Ranked: least-visited US national parks

Diablo lake in the North Cascades National ParkAnna Abramskaya/Shutterstock

As America’s public lands register record numbers, we explore the least-visited US national parks

It’s been well documented that America’s national parks and hiking trails have seen a surge in visitor numbers as lockdown-weary Americans flocked to the outdoors. In 2021, Yellowstone received an astonishing 4.8 million recreation visits, up 28% from 2020 (3.8 million), making it the busiest year on record.

Ranked: most peaceful countries in the world 2022

map of the most peaceful countries in the world 2021GPI

The most peaceful countries in the world have been updated for 2022. Read our insights from the study and browse the rankings below

Iceland is once again the most peaceful country in the world followed by New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark and Austria.

However, the world is a slightly less peaceful place as the number of countries experiencing violent internal conflict rose, the latest Global Peace Index (GPI) suggests.

A complete travel photography gear guide

A complete travel photography gear guide

We’re often asked about the gear we take on our travels. In response, we have written a detailed and complete travel photography gear guide

I have been involved in film or photography throughout the course of my career: initially as a camera operator, video editor and AV engineer, later as a teacher in digital media, and now as a travel writer.

When nature calls: why going to the toilet in the outdoors may be about to change

A toilet roll hanging on a branch in the wild

Burying your waste may no longer be the most sustainable way to go to the toilet in the outdoors, according to new research

The number of people using public lands in the US has been steadily increasing for years. The pandemic accelerated the trend as lockdown-weary Americans flocked to outdoor spaces in record numbers. The increase in visitors saw several parks and landmarks introduce reservation systems to counteract the unsustainable rise in visitor numbers.

Ranked: happiest countries in the world 2022

map of the happiest countries in the world 2022

Finland tops the rankings of the happiest countries in the world for the fifth year running

Happiness is a nebulous thing; hard to grasp and harder to hold onto. Scientists, economists and philosophers have defined it through the ages as a combination of different things, among them health, wealth, companionship and security.

Best mountaineering movies: 28 must-see cliffhangers

Best-mountaineering-movies-collage

Our carefully curated list of the best mountaineering movies ever made

Recently, I re-watched one of my favourite mountaineering movies: Everest. Historically, even the best mountaineering films have struggled to bridge the gap between climbing documentary and Hollywood blockbuster.

How to choose hiking boots: a beginner’s guide

how to choose hiking bootsAtlas & Boots

Our guide on how to choose hiking boots will ensure you enjoy every step of the trail. Here’s how to pick the perfect pair

Footwear is a hiker’s most critical piece of gear. Inappropriate or poorly fitted boots or shoes can spoil a day on the trail and have you wincing with every step. But with a dizzying array of choices, from lightweight trail running shoes to double-layered plastic mountaineering boots and everything in between, knowing where to start can be bewildering.

Ranked: world’s most powerful passports 2022

japan has the most powerful passport

Japan and Singapore have the world’s most powerful passports with the UK and US in joint-sixth. We take a look at the rest of the results

It feels a little masochistic to look at the world’s most powerful passports after yet another year of recurring lockdowns. However, as we’ve said before, we remain hopeful about the future of travel. We believe that exploration is a human instinct and that as soon as it is safe, people will return to the road.

Our top Instagram shots of 2021

Aletsch Glacier – one of our top Instagram shots of 2021

From the Throne of Zeus to the largest glacier in the Alps, we share our top Instagram shots of 2021

Unsurprisingly, travel in 2021 turned out to be more, uhm, domestic than we had planned. After the disappointments of 2020, we had high hopes for 2021. Alas, it turns out that pandemics are unpredictable. We did manage to squeeze in a couple of international trips, but they were definitely more short than long haul.

20 most beautiful mountains in the USA

Most beautiful mountains in America: Maroon BellsZhukova Valentyna/Shutterstock

The most beautiful mountains in the US are a contentious subject, for this is a land that brims with beauty. We scoured the states and whittled them down to a list of 20

Legendary climber​​ Reinhold Messner said that there are three rules of mountaineering: “It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.” 

Ranked: best countries for adventure travel

Tourists inside an ice cave in IcelandZhukova Valentyna/Shutterstock

The best countries for adventure travel have been ranked by a panel of experts. We review the results below

The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has named Iceland the best country for adventure travel for the third year in a row. The small Nordic island nation, famed for its geysers, volcanoes, geothermal lagoons and cinematic landscapes, remains an attractive destination for adventure seekers, particularly those concerned with sustainability.

12 Christmas gifts for travellers

Our annual list of 12 Christmas gifts for travellers, be they bookworms, shutterbugs, adrenaline junkies or culture vultures

This year was going to be the year that life went back to normal. Instead, we found ourselves in a strange liminal space of sullied plans and half-lives. Some valiantly tried to reclaim their lives – Peter, for example, managed trips to Switzerland, Greece and Cyprus – but many more of us wilted into this new reality, like trees skewed by persistent wind.   

Winter hiking: 6 tips to get you started

winter hiking featuredEmerald_media/Shutterstock

Winter hiking without experience is taxing at best and lethal at worst. We share some tips to help you prepare properly

Winter hiking is a polarising sport: some love it, others hate it. Too often, people have bad experiences not because they’re inherently resistant to cold, but because they’re under-prepared. They make not just basic mistakes like packing the wrong gear but also arrive mentally unprepared.

How to start a travel blog – a professional guide

a laptop, camera and bag for how to start a travel blog

A comprehensive but concise guide on how to start a travel blog, covering both technical and editorial aspects of creating, maintaining and growing a blog

At Atlas & Boots, we are periodically approached for advice on how to start a travel blog. To help future bloggers, we have put our knowledge into a comprehensive but concise guide below.

Foreign Service Institute Language Difficulty Rankings

foreign service institute language difficultyShutterstock

Foreign Service Institute language difficulty rankings are an indication of how long a native English speaker would need to reach proficiency in a number of different languages. There are five categories, ranked from easiest to the hardest based on how many classroom hours a learner would need to reach professional working proficiency (i.e. Level 3 on the

How to prevent and treat blisters when hiking

How to prevent blisters when hiking lead image

Don’t let a pesky injury ruin your time in the outdoors. Our guide on how to prevent blisters will keep you on your feet

Whether you’re an experienced trekker or a newcomer to the trails, you will invariably suffer from one of the most common hiking injuries. To help you minimise the risk, we’ve put together a simple guide on how to prevent and treat blisters when hiking.

Virgin peaks: the world’s unclimbed mountains

unclimbed mountains Mount KailashDreamstime

The world’s unclimbed mountains are the last great challenges in mountaineering. We look at the most coveted of these unconquered summits

In January 2021, Nirmal Purja and his team of Nepali climbers completed the first winter ascent of K2, the world’s second-highest mountain. K2 was the final 8,000m peak awaiting a winter ascent after Nanga Parbat, Pakistan’s ‘Killer Mountain’, was scaled in 2016.