Sunday, September 26, 2010

So You Think You Wanna Backpack...

My mom and a group of her sixth-grade girl friends meet up every year for some incredible adventure (backpacking, rafting, or, you know...just adventuring)...this year, I decided to tag along. This particular trip, to the Trinity Alps, was my first experience with backpacking, so knowing how/what to pack was quite an adventure in itself. And, in case you're interested in how it all played out, I'm going to share my experience (packing anyway) with you. 

Here's what I knew, going into the trip:

  1. We would be gone for four days.
  2. I would want to eat three meals and some snacks along the way.
  3. It would get cold at night, but the days would be mild (75F) and sunny.
  4. Once we got in, the mountains are granite (a.k.a. bright) and we would experience quite a bit of sun exposure (the reality...our exposure was pretty limited and when we were, it was mild).
  5. It may rain.
  6. We would be hiking and camping with access to water...phew!
  7. We would be hiking 30+ (total) miles, so I would need some good shoes. 
  8. I would need something to eat with and out of. 
  9. I would need a Thermarest chair (one of my Mom's friends would provide the Thermarest mattress) and Crocs would make my trek more pleasant. 
I know...totally dorky, but...I was so glad I had them. :)
Ok, we go!

Here's what I packed*:
  1. Trekking Poles (I borrowed my Mom's...I have no idea what brand, but I was so glad I had them!)
  2. UV Buff
  3. Smith Polarized Sunglasses
  4. Two-person tent (my mom carried the poles)
  5. Thermarest Mattress
  6. Thermarest Chair
  7. Down Sleeping Bag (I would just like to add that this was a 70s model and was heavier than sh*t)
  8. Jetboil Cup (AWESOME!!!)
  9. Spoon
  10. Camelback (filled with water and stuck in my pack for easy to access...nice!)
  11. Smartwool Thermal Microweight Crew
  12. Smartwool Thermal Microweight Bottoms
  13. Smartwool Thermal Midweight Crew
  14. Smartwool Ski Socks (kept my legs protected from stickers and stuff)
  15. Smartwool Hiking Socks (wore them with my Crocs, at night, around camp)
  16. Lululemon Power Y Tank (2)
  17. Lululemon Run:Speed Shorts
  18. Lululemon Dance Studio Pant II
  19. Lululemon Flow Y IV Bra
  20. Patagonia Capilene Lightweight 2 Zip-Neck
  21. Marmot Minimalist Jacket
  22. JCrew Puffer Jacket
  23. Fleece Gloves
  24. Fleece Hat
  25. Fake Crocs (Frocs!?) 
  26. The Mat Yoga Studio "Redefine" Tank 
  27. CrossFit Richardson Tee
  28. Brooks Cascadia 5 Trail Shoes (no blisters = happy feet)
  29. MSR PackTowel UltrLite Large
  30. Energizer Headlight
  31. Leatherman
  32. Shovel
  33. TP
  34. Sunscreen
  35. Sea to Summit Insect Shield (didn't need it, but glad I brought it)
  36. Origins Face Wash (2oz)
  37. Origins Brighter by Nature SPF 35 (.5oz)
  38. Dr Bronner's All-in-One Soap (2oz)
  39. Toothbrush
  40. Toothpaste
  41. Port (made by friends of mine and carried in my Klean Kanteen)
  42. Starbucks VIA (12)
  43. Dehydrated Yams (6)
  44. Dehydrated Kale w/Pesto and Sun-dried tomatoes (one bunch)
  45. Dehydrated Tomatillo Salsa
  46. Backpackers Pantry Eggs (equivalent to 16 eggs)
  47. Backpackers Pantry Chicken Cashew Curry (we'll talk about this in my next post...)
  48. SeaBear Wild Sockeye Salmon (4- 3.5oz packages; purchased at REI)
  49. Almond, Walnut, Macadamia + Protein Kind Bars (not ideal, but perfect for munching on the go!)
  50. Trader Joe's Buffalo Jerky (3.5oz)
  51. Salami (1lb)
  52. Manchego (12oz)
  53. "Breaking Dawn" (I cut it in half and carried the last half...because it's a huge book and yes...I read the series)
*My mom and I shared the food load and one of her friend's brought their water purifier. 

This is all that my Mom and I carried with us...pure craziness!

I didn't wear my rain jacket (thank goodness!), but was glad that I had it, and would've been okay with just one Lulu tank, but besides that, I packed pretty well for this trip. I borrowed my backpack and sleeping bag, both which were heavier than what I could have purchased; I say this only because my pack was heavy (40lbs). I also brought my JCrew puffer jacket, made more for fashion than packing, adding a little more weight to my pack, though I was totally glad that I had it. My pack was heavy, but once I got it all figured out (i.e. how it should sit on my hips and how I could adjust it throughout the hike), all was good. At the end of the day, my hips were a little bruised and swollen, but my feet were just tired and dirty (not swollen or blistered), and the port that I hiked in...I was glad I carried the extra weight.

Next we created Paleo-friendly options that were both tasty and easy to carry (i.e. light and compact)!


Flowerdew Onehundred said...

Less gear = more miles. :D

My backpacking set-up is typically 23 lbs. with 2 liters of water and 4-5 days worth of food.

Many load lightening tips can be found at, which is an Appalachian Trail hiking forum. It's always interesting to see what people start out carrying vs what they have after a couple hundred miles.

Jhonne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jhonne said...

You seem that you are prepared and organized person. Nice to know that you always have with you the Smartwool Thermal Microweight Crew.

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