So, this weekend I’m not riding my bike. There, I’ve said it out loud. I think in the 12 step program that’s the first step anyway…..
Seriously though, my brother and I are taking our daughters backpacking up in the sierras.
I’m actually pretty excited. I used to backpack a little bit back in the 70s but haven’t been since. I love the outdoors and the sierras especially. Anytime I can get away from the city and get up into the mountains, I’m a happy guy.
Usually though when I head to the hills, it’s a car camping trip or a fishing trip so I’m only limited by the amount of stuff I can haul in a full sized truck, which is a LOT. I bring a big ice chest for drinks (read beer) and another for food. I have folding chairs, tents, lanterns, air beds, night lights, stoves, pots, pans, etc, etc….
This whole idea of carrying everything I'll need for 7 miles, mostly uphill, on my back could be kind of tricky. After all, a full weekend is at least a couple six packs and there’s no way I’m hauling a couple of six packs in my pack. Besides, that would mean warm beer and that’s just wrong.
My daughter, who is home on summer break from college, was pretty excited as well. At least until it dawned on her that there were no developed bathrooms. (funny how that tempered her enthusiasm)
So, having not been backpacking since the 70s and not having very good memories of the food when we did backpack, I’ve been scouring websites and books for ideas and recipes for what to bring. After all, I regularly eat a lot and expect that after hiking all day, it will only be worse.
REI though has been very helpful. It was there that they rented me a pack big enough to hold every stitch of clothing I own and a tent so small I can’t imagine fitting inside.
They helped me with ideas for food, (evidently it’s only the hardcore and the total novices that buy that freeze dried stuff) everyone else has normal stuff they like. I never would have thought of pitas instead of bread.
They also helped me understand how to correctly fit a pack. (you mean these things aren’t supposed to hurt like heck all day long?) as well as what type of clothes to bring and not bring.
Of course they also sell everything you need, but since we’re not sure how much we’ll like this backpacking thing I figured it best to rent.
Anyway, tomorrow afternoon we leave for the mountains. We’ll drive up and spend the night in the back of my truck then hit the trail first thing Saturday morning. I get the feeling that Saturday night we’ll look fondly back at just how comfy the carpeted bed of a truck with a campershell can be……stay tuned for further developments and pictures......