Butterflies in your stomach, a little shake going through your nerves, and your heart is beating heavy. These are common responses when you are doing something for the first time. No, I am not talking about that first time. Today I experienced these feelings because today was my first time going backpacking on trail. After all the research and all of the equipment I have purchased, today was finally the day I took my first step on a new journey.
I decided I would hike a familiar place for my first time, The Hunter Creek Trail. I talked about this trail in an earlier post. This trail has a steady elevation gain that increases from 4,500 feet to almost 7,000 feet. It has a variety of terrain including mud and snow today. Creating obstacles and challenges to put my backpacking fitness to the test. I was not alone on my journey today. My best friend Nick DeRaedt, from Born 2 Explore, was also losing his backpacking virginity.
We started on our trip with about 30-40 pounds in our packs. It was amazing how the design of the packs evenly distributed the weight through our legs. Nick was using his new Gregory 65-liter pack, while had my 50-liter AG Osprey. Both packs held all of our essential supplies that we would individual need even if we were alone on trail.
As we started up the trail we both noticed a huge difference between hiking with a daypack and these packs. Our legs were getting a real workout from the very beginning. This did not damper our moods the slightest. We were exhilarated to finally be out doing what we had always talked about. During the ascent we noticed that our calves and glutes were getting worked harder than usual. We both definitely need to keep training for the summer and our goals to be in proper backpacking shape.
When we reached the falls we found a perfect campsite that we would definitely be visiting more this summer. The falls were beautiful as usual and were covered in ice. On our descent, we switch the weight distribution from our hips to our shoulders for a few sections. This gave our legs needed rest and helped build more muscle.
My thoughts after this trip are 1. I want to get back out there as soon as possible 2. I need to train more before I climb Half Dome this summer and 3. it is a amazing lifestyle. Please share any pointers or backpacking areas to travel to. In addition share my blog and follow me on Twitter.
Photos are attributed to Nick DeRaedt and myself