Thoughts [+ Tips!] While Backpacking For The First Time

This year, I’m all about deep experiences — so when the opportunity arose to backpack the Grand Canyon, of course I had to say yes! I had never backpacked before, so I had no idea what I was getting myself into… or that the trail was considered a “challenging route” [description for Hermit’s Trail: unmaintained steep trail requires caution — rocky + strenuous].

Anyways, I survived! ++ had a blast. For those of you wanting to backpack, my biggest piece of advice is to find someone to go with that considers themself to be a ~backpacker~ [aka, has all the gear]. Gear is incredibly expensive ++ it’s not worth it to get gear for your first time [especially because you might not love backpacking!]. There are also plenty of organizations that host adventure trips — one being Bold Betties that I’ve heard great things about!

Below are thoughts//tips that I had throughout my adventure… [Have you backpacked before? Would love to hear your thoughts//tips, too!]

#1] Pooping outdoors is way less scary than I thought it would be, ++ surprisingly prefer it to a toilet [as long as I have baby wipes… ] #ThatDeepSquatThough

#2] Dried mangos are everything

#3] Also, made a trail mix with cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, banana chips… ++ this was also everything

#4] ++ freaking love ONE bars… birthday cake, YUM

#5] I backpacked with a pillow + I don’t regret it one bit

#6] Nike shoes over hiking boots all the way… yes, I rolled my ankle a couple of times, but my ankles are now stronger because of it

#7] Socks are important… my fav is balega

#8] 5,000 feet in elevation ain’t not joke — surprisingly, going down was harder than going up

#9] My body is strong + capable ++ I am so, so thankful for it

#10] I am motivated to continue moving + traveling while I’m still *young,* but also hope to do this for the rest of my life — seeing people in their 60s//70s backpacking was so inspiring

#11] Take the uncommon trails — the less people, the better

#12] Wake up to watch the sunrise… + stay up to see the stars [it will be the best stargazing of your life — I saw Orion’s Belt for the first time!]

#13] Go to the vistor’s center after you’ve camped to discover the *wildlife* who were your sleeping mates — knowing we were camping with rattlesnakes, scorpions, + black widows was terrifying

#14] Yin yoga after hiking is life

#15] Plan a “zero day” [aka no hiking] if possible during your trip— eat, read, yoga, relaxxxxxx

#16] 3 days, 2 nights is the perfect amount for me

#17] Sleep with your phone in your sleeping bag to prevent it from dying from the cold *sad face emoji*

#18] Shop at Trader Joe’s for all of your camping eats, + make sure bring a bottle of canned wine ; )

#19] UGH, NATURE IS EVERYTHING. LITERALLY EVERYTHING.

#20] Prepare to become addicted to nature

#21] Prepare for a “culture shock” if you do backcountry hiking in the Grand Canyon when you see a massive amount of humans again in the village… it’s literally like Disney World ; ) Smile ++ keep that inner bliss alive!

The earth has music for those who listen // Shakespeare

For all of you who don’t plan on going backpacking any time soon [or ever ; )], remember that nature is everywhere + is so, so good for the soul. Explore the earth around you <3.

Questions or topics you want me to cover on the blog, people you’d like on the podcast, or just want to say hey? Leave a message here!

Rooting for you always,

++ Elisabeth

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  • Emily
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    Love this! Just planned my first back country trip in Canada over 4th of July and can’t wait. This made me way more excited!

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