It’s one thing to see the great outdoors on a nature documentary on the television, but it’s a whole different thing to experience it up close and personal. There’s no greater wonder than to be in the middle of a beautiful, unspoiled bit of nature, far away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Hiking is a great way to experience the great outdoors. All you need is a comfortable pair of walking shoes and comfortable clothing for some easy day hikes. For rougher terrain, you will probably need a sturdy pair of hiking boots, and a backpack for water, food, and foul weather gear. Whether it’s a few short hours, overnight, or even several days or weeks, there’s a hiking trail available that caters to everyone’s level of enjoyment and insanity.

It’s one thing to hike on a neat, dedicated, well-marked trail. It’s another thing entirely to hike in the complete wilderness. This is truly where the men are separated from the boys. Orienteering and true wilderness hiking require navigation and survival skills. You need to be able to read a contour map and navigate using a compass or GPS device, although many will scoff at using such an advanced electronic device as the latter. Your sleeping place is under the stars, your shelter the most rudimentary tarpaulin and a bivvy bag, instead of a tent and a sleeping bag. In order to survive in the wilderness, you need to pack light and make sure that everything in your kit serves multiple purposes.

Roughing it is not for everyone. Some want to experience the unspoilt beauty of nature without the discomfort. For them, slackpacking is a great option. Your bags are all carried by porters, and the hike is fully catered. You even get to sleep in a bed at overnight camps. All you need to do is walk.