During the summer of 2017, I headed out on my first backpacking trip with one of my daughters. To be honest, I had spent more time pinning hiking and backpacking articles to my pinterest board, than preparing for this venture.
But the geared was gathered and packed in my new Osprey backpack, off we went. Our first trip was in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park. This park is just about my favorite place on earth and I was pretty excited to experience it in a new way.
After picking up our back country permit, we headed to the trailhead. With backpacks on, we began hiking. There is a lot to learn in any new endeavor. It didn’t take us long to realize that we had the backpacks unequally loaded weight wise. We corrected this the next morning!
About 2.25 miles in we found the sign we’d been looking for. Much to my surprise, we turned off the trail and started heading DOWN. Way down. All I could think is, tomorrow we are going to have go climb back up. Crossing a stream at 2 different points, we suddenly came upon the campsite.
It was so exciting to be there. We found the best spot to hang our hammocks and prepared dinner. Our meals were quite simple. We ate macaroni and cheese with freeze dried broccoli for dinner, and oatmeal with freeze dried fruit for breakfast. We carried nuts, granola bars and apples to eat for lunch and along the trail as needed.
By the time we finished eating and setting up camp, it was beginning to get dark so we stashed our bear canister way on the other side of our site, in the trees, and we climbed into our hammocks.
Right at the moment of wishing each other a good night…a coyote howl. Now we had heard all about how to be bear aware, but coyotes? After a few startled moments I decided to just enjoy the experience, pray that the animal was in fact miles away, and drift off to sleep in the swaying trees.
After a chilly night’s sleep we rose to make breakfast and coffee. I woke many times that night from the cold, so I’ve been thinking it through and I think I have a lightweight plan to stay warmer next time!
Knowing we were not prepared for the snow that was deeper into the wilderness area, we went the other direction to do some exploring of different sites.
Backpacking the first time didn’t go quite how we planned, but it went perfectly. We learned a lot, and are better prepared for the next time.
Have you ever backpacked? Did you sleep in a tent or a hammock?