggestions on places that you can stay that are very cheap. Reaching out to your friends and family will also give you an idea of the things that you can do and places you can visit while you are there.

Step #4:

Internet Research

Contacting your friends and family abroad can only get you so far. Luckily for us, we live in a world where almost everything is accessible on the tips of our fingers. Even luckier for us is that people have found a way to make traveling easier, cheaper, and sometimes even completely free – all thanks to the websites and the apps that they have developed to connect people as well as to give everyone the opportunity to live out their adventures even without a huge bank account.

On the next section, “How To Do It”, I’m going to list down resources that you can find online to help with your money-free travels. There are many websites that offer ridesharing, free tours, meals, cheap (and free) accommodations, and so much more. I will be talking about in detail for you in the next section, so keep reading to see my list of different sites you can visit.

It is possible that the destination you want to go won’t have some form of service that you can find online. If this is the case you have two options – change your destination to where you can plan out everything ahead of time, or wing it. If that specific destination is really where you want to go, take the leap of faith and go for it. If you’re brave enough and strong enough, you’ll figure it out along the way!

Step #5:

Get Your Documents Ready

Now it’s time to get your documents ready. This includes things like your passports, reservation confirmations, and VISAs if you need them, especially if you’re hopping from place to place.

Documents also include your airplane tickets, booking records, and so on. It’s a simple step, but make sure that you are thorough and have everything. Or else you’ll find yourself running around a new place trying to find somewhere to print your documents – which can be quite expensive!

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Step #6:

Pack The Right Things

When it’s time to pull out that suitcase to pack your bags, remember that this isn’t going to be some fancy trip where you’ll have the luxury of packing anything and everything you want, knowing very well that you’ll have a bellman greet you at the door to escort all your belongings to your room – NO. So packing the right things, is essential.

And I mean it when I say – pack only the essentials. I understand that is a slightly complicated term since the word “essentials” can mean different things to different people. So I have a simple solution. Lay out all the items you are planning to bring with you. Then hold each item in your hands, one by one and ask yourself this question:

Will I be willing to carry this around with me in my backpack while hitchhiking, biking, or possibly taking very long walks to my destination?

Then ask yourself:

Will the weight that it brings be worth the effort?

If your answer is no, ditch it! It’s that simple. Think of this as a very long, hiking trip. So if you feel like it is unnecessary weight, don’t bring it. The goal is to try to get all your items to fit into one, big hiking backpack. Nothing more. Chances are you’ll be able to get other things you need throughout your journey, so there’s no need to pack your entire house!

Step #7:

Tie-Up Loose Ends Before Leaving

Before leaving, make sure everything is set at home. Don’t leave things a mess because you’ll come home feeling quite depressed and stressed out. If you have pets, be sure to find someone to take care of them while you’re away. If you need to, maybe even find someone to check on your house every once in awhile to make sure nothing is out of place and everything is in control.

Take your leave at work if necessary and ensure all major tasks you have are done. Inform your boss and your colleagues how long you’ll be gone and provide any information they may need while you’re away. If you’ll be gone a long time, be sure your house is clean. Do your laundry, wash the dishes, pack away food, give away or consume perishable items, and keep everything in tip-top shape.

HOW TO SURVIVE

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One of the scariest things about traveling without money is not knowing how to actually survive! You’re probably wondering where you’re supposed to stay, how you’re supposed to get from place to place, or what to eat! While it may be difficult to take a trip that is completely free, these are ways for you to survive with very minimal amounts of money.
Josh
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Accommodation

It’s no secret that one of the biggest expenses in relation to traveling is your accommodation. Hotel rooms normally range anywhere from around $50 all the way to a few thousand dollars.

Home Exchange

With a little bit of planning ahead (see “Plan For Your Trip Step #4), you may be able to find a place to stay for free! This is because there people all over the world who are willing to open up their homes in exchange for nothing but your friendship and conversation. There are four sites that can help you with that:

Some of these require a membership fee but it is extremely minimal and only upon signing up. The goal of sites like these is to connect you with other people opening up their homes or for you to open up your homes for other people. A very popular choice among travellers is Couchsurfing, because it is completely free. Sometimes you’ll be able to score a room, sometimes it will be a couch, other times it may even just be a mattress, but it’s your ticket to free accommodations.

The best part about Couchsurfing is the bond you build with your host. Chances are that he/she will take you places, parties, and events that you won’t find on guidebooks. One of the biggest concerns with Couchsurfing though, is safety, since you’ll be staying in a stranger’s home. But the company takes steps to ensure as much safety as possible. It really comes down to your own judgment. Email your perspective host before making a decision and see how well you get along. If it’s a fit, go for it. If not, find a different host. Make sure their profiles are filled out and complete and with good reviews. People opening up their homes via Couchsurfing are most likely recent travellers themselves so they’ll know exactly what you are going through – that makes it awesome.

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House-sit

When house sitting, you’ll be staying in the stranger’s house to take care of it while they are away – giving you a free place to stay. You won’t pay for rent or the bills and if you’re lucky, you may even be able to use the car of the person’s house you are watching! Here is a list of websites that will connect you with people who need their house (and maybe even their pets) to be taken care of while they are out:

These sites charge an annual fee from $20 – $60, but if traveling is something you plan on doing for a long time or often, what is $60 for unlimited options to stay in compared to $60 for less than 24 hours in one hotel? Here, you’ll get to immerse yourself in the local neighborhood in ways that you could not if you stayed at a hotel. House sitting can range anywhere from a few days to even a few months. If you planned your trip right, you can hop from house to house.

A good tip is to start with people you know – friends, family, and colleagues in case they have a house that needs taking care of. Practicing with people you know will also give you an idea of what it’s like before you head out into the real deal. It will also create a good reference for you, increasing your chances of being “hired” for a house sitting job. If you want to learn more tips and tricks, check out this article from Nomadic Matt about house sitting.

Hostels/Dorm Rooms

Another option for you is to stay in Hostels/dorm rooms. While these aren’t exactly free, they are a lot cheaper than hotels. If you have some money to spare, this is the option to go to – also, if you feel like Couchsurfing or house sitting isn’t exactly your cup of tea. Hostels and dorm rooms aren’t limited to “young people” or groups of people. Nowadays, there are a lot of hostels that have solo or double rooms that are meant for solo travellers or for couples. So even if you plan on traveling without money with your significant other, some hostels can still provide you privacy.

Hostels today are a lot different from what you see in the movies because people are expecting better service and they are talking about their experiences in blogs or on social media. This has pushed businesses to improve their quality of service. If you are really crunching the numbers on your budgeting, the general rule of thumb is that the bigger the room, the cheaper it will be. Of course, you’ll have to share the room with more people, but if that doesn’t bother you or you don’t really have much money, it’s still the better option versus hotel rooms.

WWOOFing

WWOOFing stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms and it is a service that will match you with farmers who are looking for labor to help them. It’s kind of like working for a place to stay. There is a small price to get into the farm, but once you’re there, everything else is free, such as food! The way it works is that you sign up in the national organization of the country that you want to go in, since there is no international membership. Every country that you sign up for, you have to buy the membership. The yearly membership fee is around $30 per country, which is still a great deal.

There are about 99 countries that participate in WWOOF, so even if you visit each and every single one of those countries through WWOOF, you’ll be saving thousands of dollars. What’s great about WWOOF is that they don’t look for people with work experience – just those with a desire to work. This is a way to extend your travel while opening yourself up to endless opportunities. You’ll learn a whole bunch of new skills, learn some foreign languages, and even make new friends. Visit their website to learn more: http://wwoof.net/

Camping

Finally, the last option for you to be able to stay in a place for free is to go camping. Check out, which places you can stay and camp for free. There may be places with a fee but they should be minimal. Chances are that you will be able to find somewhere to pitch your tent or sleeping bag.

Camping gives you the option to sleep almost anywhere. If you’re staying in big cities, you may be able to sleep in the park with your sleeping bag. Just be sure you’re not breaking any laws while you’re there – you don’t want to end up in any trouble while in a foreign place!

Transportation

Now that we’ve talked about the bulk of your expenses, let’s talk about the rest. When it comes to transportation, more specifically your airfare, your best bet is to get promo flights way ahead of time so you get them cheap. In this section, we’re going to talk about how you can get from place to place once you’re already at your destination.

A website that you can check out is BlaBlaCar or Carpooling.com. This online resource is a great way for you to find a ride in Europe. If your goal is to get from point A to Point B with no cost at all, the best thing to do is to walk. But if your point B is way to far to walk, your next best option is to hitchhike.

Yes, there are many horror stories about hitchhiking, but use your best judgment. You can also let your creativity out when hitchhiking – grab a ride in a car, a truck, horses, motorcycles, trains, boats, and maybe even drive a bus. Really, the options are endless as long as you can convince the other person to give you a free ride!

Food

Getting a good meal can be very challenging when traveling with little to no money. But, if you’re lucky, you’ve found a host or made a new friend that will happily share their meals with you. If you searched for accommodation through Couchsurfing or the other home share sites, or even through WWOOF, chances are, you will be granted free meals (especially with WWOOF). In these cases, food won’t really be that much of a problem for you.

But on those days where you might have to go camping or don’t have a generous host to share a meal with, the best thing to do is buy from the supermarket or local market foods that you don’t really have to cook if you have extra money. If you really down in the dumps with zero cash on you, you can try visiting supermarkets or convenience stores during closing hours. Sometimes, these establishments throw out perfectly good food that wasn’t sold for the day – that’s a free meal for you.

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Making Money

The thing about traveling without money is that you don’t have to actually travel without money. You can earn money while your traveling to help you pay for things such as a meal or accommodation.If you have a special talent, you can try street performing. Tell your story, people will be more inclined to help you out. But don’t beg for money.

There’s been a lot of news lately about “beg-packing” where foreigners beg in countries that are not their own to fund their travels, which comes across the wrong way with locals. It feels like the foreigners are “robbing” those truly misfortunate just to fund traveling – which is considered a luxury to most. So be careful. The greatest thing about our world today is the availability of Internet. One of the easiest and best ways you can earn money through traveling is to work as a freelancer online. You can earn almost as much money as you would on a normal job, and all you’ll really need is your laptop and a network connection. Really, the possibilities are quite endless.

ADVICE FROM REAL PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE IT

Now it’s time to hear from some very special people who have been able to travel the world with no money!

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Laura Bingham

Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.


Laura Bingham, who cycled 7,000km across South America. Read her story on laurabingham.org

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Rob Greenfield
“Carry a tent and sleeping gear, water purifier, cooking equipment and comfy clothes. Travel light and leave behind what you don’t need. Make connections for places to stay, and earn meals through websites such as wwoof.orghelpx.net, and workaway.info.”

Rob Greenfield, who hitchhiked his way from Brazil to Panama. Read his story on RobGreenfield.tv

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Rhinal Patel

Asking locals for advice, learning how to read people’s body language and researching countries beforehand is also important. Emotionally, you need a positive attitude and determination. You are going to hear “no” a lot along your way and sometimes dirty looks and nasty comments. But you cannot give up at the first “no” … try, try, and try again until you get a “yes”.


Rhinal Patel, the lone female traveller. Check out her travel updates here

A commonality that is mentioned by those three travellers is to simply stay positive and remember your end goals. Traveling with no money will be very difficult and a lot of people will turn you down, but as they tell their stories, they talk about how despite many “no’s”, there are still a lot of people who are willing to help you for nothing in return. If you want to take a quick look at their experiences, you can read this article from The Guardian. Finally, one of my favorite stories about traveling with nothing comes from Tomislav Perko who dropped everything to travel the world. In return, he gained enriching experiences, found great stories to tell, and uncovered things about himself in the most unique ways. Watch his TED talk below!

Hitchhiking according to Tomislav:
  • Be on the right road and on the right direction
  • Look decent – shave, wear clean clothes
  • Don’t hitchhike at night
  • Be in a good mood
  • Talk to the drivers while you’re in the car, tell them your stories, and listen to theirs. That’s the only way you get to repay them.
  • “Hitchiking Lesson # 62: When the driver is asleep, take over”

SOME EXTRA TIPS

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Tomislav Perko

“No matter how long you wait, the right ride will come”

“No matter how long you wait, the right ride will come”

Now that you’ve heard from the people who have done what you may think isn’t possible, let’s go through some extra tips that you can take along with you once you decide to embark on this chance for a great adventure.

Prepare yourself mentally

First of all, you need to get in the right mindset. Don’t expect things to be easy or comfortable, but they will definitely be unique. Be prepared to technically be ‘homeless’. But get into the mindset where you understand that it doesn’t matter because now, you get to make the whole world your home.

Spend time with the locals

Once you’re out exploring, be sure to spend time with the locals! After all, they will become your lifeblood. This is the chance to make friends outside your regular borders. Hear their stories; get to know about their lives. If you spend enough time with them, they’ll take you in as their own and bring you to places that you would never find if you had just Googled it on a travel website.

Bring a big jug for water

And take that jug everywhere. Take advantage of water fountains that are free all around you. Even better if you have a water bottle that purifies water for you so that you always have access to clean water. I own the CAMELBACK ALL CLEAR UV bottle, which uses UV light to purify water. It’s saved me from thirst on many journeys I have taken.

Volunteer

Volunteer every chance you get. Offer your hand without expecting anything in return because truth is, kindness will be extended. You don’t even need to volunteer at an organization or somewhere big – even just lending a helping hand to the local farmer, or the old fisherman struggling with his catch for the day. The least you’ll get out of helping is a smile and a new friend. If you’re lucky, you may even get a meal or a place to stay. So extend your kindness and watch it circle back.

Know the weather of the places you are visiting

and pack accordingly. Look for lightweight windbreakers or down jackets to reduce weight while keeping you warm.

When hitchhiking

Be mindful and use common sense. Select people you feel are on the same wavelength. Have a short conversation before jumping in their vehicle and try to gauge out their character. Most important of all, be patient!

ADVENTURES AWAIT

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Most people resist the urge to travel especially when they know that they don’t have money because of the fear of the unknown and the fear of whether or not you will be able to survive without those dollar bills in your back pocket.

We’ve gotten so dependent on the comfort that comes from knowing your wallet is stacked and full that the moment it becomes empty, so do the dreams of traveling and exploring the world around us.

But behind the feeling of an immediate need for money, is the true essence of human connection – the knowledge that someone, somewhere out there is willing to open up their lives to accommodate you into theirs. The best thing about traveling without money is that it brings those new people into your life in ways that you cannot imagine.

If you have never really been an extroverted or social person, the challenge of traveling without money will force you out of your comfort zone and reveal characteristics about yourself that you never knew were there.

You’ll learn so much on a journey like this where you can’t use money to take the easy way out. You’ll learn how to not just take care of yourself, but of the earth as well and how to respect it. You’ll learn about people, their different lives, and different cultures – you’ll learn to tear down prejudice, which is one of the issues that continually plague our world today. You’ll learn that despite our different colors, cultures, beliefs – at the root of all humanity, we are all basically the same.

So what are you waiting for? Make the world your home – make the world your playground. Go out there, enjoy life, and challenge yourself.

Your adventure is waiting...

Are You A Canoe Or A Kayak ?

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One of the greatest pleasures of being in the great outdoors is being able to enjoy the scenery of nature while leisurely paddling out in a canoe – or is it a kayak? To some, it doesn’t matter since they are both basically the same thing; a lightweight boat that you can paddle around a body of water.