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Going Backpacking For The Very First Time? These Tips Will Help You

Going Backpacking For The Very First Time? These Tips Will Help You

Many think twice about venturing off on a backpacking journey, but it can be too demanding with backaches and blisters, discomfort and flavorless food–rather than a journey to offload and unwind. The loads never seem to lighten–there are risks of injury and steep slopes and the knots of the why not’s while basics keep adding up.Think again.

There is a never-ending list of the benefits of reaching a Zen state, living in the moment and getting lost in mindless motion. Life is basic. Once you get in tune with your body, senses heighten, and there is the wonder at every turn. Your existence is reduced to essentials of shelter, water, and food. You go on with just what you need. The physical fatigue reaches climaxes of accomplishment. Success is defined by miles reached. Worries subside to a peaceful acceptance sparking off just optimism. Ready to venture off backpacking?

Lighten the Load

When preparing for a trip it’s common to overload with what they think will be essential for the trip like matching shoes for each day theme and handbags for bits and pieces. At the end of the day, they realize they permanently use just flip-flops and carry money in pockets. It is best to rather pack to the minimal and get everything you may need along the way, when and if you need it.

Choose the Route

When choosing the ideal backpacking journey, take these factors into consideration:

  • How much time are you planning for the trip?
  • What is your level of fitness?
  • How many miles do you plan to hike per day?
  • What level of elevations will be possible?
  • Analyze the weather and season to work out dusk and dawn times and forecasts of storms in weather reports.
  • Look at the logistic of the trail you take and make sure that the day is coordinated to reach you back to camp in time.

Ten Must-Do Hiking Trips

The wilderness sage John Muir said, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”

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    1. MOUNT RAINIER WONDERLAND TRAIL

    This trail is located in Washington State is a 93-mile loop that can take about a week or two. The magnetizing feature is the summit standing at 14,410-feet.  The active, yet slumbering volcano rises up above the rain clouds like an island in the sky. The evergreen pathways to the top range from standard slogging up Disappointment Cleaver to alpine ascents up the Liberty ridge.

    It encompasses more than the peak, the ninety-three-mile wonderland trail is around the mountain and is an unforgettable national park backpacking trip. The wilderness explored is different from crevasses and snow fields. Meadows of a green world  in a décor of wildflowers, herds of elk, occasional black bear and the iconic peak, a sentinel of rock and snow  in the skyline. Experience the glowing sunset at the Golden Lakes site with the chain of lakes reflecting the sun.

      2. TUOLUMNE MEADOWS TO YOSEMITE VALLEY

      Located in California, Yosemite is famous for the big wall climbing. The trail can take two to five days. The climbing culture has been integrated into the park. Centered on the Yosemite valley cliffs, the park protects the tracts of Sierra. This backpacking trip initiates from Tuolumne Meadows climbing onto the granite backbone, pausing at lakes and venturing to giant pine stands before heading to the valley. There are stunning views of the half dome.

        3. THE THOROFARE IN YELLOWSTONE

        You will need approximately one to two weeks for this 68-mile trail in Wyoming, Montana. It is a remote region of the Yellowstone National Park. It is the furthest from dirt or paved roads and be sure to see wildlife in the crown jewel of backpackers.

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          4. MOUNT HOOD

          Located in Oregon Mt. Hood offers scenery to inflate many hearts. Through Alpine meadows and the 11240 peak, it can easily be tackled along the Hogsback route. It is perfect for people in first stages of mountaineering as it is gradual. There are options for experienced mountaineers as well.

            5. Black Hills, South Dakota

            A worthy destination along granite pinnacles, pine stands that are sky high and colorful badlands. There is a 12-mile option through French Creek Natural area. There is e a 3-mile option with Little Devils tower at  6971 feet, and granite studded scenery with pine slopes.

              6. NORTH COAST ROUTE IN OLYMPIC

              Located in Washington State it is 20 miles from Rialto beach and Lake Ozette. The trail takes about 2 to 4 days. An incredible ecosystem range that starts at the Pacific edge and rises up to high Alpine glaciers of Mount Olympus at 7980 feet. It is the best backpacking beach trip in the USA.

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              It is not a sunbathing spot. It is primordial with tree trunks on a rocky shore and the breaks against the shipwrecks off the beach. The tide pools are like natural aquariums that offer close views of bristle stars, crabs and close ups of anemones thriving in this border zone. Keep note of the tide table as tides do come in at quick rates and may close off sections.

                7. MOUNT STERLING LOOP IN GREAT SMOKY

                Located in North Carolina, Tennessee this is a 28-mile loop and takes 4 days. The great Smoky National park follows an ancient mountain range along Tennessee borders. It is a paradise of mountaintops and hidden valleys together with panoramas that include the Clingmans dome at 6643 feet. This is the highest point east of Mississippi. The park is transected by the Appalachian Trail white blazes; There is a diverse microclimate range and it is at UNESCO World Heritage site. There are countless backpacking options. Mount Sterling at 5842 feet is a good location to experience the Smoky mountains beneath. There is a 60-foot fire tower for a higher climb as well.

                  8. THE MAZE IN CANYONLANDS

                  Located in Utah, the maze in canyonland is about 20 to 80-mile loops and can take between 3 to 12 days.The  Canyonlands National Park is chaotic. The labyrinth of red-rock canyons is quite difficult to navigate and it finds water.The steep cliffs, trailheads that are difficult to reach makes this a must do for adventure and wilderness lovers. The Colorado River runs along the border of the Maze.

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                    9. COTTONWOOD/MARBLE CANYON LOOP IN DEATH VALLEY

                    Located in California, this 32-mile loop takes about 3 to five days. It is a desert region. The 3.4 million acres Mojave preserve has the lowest point of elevation on the continent. It is 282 feet below sea level; at the Badwater basin.  Exploring remote canyons this adventure is a trip of ancient rocks. There are wild horse herds and cotton woods. Death Valley a desert park that was revived , represents a refreshing attitude towards a landscape that was thought of as not worth saving.

                      10. ATLANTA RIVER TO NOATAK RIVER IN GATES OF THE ARCTIC

                      Located in Alaska, the 30-mile trip will require an air shuttle and takes 7 days. Deep in Brooks range, the Arctic national park has no trails or roads. The place belongs to wildlife.There are brown bears that scavenge, wolves hunting down the game, and herds of sheep in the highlands together with romantic migrations of the caribou. It is about 150 miles from the closest village. Backpackers can immerse in timelessly and are guaranteed to witness the wildlife in Alaska.

                      Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via d2lm6fxwu08ot6.cloudfront.net

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                      Last Updated on August 20, 2018

                      35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

                      35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

                      Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

                      But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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                      The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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                      While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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                      While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

                      If You’re Staying In

                      1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
                      2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
                      3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
                      4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
                        • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
                        • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
                        • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
                        • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
                          • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
                          • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
                          • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
                            • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

                            If You Want to Get Away

                            1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
                            2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
                            3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
                              • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
                              • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
                              • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
                              • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
                              • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
                              • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
                                • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
                                • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

                                New & Exciting Experiences

                                1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
                                2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
                                  experience.
                                  • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
                                  • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
                                  • Experience white water rafting.
                                  • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
                                  • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                                    • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                                    • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                                      • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                                      • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                                      • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                                      Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                                      Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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