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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 July 10, 2020

                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                      We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                      We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                      So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                      Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                      What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                      Boundaries are limits

                      —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                      Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                      Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                      Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                      Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                      How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                      Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                      1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                      Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                      You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                      To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                      You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                      • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                      • When do you feel disrespected?
                      • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                      • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                      • When do you want to be alone?
                      • How much space do you need?

                      You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                      2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                      Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                      Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                      3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                      Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                      That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                      Sample language:

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                      • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                      • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                      • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                      • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                      • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                      • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                      • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                      Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                      4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                      Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                      Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                      Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                      We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                      It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                      It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                      Final Thoughts

                      Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                      Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                      Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                      The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                      Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                      Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                      They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                      Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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