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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 October 16, 2018

                      What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

                      What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

                      Are you afraid of being alone?  Do you worry about your physical safety or do you fear loneliness? These are strong negative feelings that can impact your health.

                      One study found that when older people are socially isolated, there is an increased risk of an earlier death,[1] by as much as 26%.

                      If you experience loneliness and are worried about your fear of being alone, study these 6 ways to help you find your comfort zone.

                      But first, the good news!

                      How many times have you said to yourself, ‘I just can’t wait to be alone’? This might be after a day’s work, an argument with your partner or after a noisy dinner with friends. You need time to be yourself, gather your thoughts, relish the silence and just totally chill out. These are precious moments and are very important for your own peace of mind and mental refreshment.

                      But for many people, this feeling is not often present and loneliness takes over. As Joss Whedon once said,

                      ‘Loneliness is about the scariest thing out there’.

                      Read on and discover how you can exploit being alone to your own advantage and how you can defeat loneliness.

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                      1. Embrace loneliness

                      When you are alone, it is important to embrace it and enjoy it to the full.

                      Wallow in the feeling that you do not have to be accountable for anything you do. Pursue your interests and hobbies. Take up new ones. Learn new skills. Lie on the couch. Leave the kitchen in a mess. The list can go on and on, but finding the right balance is crucial.

                      There will be times when being on your own is perfect, but then there will be a creeping feeling that you should not be so isolated.

                      When you start to enjoy being alone, these 10 amazing things will happen.

                      Once you start feeling loneliness, then it is time to take action.

                      2. Facebook is not the answer

                      Have you noticed how people seek virtual contacts instead of a live, face-to-face interaction? It is true that social networking can provide an initial contact, but the chances of that becoming a real life personal contact is pretty slim.

                      Being wrapped up in a cloud of sharing, liking and commenting (and insulting!) can only increase loneliness.

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                      When you really want company, no one on Facebook will phone you to invite you out.

                      3. Stop tolerating unhappy relationships

                      It is a cruel fact of life that people are so scared of loneliness that they often opt into a relationship with the wrong person.

                      There is enormous pressure from peers, family and society in general to get married or to be in a stable, long-term relationship. When this happens, people start making wrong decisions, such as:

                      • hanging out with toxic company such as dishonest or untrustworthy people;
                      • getting involved with unsuitable partners because of the fear of being alone or lonesome;
                      • accepting inappropriate behavior just because of loneliness;
                      • seeking a temporary remedy instead of making a long-term decision.

                      The main problem is that you need to pause, reflect and get advice. Recognize that your fear of being alone is taking over. A rash decision now could lead to endless unhappiness.

                      4. Go out and meet people

                      It was the poet John Donne (1572 – 1631) who wrote:

                      ‘No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent’.

                      Human contact is essential to surviving in this world. Instead of wallowing in boredom and sadness, you need to get out as much as possible and seek contacts.

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                      Being a member of a group, however tenuous, is a great way. So when you are in the gym, at church or simply at a club meeting, exploit these contacts to enlarge your social circle.

                      There is no point in staying at home all the time. You will not meet any new people there!

                      Social contacts are rather like delicate plants. You have to look after them. That means telephoning, using Skype and being there when needed.

                      Take a look at this guide on How to Meet New People and Make Friends with The Best.

                      5. Reach out to help someone in need

                      A burden shared is a burden halved.

                      Dag Hammarskjold was keenly aware of this fact when he said:

                      ‘What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden but this: I have only my own burden to bear’.

                      Simply put, it is a two-way street. Helping others actually helps yourself, here’s why.

                      Reach out to help and people will be there when you need them.

                      6. Be grateful and count your blessings

                      Study after study shows that if people show gratitude, they will reap a bountiful harvest. These include a stronger immune system, better health, more positive energy and most important of all, feeling less lonely and isolated.

                      If you do not believe me, watch the video below, ‘What good is gratitude?’  Now here is the path to hope and happiness:

                      Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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