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:
THOUGHTS ON MY FIRST (and second!) BACKPACKING TRIPS:
FIRST TRIP: June 2-4, 2017 – White Mountains, NH
- 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.
- Temps in the upper 30s happen in June in the White Mountains. I need a wool baselayer from REI stat.
- My Altra LonePeak NeoShells kept my feet impeccably dry during a really, really rainy weekend.
- 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.
- Waiting to summit a mountain until the clear, sunny, and dry morning instead of the rainy afternoon was a good idea.
- Always bring a smaller pack so you can summit without your larger backpacking pack.
- Gear sharing (water filters, stove, food, etc.) is nice, but I also just like the idea of bringing and relying on my own gear.
SECOND TRIP: July 7-9, 2017 – Appalachian Trail Section Hike – Port Clinton, PA
- I really, really like hiking on my own and setting my own pace.
- I need a larger power bank. (purchased. thank you Anker PowerCore 26800)
- The Big Agnes UL Copper Spur 2 is, in my opinion, the perfect size for one person who likes to spreeead out (aka me)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Clean out your food bag AS SOON AS YOU GET HOME. ugh. smelly smells that smell… smelly.
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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