Hi! I'm Hannah! I'm getting ready to do my first backpacking trip next month, so I figured I'd join this community and get some real life tips from the experts! And those who just like to pretend to be expert 😉
I'm right outside of Charlotte, NC. I grew up in Vermont and the mountains of NC, so i guess a love for outdoors was just baked in right from the start. I'm a (slow) runner who has done a few half marathons. I love to travel, and am looking to explore more in my own backyard.
Any tips or whatever are welcome!
Welcome to the club 🙂
I am definitely not an expert but a few things did pop into my head from your post that I thought I'd share:
This ended up longer and more rambling than I'd hoped but I hope it helps! Be sure to keep us updated onnyour adventures!
Anathema to REI, but, my advice is to NOT buy a bunch of gear before you start. A few things, yes. Beg, borrow, rent! Go without.
Pick easier trips first. See what others are using outside. Talk gear - most of us have complicated relationships with attachment to shiny objects.
Finally, surmount your problems with a smile - these are the experiences that cleave off the unneeded hubris we don't have to carry anymore. And the stories you can tell, about that time that...
Hi @hannah_sc ! And welcome! Glad to have you here.
I tend to agree with both @nathanu and @Former community member . Don't let all the gear choices overwhelm or intimidate you. And, while there is a TON of valuable information, suggestions and recommendations available here, there are almost as many opinions as there are people on this forum. I should know. I have plenty of opinions and recommendations myself. LOL But, while all have value, not all of those opinions are suited to all outdoor enthusiasts.
One of the simplest, yet most profound bits of wisdom I've heard here is "Hike your own hike."
Welcome @hannah_sc! These are all likely items you are well aware of, however, just in case I am going to throw them out there. 1. Make sure you have a point of contact who knows when you are leaving, your anticipated travel plans, and when to roughly expect you back. 2. Depending on how remote you will be, I highly recommend an emergency transponder such as a SPOT or Garmin InReach. (Yes, you can absolutely get by without one of these, but it's nice for piece of mind if you think you will be regularly traveling remotely). 3. While society has become heavily dependent upon very capable electronic devices, there is no substitute for a map and compass and knowing how to use them.
As others have said, there is so much gear out there to choose from. You will often be choosing between affordability, weight, and quality/durability. The lighter and better the equipment, the more expensive, usually. Enjoy the adventure!! Stoked for you to get out there 🙂 I hope we will see some post trip updates!
@Lauren excellent points on letting folks know where you're going, the emergency transponder and the value of a good ole map and compass (cause batteries die and rocks on screens happen, don't ask me how I know 🙂 ). If I can piggyback on your suggestions, I've found that the GaiaGPS app is awesome for planning a trip and, once planned, you can print a map showing your route. I give one copy to my wife, leave one copy under the front seat of my truck and keep one copy with me. I also use the Garmin InReach Mini and have been very pleased with it. Thankfully, I've not had to push the SOS button (yet) but it's been nice to be able to send and receive text messages if I'm out of cell range.