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Where was your first backpacking trip?

The very first time you backpacked, where was it? How long of a trip? Who did you go with? What went right? What went wrong? How old were you? Share the details!


My first trip, I was I believe 29 years old. Late bloomer! My family was never the outdoors type so I didn't start getting active in the outdoors until my mid 20s.

It was on the Potawatomi Trail in SE MI and camped at Blind Lake as an overnight. I was solo. I had ZERO backpacking gear and it was spur of the moment, so I borrowed a day pack from someone, put a small blanket in it, some TP, food and water, and I carried in my arms a 7lb Coleman tent! It was extremely rough hiking 7 miles carrying that thing. Haha. So I got no sleep at all and left out first thing in the morning regretting all my choices. 😆 

That did not deter me though, I eventually got real backpacking gear and have been on many, many successful trips since then. It's become a passion.

Share your story!

11 Replies


Getting ready to go to college, and the school had a program taking small groups of incoming students backpacking, bike touring, etc. I had never even seen a frame pack, as far as I can recall. But, they would rent me the gear, so, why not?

Flew into town. I'd grown up around small planes because dad was a pilot, but I'd never flown commercial before. Never been away from home except for short school trips. Called the person who was supposed to pick me up... No answer. Called. Called. Called. Remember, this was from a payphone because we didn't have cellphones. Finally, my ride showed up, very apologetic. I never did find out what happened. So. I met the others in the group and we killed the rest of the afternoon by going and opening local bank accounts! Then, got gear, helped pack food (anyone else use those peanut butter tubes?), slept on the gym floor that night, and off to Canada the next morning! Specifically Nanaimo, Vancouver Island. (Did I mention it was my first time out of the country?) We caught a boat up the coast a ways, and hiked back down. We spent one day fogged in, unable to see enough to walk! We heard whales offshore, breathing. (Never did see them,) We crossed rivers on those little cable cars, and helped one young woman desperately look for her class ring that she had dropped in the water. We got muddy, and tired, and smelly.

We got off the trail on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday morning we were in Victoria. It was a Sunday... nothing was open! Well, there was a hotel with a restaurant, so that would have to do for breakfast. Did I mention we had gotten muddy? And smelly? And this was a big five-star hotel? (I don't remember the name.) Anyway, they seated us!

And then we had a long drive back to Walla Walla and began our college careers.

I've been backpacking ever since!



Hey, Kieta, Cresslyn, Sarah, Dan, George... I feel like I'm missing someone... if any of you are reading this... Hi!