Greetings from Tennessee, Earthlings!
Like so many around the world, COVID has shut a lot of doors for me. I have been fortunate enough to have a newly-opened door to the great outdoors, and am hoping to learn from and contribute to the uplifting culture I've discovered here!
I'm a native Texan who spent some time in California and a few years in South Carolina before finally managing to make my way to the beautiful Volunteer State. Until the past year, I've had moderate exposure to camping and hiking (mostly tame family outings). Recently, I've rediscovered my adventurous side and have taken to the trails.
I'd rate myself as an experienced hiker despite the low stamina I'm working to rebuild, expert car camper, and a pre-novice backpacker.
I'm about to embark on my first backpacking trip in a couple of weeks, and am beyond excited. If all goes well, I plan to build up my cold weather gear to the point where I can comfortably exploit the near-empty trails and campsites that winter brings.
In the meantime, yoga, weekend camping trips to local parks, and frequent enjoyment of my neighborhood greenway fill my soul and my off-time. An upcoming career change will allow more regular adventures, and hopefully a lot of great stories and experience to share!
Welcome to the community, @Shinie!
We're glad you're here! We're excited for your first backpacking trip as well, be sure to come back and tell us about it. Also, don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have, we have a a lot of users with loads of experience here.
@Shinie first backpacking trip?! SO FUN! I just got back into backpacking this summer after a many-years-long hiatus, and it felt really good to be venturing out overnight again. Please let us know if you have any gear questions, and definitely loop back to share pictures and learnings from your trip! Welcome to the community!
@REI-JenK It's fantastic that you're getting back into something that brings you joy!
My local (Brentwood) REI has been a huge help with gear, and I'm seeing an awesome culture of support and shared enthusiasm here. If I can remember to actually pull out my phone and snap photos, I will most certainly share. Thank you so much for the warm welcome!
@Shinie Hiking in eastern TN is beautiful and if you get the chance to hike Clingmans Dome (https://smokymountains.com/park/hikes/clingmans-dome-hike/), dont miss it. This time of year, remember layers as that place can really get cold...