A List of Thoughts RE: First (and second!) Backpacking Trips

I have been struggling to write this post. Every time I sit down to put some thoughts together, I end up scrapping the draft and pushing the idea of continuing this blog to the back of my head. And it isn’t because I didn’t absolutely, positively love my first (and second!) backpacking trips – because I did. I loved both trips very much. But each time I have sat down to type out this post, I have become discouraged, feeling as though my thoughts and experiences are somewhat cliche and tired. I feel as though everything I have to say has already been said.

And you know what? maybe everything I am about to cover has already been said. maybe all of these mistakes that I made have already been made by someone out there reading. but, maybe that isn’t a bad thing. SO, I am going to get out of my head and share some thoughts with you, dear reader. Because it is my blog and I can make a list if I want to:


FIRST TRIP: June 2-4, 2017 – White Mountains, NH

  1. Hiking with a group (think 8-10 people) can be fun, but it can also be… a lot. Being someone who only ever hikes alone or with one other individual who is at the same skill level as me, it was something to get used to when I set out on my first trip with a group of 8-10 other people. We all got along and I really liked each person as an individual, but I really think I prefer a smaller wolf pack.
  2. Temps in the upper 30s happen in June in the White Mountains. I need a wool baselayer from REI stat.
  3. My Altra LonePeak NeoShells kept my feet impeccably dry during a really, really rainy weekend.
  4. Cheap Frog Togg rain pants are great until they rip; a rain kilt don’t do much in a constant, torrential downpour. A pair of good Marmot rain pants may also be on the “To Buy” list.
  5. Waiting to summit a mountain until the clear, sunny, and dry morning instead of the rainy afternoon was a good idea.
  6. Always bring a smaller pack so you can summit without your larger backpacking pack.
  7. Gear sharing (water filters, stove, food, etc.) is nice, but I also just like the idea of bringing and relying on my own gear.

wet tents: a theme of this trip

YAY for sunny / dry mornings!


this is my “thank god warm mac and cheese is being cooked right now” face

SECOND TRIP: July 7-9, 2017 – Appalachian Trail Section Hike – Port Clinton, PA

  1. I really, really like hiking on my own and setting my own pace.
  2. I need a larger power bank. (purchased. thank you Anker PowerCore 26800)
  3. The Big Agnes UL Copper Spur 2 is, in my opinion, the perfect size for one person who likes to spreeead out (aka me)
  4. Because this trip was warmer, I packed the Sea to Summit Insect Shield Sleeping Bag liner and slept with that on top of my sleeping quilt. While I could have gotten away with just packing the liner, I was glad I had my quilt for the second night because it was a little cooler and the extra down was comfy to sleep on, on top of my sleeping pad.
  5. My little Thermarest air pump is so worth its very negligible weight. Blowing up an air mattress at the end of a long day? I am just not about that life.
  6. Test food out before you bring it on the trail. I tried a certain freeze-dried meal from a certain company that sounded delicious and unfortunately, it tasted like cardboard instead. No amount of Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce packets could save it. So, I had to pack it out. Fortunately, this was my second night. The meal on my first night was delicious – Mountain House’s Chili Mac with Beef – YUM yum yum.
  7. Clean out your food bag AS SOON AS YOU GET HOME. ugh. smelly smells that smell… smelly.

the start of my adventure!

not a terrible way to wake up on your 29th birthday


Since both of these trips, I have been continuing to hike a lot, but I feel myself sort of “plateauing.” At the beginning of this journey, it was so exciting to feel muscles working that I haven’t worked in years and the pounds and inches were melting off. Now, I feel as though I am at a place where I need a new push and to get that new push, I need to start hiking harder trails. So, in order to get my body up these harder trails, I have committed to making the last four months of this year about more “off-the-mountain” training – hitting the gym (weights, in particular) and the pool more, while also being a little better about what I put in my mouth. The after-hike trips to Chipotle always feel good until… they don’t.


Ok, that is all for now. I promise I won’t take another two months to check back in and write again. <3

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