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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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                      Nena Tenacity

                      Nena is passionate about writing. She shares her everyday health and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on November 18, 2020

                      I’m Feeling Bored: 10 Ways to Conquer Boredom (and Busyness)

                      I’m Feeling Bored: 10 Ways to Conquer Boredom (and Busyness)

                      If you’re saying “I’m feeling bored,” it’s important to realize that boredom and feeling too busy are the same problem. Some people claim I’m being too ambitious trying to strike down chronic boredom and busyness at the same time. I’d argue that the only way to take them out is simultaneously.

                      The problem stems from how you manage your attention. Both boredom and busyness stem from feeling there is a lack of quality in how you focus your attention.

                      Boredom is feeling that there are too few high-quality ways to spend attention. Busyness is forced boredom. This means that you feel there are high quality ways to spend attention, but your attention is being stolen from you before you can use it.

                      I’m Feeling Bored: It’s in Your Mind

                      Feelings of boredom and busyness are subjective. You can’t look out in the world and claim it is busy or boring. To say these feelings are subjective is obvious, but that misses a key point. The real problem is quality.

                      Being engaged, neither busy or bored, happens when your attention is focused on high-quality activities.

                      You can probably remember times when you were completely engaged. This could have been working on a project you were passionate about, spending time with your family, sky diving or vacationing under the sun. Why were you engaged in these moments and not in others?

                      A likely reason was because those experiences had a higher quality. They allowed you to enter into an immersive flow state, in which your entire consciousness was devoted to the activity.[1]

                      In the best cases your entire reality revolves around what you are doing. You’ll understand what I mean if you’ve read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (which, I must admit, inspired most of these ideas).

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                      Improving the Quality of Your Activities

                      So how do you improve quality in your experiences when you’re saying “I’m feeling bored”? I believe there are two major ways you can do it: externally and internally. If you are chronically busy (and actively disliking the busyness) or bored, then you’ll need to tackle external and internal factors that contribute to these negative feelings.

                      Here are some ways to consider improving quality in your experiences:

                      Externally

                      1. Plan Ahead

                      Schedule your life to ensure there aren’t huge gaps or work overflows later. This can mean scheduling high-quality experiences if you find yourself frequently bored. It can also mean dividing large projects if you find yourself chronically busy.

                      • Plan weekend activities for next month now. This not only gives you something to look forward to, but it also forces you to stay productive instead of just busy.
                      • Map out what is placing demands on your time. Can you consolidate all your “busy work” (such as responding to emails) into one block of time instead of allowing it to cause constant interruptions in your day?

                      2. Win-Win

                      If you must perform an activity you think has low quality, you’re going to feel bored. Find ways to reorganize your life so that jobs, chores, and duties can become interesting, high-quality experiences.

                      Turn mind-numbing chores into opportunities for growth and learning. For example, listen to an audio book or lecture on the commute to work or while you’re cleaning your house.

                      3. Prioritize

                      If you don’t manage time, you’ll never have enough of it. There are always more things to do than you have time for. Get your values straight so that the highest priorities are handled first and your life doesn’t get overtaken by the unimportant.

                      Set a vision for your life, and determine how everything you do either contributes or detracts from that vision. Chances are, the things that don’t align with your vision are some of the same things that bore you. After you identify low-priority activities, you can try to make them more meaningful, or you can find ways to eliminate them.

                      4. Put Quality of Experience First

                      It is easy to get caught up in external goals that don’t fulfill their promises. Focus on goals that will give you a greater quality, not just a bigger paycheck or more status to brag about.

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                      Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals that align with your life’s vision.[2]

                      5. Escape the Motions

                      Habits are a part of your life, but don’t let them become the only thing. Break out of your patterns if they aren’t giving you what you need. Instead of staying in, go out and meet new people on a Friday night. Just do something to get away from doing the same old thing.

                      Schedule times to break from your routines. I thrive on having a routine most days, but I also give myself opportunities to break from sameness.

                      Say “yes” to trying something new. Nothing spices up your day like trying something new.

                      Internally

                      Most of the ways to improve your quality of experience and conquer boredom are internal. Remember, it’s not just what you do, but also how you do it.

                      1. Build an Inner World

                      I’m not suggesting you create a complete rift between yourself and reality when you find yourself thinking “I’m feeling bored,” but also realize that if you can’t find quality in your immediate surroundings, you can find it within yourself.

                      Solving internal problems, reviewing knowledge, coming up with new ideas, creating stories, or even planning for the future are all areas you can explore in the mind without any external stimuli.

                      Use “boring” moments as opportunities to brainstorm. It’s a lot easier to cope with a humdrum reality if you’re able to use the time to explore possibilities within your mind.

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                      If you’re really at a loss, you can imagine a story about 2-3 of the people and objects in your vicinity. This is a great way to exercise your creativity and sharpen your observation skills.

                      2. Seek Quality in the Now

                      Try starting small with some simple questions. What are you doing right now? What can you find that has value for you? Seeking quality right now allows you to find it even if your environment is bare or overloaded.

                      Activities like waiting in line can be turned into moments of self-reflection or times to remind yourself of your vision.

                      3. Don’t Resist

                      Busyness and boredom could also be described as symptoms of resisting what is. Fully accepting whatever situation you are in and making the most of it is one way to conquer feeling bored.

                      Resistance is something that can’t be done half-way. Either completely push away and seek quality elsewhere, or accept your surroundings and find it here.

                      4. Unchain Yourself

                      A lot of mental unease is caused because you feel forced to do something. You have to go to work, study for your test, do this or that. Realize that you don’t have to do anything, just accept different results. Freedom is in your mind.

                      Weigh whether the activity causing your discomfort is essential or expendable. For example, paying your bills is non-negotiable, but you can opt to live a more modest lifestyle or actively search for a job you enjoy.

                      Use a mantra to remind yourself of your freedom. “I am free” and “I have the power to change my circumstances” can reinforce the notion that you have choices.

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                      5. Stop

                      Boredom and feeling overloaded are both patterns. They are mental spirals you run on yourself that loop back on each other. If you just interrupt yourself for a few minutes and think more deeply about the problem, you can often come up with a good answer independent of these suggestions.

                      Meditate your way out of boredom. Sometimes boredom and busyness are caused by feeling disconnected from what you are doing. Use meditation to ground yourself in the present.

                      You can learn how to meditate here.

                      Take up a gratitude practice. Whenever you’re feeling too bored or too busy, stop to think about all the things that are going well. Being able to simply say, “I got out of bed this morning,” and “I have food to eat,” help you take stock of your blessings.

                      The Bottom Line

                      As boredom and busyness arise from the same source, the same strategies can be used to tackle them and find a sweet spot of a balanced mindset. Find high-quality activities when you start saying “I’m feeling bored,” and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can turn things around.

                      More Tips on Tackling Boredom

                      Featured photo credit: Siddharth Bhogra via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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