Riley Draper

Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.

Articles by Riley Draper

A hiker going through a rocky trail.

The 8 Best Hiking Backpacks Reviewed

Critical characteristics in the best hiking backpacks are stability, comfort, weight distribution, and ample space in the main compartment. Hikers need lots of space to...
Two people hiking in a forest with snow.

The Best Convertible Hiking Pants Reviewed

Hikers need a pair of pants with breathability and a high range of motion to withstand the various challenges presented by hiking trails in the...
A hiker on a mountain during sunset.

How to Prepare for an Overnight Hike

Beyond the backpacking gear list, an overnight hike requires many considerations to be properly planned and effectively executed for maximum return on investment to the...
People cutting up an assortment of vegetables.

The Best Vegetarian Backpacking Meals

Backpacking takes a lot of energy but the usual suspects for backpacking meals are often palate-numbing, repetitive, and full of processed ingredients to make them...
A man walking on a mountain.

What to Bring on a Hike

Even hikers who have cut their teeth on many backcountry day hikes have trouble selecting what backpacking gear they want to include in their rucksacks...
Man standing on top of a mountain with a backpack.

What is a Thru-Hike?

The classification of hikers may confuse those new to backpacking or unfamiliar with navigating hiking trails through the backcountry. Enthusiasts often speak of day hikes,...
Person looking through binoculars.

The 7 Best Binoculars for Hiking

Ahh, the old binoculars. A handy device that we often see, stowed away in the back of the closet. Maybe your grandpa had a pair...
Climbers hiking up a mountain.

The Best Hiking Daypacks Reviewed

Every outdoor enthusiast, whether you’re a hiker, a mountaineer, or just a general nature lover, needs a reliable daypack to carry their most important gear....
Two persons holding a map and a clear compass.

How to Use a Compass

Maybe you’ve been to a national park or traversed backcountry hiking trails plenty of times and haven’t yet found any reason to add a compass...
A brown bear cub in the forest.

How to Use a Bear Canister

Across large swathes of the United States, the backcountry is also bear country. Backpackers and hikers who frequent such well-renowned campsite-rich national parks as Sequoia...
A man standing on a mountain.

The 7 Best Hiking Insoles Reviewed

Just as we all have different fingertips, DNA strands and tastes in popular music, our own feet are unique as well. Some have higher arches,...
is hiking good for weight loss

Is Hiking Good Exercise for Weight Loss?

People hike for any number of reasons, it’s an excellent form of exercise to keep your body healthy. Hiking is also a popular way to...
Person in orange shirt and backpack walking through a river.

How to Waterproof a Backpack

No matter what kind of outdoor adventurer you are, a waterproof backpack is an important requirement. Whether you’re flying down white water rapids, on a...
Man in a white shirt running on the ground in the mountains during the daytime.

How to Train for Hiking

It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the hike. Any amount of time spent backpacking down a hiking trail will invigorate hikers...
Man sitting on a cliff looking at a mountain holding a hiking pole.

How to Use Hiking Poles

Hiking poles are a common sight on the trails, they’re used by many hikers to improve their backcountry experience. Trekking poles can come across as...
Woman on the ground in a red jacket, tying her hiking boots.

How to Tie Hiking Boots

Even if you were very selective when you bought your last pair of hiking boots or hiking shoes, there may come a time when you...
A girl standing on a mountain during the daytime.

How to Prevent Blisters When Hiking and Keep Your Feet Healthy

Blisters are the Achilles’ heel of backcountry hikers, sometimes literally depending on where they form. The best hiking is done on winding, changing trails and...
Man carrying a red backpack standing on a mountain in the daytime.

How to Pack a Backpack for Camping Like a Pro

The best campsites are cached away in mountains and valleys, often at the terminus of long hiking trails that course and wind through the most...
dryvent or gore-tex for hiking

Dryvent vs Gore-Tex: Which is Better for Hiking?

Durable water-repellent outerwear like rain jackets and hiking boots are indispensable pieces of gear for every backcountry outdoor activity from mountaineering to snowboarding to backpacking....
A pair of dirty hiking boots.

How to Clean Hiking Boots

Now that you’ve taken your boots across some prairies, pastures, streams, and steep ravines, it’s time to give them a wash. All that grime, dirt...
Orange tabby cat on a purple leash outdoors.

Hiking with Cats

Taking your pet along for a trek in the backcountry is very popular, as on almost every trail you’ll see someone hiking with dogs. However,...
Person sitting on a chair near a tent made from a tarp by the water.

How to Camp Without a Tent

Camping without a tent probably strikes you as making about as much sense as deep-sea fishing without a boat. In fact, many campers who enjoy...
Two people on the beach.

How to Camp on the Beach

Sand dunes, tidepools, and the rolling waves right at the shoreline await campers who enjoy partaking in beach vacations and camping trips and want to...
A yellow tent in the snow in the mountains.

How to Camp in the Winter

Calculating campers and backpackers may reason that the secret to winter camping trips is to simply head south and camp in warmer climates. Fleeing cold...
Pairs of hiking boots.

How to Break in Hiking Boots

So you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade from a part-time to a full-time hiker. No longer satisfied with something like a hi-top sneaker with ankle...
Person holding a white cup outdoors.

How to Go Camping on a Budget

When it comes to budget vacations, camping is an excellent choice. Hiking and exploring the great outdoors has always been a favorite budget pass time,...
Orange Erste Hilfe first aid kit.

The 7 Best Camping First Aid Kits

When a less-than-dire disaster strikes the campsite, be it in the form of a scrape needing gauze, a splinter needing tweezers, or an allergic reaction...
Yosemite Valley.

How to Become a Park Ranger

To be a Park Ranger is one of the most envied jobs within the American outdoors community. You get to wear the iconic Smokey the...
Dome tent on a mountain under the bright yellow sun.

Camping for Beginners: How to Get into Camping

So you want to try camping for the first time, but you’re now sure how? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. In 2016, 4.7 million Americans...
Orange USB cable with blue background.

How to Charge Your Phone While Camping

Out in the wilderness, it can feel nice to disconnect from the outside world and forget about your mobile phone for a while. On the...
A tent with an air mattress in it and a green hammock in the woods.

Camping Cots and Air Mattresses: What’s Best for You?

Camping trips are always a whole lot of fun during the day time when campers are out on the trails backpacking, playing guitar at their...
Four people in the mountains.

The Best Walkie Talkies for Hiking

Walkie talkies, or two-way radios, may seem to some hikers like too much technology to carry along in a rucksack on a hiking trip into...
Get a good backpacking tent to reach great sights.

The 6 Best Backpacking Tents

Oh, the great outdoors. Nothing like spending the day walking around some trails with friends, a couple of laughs and a few good views. You...
Get out there and explore some nature alongside friends and a helpful hydration pack.

6 Best Hydration Packs for Hiking – Reviews

Ahh, water. The source of life, covering the majority of our planet and even contributing to the largest portion of our body mass. We cannot...
A man wearing a yellow shit and camping hot, looking at a canyon.

The 7 Best Hiking Sun Hats Reviewed

When hiking in the winter, many of us wear a beanie or other warm winter hat, to keep our heads warm and provide a bit...
Pairs of gray socks around a sign.

The Best Hiking Socks to Prevent Blisters

Blisters are a hiker's worst enemy, these tiny little annoyances can ruin some otherwise amazing treks. There are a number of steps anyone can take...
A large white tent in the mountains.

The Best 5 Person Tents – Top 6 Reviewed

November 10, 2019/Riley Draper Table of Contents When camping in larger groups, it's nice to have accommodation with enough room for everyone. For family camping...
A person hiking in the mountains.

How to Attach Sleeping Bag to Backpack

We all know that backpacks can end up a bit overstuffed before setting off for a trip, there’s so much to remember to bring with...
Person walking on a snow covered slope.

How to Adjust a Trekking Pole

Hikers and trekkers who frequently tackle different terrain or regularly traverse difficult types of terrain know about the knee and back pain that can develop...
Pair of brown hiking shoes with fall leaves.

How Should Hiking Boots Fit?

Backpackers and hikers often penetrate deep into the backcountry, probing and exploring, recording what they find or simply taking in the regality of nature’s beauty....
Cooked egg dish on a pan.

9 Camping Recipes for the Great Outdoors

After a long day spent hiking and exploring the great outdoors, campers often gather around the campfire for stories, songs, hot food, and some well-earned...
Three backpacking backpacks in the bed of a truck.

The Best Time to Buy Camping Gear

Just as there are advantages and disadvantages to camping in different seasons, so are their strategic times to buy all the outdoor equipment campers will...
Person wearing winter clothes in the sunlight by a body of water.

7 Best Hiking Gloves On The Market Today

As the summer sun starts to fall and the temperatures too, it’s easy to bundle up and hibernate for a few months. Much like the...
Man sitting by a bonfire in the woods.

Best Places to Camp in California

California, the Golden State, is the third-largest in the United States in terms of land area and home to 110 state parks and nine different...
A person wearing hiking boots outdoors.

The Best Hiking Boots Reviewed

To any outdoor adventurer, hiking boots are a critical piece of equipment. They can make the difference between the perfect hike and a backcountry nightmare,...
Body of water in a canyon in Texas.

The 9 Best Places to Camp in Texas

Camping in the lone star state offers more opportunities than the avid camper could possibly wish for. In this state you’ll find an incredible range...
Two men by a blue lake in Arkansas.

The 9 Best Places to Camp in Arkansas

Arkansas’ motto is “The Natural State,” and anyone who visits one of the many campsites will soon see why. Often featuring such natural features as...
A buffalo in the middle of the street.

The 10 Best Places to Camp in Oklahoma

If diversity of landscape is what you’re after, then Oklahoma will have you covered for your next camping trip. From the Great Plains to hills,...
A lake in Belle in Plain.

Best Places to Camp in Minnesota

Not only the home of Bob Dylan, Minnesota also contains over 10,000 lakes and has some of the best camping spots in America. Minnesota, in...
A bald eagle.

6 Best Places to Camp in Maryland 

Although comparatively, it’s quite a small state, Maryland offers the modern camper a diverse range of habitats and ecosystems to explore, from the rocky mountains...