When life gives you apples, don’t go on a backpacking trip with 12
Lessons learned from my first backpacking trip
So there I was at 1000m elevation, walking through calf-deep snow with 12 apples, 3 peppers, 2 onions, and an orange in my backpack (along with the usual backpacking supplies and other dinner food). 90% of my thoughts on that day are Why the heck do i have all of these apples in my backpack?!
The Laugavegur trail is the most popular backpacking trail in Iceland. It takes about 4 or 5 days to complete the trail into the beautiful highlands of Iceland. It is only open during the summer months, as the highlands are notorious for being dangerous, unpredictable, and inaccessible. There are often blizzards in the middle of July! Myself and 3 other exchange students who I had lived in Iceland with had been looking forward to doing this trip all year, and waited in anticipation for the highlands to open.
Fueled by dumpsters
During our time living in Iceland (and in the USA), my friends and i have thrived off of dumpster diving. Preparing for our 5 day hike was no different. We loaded our backpacks up from the Bonus dumpsters on the Westman islands and bought the rest of the supplies we needed. My Swiss friend Florian told us that from his experience backpacking in New Zealand, it would be really nice to have an apple for each person every day. Fast forward one day and here i am trudging through the snow with dumpster fruits and vegetables filling up my pack ??
I quickly learned that the joy of having a fresh apple every day was not worth the extra billion pounds in my backpack. Soon, all of the other hikers that we were leapfrogging with were in on the joke of our apple squad.
Pass the chocolate
I knew when embarking on a trip with Europeans that I had better help with the meal planning to ensure that there would be enough chocolate in our menu to accommodate my American sugar needs. We definitely loaded up on chocolate at the store, but my second lesson was how to be bold in my need for eating it.
On the second day at lunch, we passed the chocolate as everyone took 2 squares. And then, the unthinkable happened…
THEY PUT IT AWAY!!!
Now, if you’re anything like me, you could devour the entire chocolate bar in one bite. My brain was still frozen in shock when the others were closing their packs and getting ready to start moving again.
Pro tip: always carry your own chocolate people!!
Despite the goofy food setbacks, the Laugavegur Trail was incredible, and I will always have those painted landscapes burned in my brain. We ended the trail soaking in a geothermal hot pot sipping on whisky and laughing about the apples. You probably won’t see me carrying a bunch on the PCT. But who knows, we’ll see what happens after a couple months of walking!
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