If You Go Down To The Woods Today.... You're Sure Of A Big Surprise!
Categories: Life Stories
Sometimes you wonder, living in the PNW, if there's anyone you know who doesn't spend all of their free time kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, or camping. People here basically walk around outfitted like they're about to hop on a trail at any moment. And it's not just us. Outdoors and wilderness wandering is a pretty robust culture here in the States and with all the inspiration "the mountains are calling"-posters and vintage-influenced camping gear it's a growing trend.
Still, or perhaps because of this, plenty of folks seem fairly new to even the front steps of the backcountry. Just on our last beach jaunt we met both people who were hiking a long ways with packs lighter than ours, and people who clearly couldn't believe they'd made it three down a well-established trail. Car-camping is one thing (lots more luggage, always a dry place to store stuff and sleep at a pinch), but backpacking takes a little more forethought and I for one could have used handy tips for my first times of camping.
Here's some of the things I wish I had known/ wish everyone did know about living in the wild for a little while:
You can eat like a king in the backcountry…the first night you camp and the last night you camp. Depending on how much you're willing to carry, the first night/ morning you're out there you can have things like fresh bread, greens, fresh dairy. Carrying things like greens really pays off, because as long as you can back them loosely, say in a plastic bag with a little bit of moisture in it, tied to the outside of your pack, they add much needed variety to the meals. This time we brought kale and garlic scapes to compliment our rice and beans.
Which brings me to how to best sustain yourself with very little room on your back. Even if you're not packing up and moving every day, you need to make sure that you actually consume enough calories for the day hikes and other adventures that fill a camping vacation. A few years ago, an otherwise lovely trip got a little hard towards the end because we under-estimated the amount of calories we needed.