How Backpacking Changed My Relationship With The Outdoors

How Backpacking Changed My Relationship With The Outdoors


David, my boyfriend at the time, did not know that I had never ever been backpacking in advance of, and I did not know that he did not know. So, when he chosen a substantial-altitude trek up just one of Sequoia’s most legendary mountains, I shrieked out an emphatic “Yes!” assuming he had completed his analysis and picked anything appropriate.

I donned a threadbare pack that had been still left driving by Airbnb guests at my Hollywood condominium and laced up a pair of navy trail runners I had only bought a 7 days before at REI. My pack did not have a chest strap, so when I lifted the colossus on to my back at the trailhead, its 40-pound heft tilted backward, and we scrambled around to uncover an previous piece of twine to tie across my upper body, securing it in position.

David’s gear was questionable far too. Being out of apply given that his high college Eagle Scout days meant that he only experienced a 30-liter climbing pack for the tour, which intended that my 60-liter behemoth was crammed whole with our bear canister, food for two, all my apparel, my toiletries, and my sleeping bag. My pack hung weighty like a limp gorilla draped throughout my torso, but I was thrilled for what lay in advance.

The starting of the path was mellow. Manageable. I squealed as we observed an adolescent black bear scurry out from behind a bush just three miles in, and we strolled previous towering trees that rose significant overhead like the impossibly extended fingers of some underground giant. My eyes have been broad with the cheeky glint they get when I know I’ve been gifted much more than my truthful share of the world’s magic.


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Genie Mathena

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