Summer is just around the corner, and for us, that means it’s time to start thinking about beautiful camping adventures. After all, what’s better than soaking in the long summer days outdoors, then whiling away the evening with good friends and a bonfire?
We’ve camped on many of our travels around the world, and always come back totally rejuvenated—so long as we have comfy sleeping quarters. Knowing your high-quality travel gear is an absolute must. For example, there are tons of sleeping bags available, but before planning your summer trips, we recommend investing in a sleeping bag that is guaranteed to keep you cozy and comfortable. Learn more about the best sleeping bags for 2017 here.
Now it’s time to choose your backpacking destination! Here are five of our personal favorites:
1. The Lofoten Islands
We always say that the Lofoten Islands are one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been. This Arctic paradise is located in the far north of Norway, and is where you’ll find staggering cliffs that tower over pristine blue water. It’s also an adventurer’s dream destination, with rock climbing, kayaking, hiking and more. Summer is by far the best time to enjoy the destination, and camping will ensure you stay close to the action while also fully soaking in the dramatic beauty of the islands.
Pro Tip: You’re going to want a good backpacking tent that is easy to carry but will also keep you protected from the elements. Click here for some of the top tents on the market right now.
2. The Appalachian Trail
We grew up in North Carolina, which meant we weren’t too far from driving to the Appalachian Trail for a short stint on the legendary path. Whether you opt to spend just a few days hiking and rock climbing or you’re up for a more epic trek across the entirety of the trail, you can’t go wrong with the beauty of this renowned backpacking destination.
This is a backpacking destination that Dan conquered without me—and I’m still a little jealous about it! Alaska in the summer has long been on my bucket-list. Dan says it’s one of the most unique places he has ever been, and that the unique landscape and wildlife definitely live up to the hype. Denali National Park is definitely the highlight here, with six million acres of open land. If you’re up for a challenge, you can hike Mt. McKinley, North America’s highest peak. Like the Lofted Islands, the long summer days ensure you have plenty of time to enjoy in the great outdoors.
4. Big Sur, California
We visited Big Sur on our honeymoon road trip across the U.S., and to this day it remains one of our favorite destinations in California. The scenic coastline is as beautiful as can be, and there are a few waterfalls and nearby trails that warrant exploration. We camped in a secluded spot along the side of Highway One, but if we were going to do it again, we would set up camp in popular Pfeiffer Beach. Add on a trip to Sequoia National Park in order to explore the giant red wood trees.
5. Long Trail, Vermont
For one of the oldest trails in the U.S., try backpacking Long Trail in the Green Mountain National Forest. The 270-mile trail takes you past the Green Mountains to the border of Canada. The scenery is gorgeous, and you’ll have the chance to cross Vermont’s highest peak. There are lots of campsites along the way, which makes it easy to set up camp as you please.
These are five of our favorite summer camping and backpacking destinations, but they only brush the surface of all the amazing spots out there for a memorable outdoor adventure. What is your favorite summer backpacking location?