phtoto album background spread: © david franklin/getty images

Go Hiking

European Hut-to-Hut Hiking Comes Home
Distant Journeys has long led hut-to-hut hikes in Europe; now the Maine-based outfitter brings the fun to their backyard. As you read this, a 180-mile network of trails and huts is being carved through Maine’s western mountains. The eight-day Western Maine Hut Hike overnights at several of these new backcountry huts (as well as a bed-and-breakfast and New England inn). During the day you’ll meet Mother Nature in her unaltered glory, hiking through serene old-growth forests, past empty alpine lakes, up mountaintops, and past hidden treats like thundering Grand Falls — at 40 feet high and 120 feet across, it’s one of the Northeast’s most impressive undammed waterfalls. August 5 to 12 and October 2 to 9. $1,995. (888) 845-5781, distantjourneys.com

Trek Through Untamed China
Western Sichuan province is remote and beautiful, home to alpine forests, wind-swept grasslands, and some of the tallest mountains in the world, including the holy Tibetan Buddhist mountain Minya Gongga (elevation 24,790 feet; this you will not summit). On wild china’s Trekking Mt. Minya Gongga trip, you’ll spend 17 days hiking the pilgrimage trail to Gongga Temple and points beyond, summiting as high as 17,000 feet, visiting Buddhist monasteries and Tibetan villages, and camping beside untamed rivers beneath floods of stars. (There’s citified culture too: The trip begins with an opera performance in Chengdu.) Private journey; departure on request. From $4,920. (888) 902-8808, wildchina.com

Get Adventure is about bumps. Start with an indestructible travel bag: the north Face Base Camp Duffel is used by professional climbers like Jimmy Chin, who spend their days traveling to some of the world’s most inhospitable places. From $90. thenorthface.com

A tough phone always comes in handy. Casio’s G’zOne Ravine 2 meets military standards for water, shock, and extreme temperatures; plus, it has a Star Gazer app and offers global roaming, allowing you to communicate with more than 220 countries around the world. $180 with Verizon contract. casiogzone.com

Document whatever joyride you’re on — hiking, surfing, hang gliding, scuba diving — in high-definition with the GoPro HD Hero2 Outdoor Edition wearable sports camera. Capturing high-def shots at a rate of 10 photos per second, it comes with various mounts and a waterproof housing that’s good to a depth of 197 feet. $300. gopro.com

Tip Accidents happen, but you can lower the odds significantly by traveling with a reputable outfitter. The Adventure Travel Trade Association lists more than 700 members who meet its safety requirements. adventuretravel.biz