This year, I’m all about deep experiences — so when the opportunity arose to backpack the Grand Canyon, of course I had to say yes! I had never backpacked before, so I had no idea what I was getting myself into… or that the trail was considered a “challenging route” [description for Hermit’s Trail: unmaintained steep trail requires caution — rocky + strenuous].
Anyways, I survived! ++ had a blast. For those of you wanting to backpack, my biggest piece of advice is to find someone to go with that considers themself to be a ~backpacker~ [aka, has all the gear]. Gear is incredibly expensive ++ it’s not worth it to get gear for your first time [especially because you might not love backpacking!]. There are also plenty of organizations that host adventure trips — one being Bold Betties that I’ve heard great things about!
Below are thoughts//tips that I had throughout my adventure… [Have you backpacked before? Would love to hear your thoughts//tips, too!]
#1] Pooping outdoors is way less scary than I thought it would be, ++ surprisingly prefer it to a toliet [as long as I have baby wipes… ] #ThatDeepSquatThough
#2] Dried mangos are everything
#3] Also, made a trail mix with cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, banana chips… ++ this was also everything
#4] ++ freaking love ONE bars… birthday cake, YUM
#5] I backpacked with a pillow + I don’t regret it one bit
#6] Nike shoes over hiking boots all the way… yes, I rolled my ankle a couple of times, but my ankles are now stronger because of it
#7] Socks are important… my fav is balega
#8] 5,000 feet in elevation ain’t not joke — surprisingly, going down was harder than going up
#9] My body is strong + capable ++ I am so, so thankful for it
#10] I am motivated to continue moving + traveling while I’m still *young,* but also hope to do this for the rest of my life — seeing people in their 60s//70s backpacking was so inspiring
#11] Take the uncommon trails — the less people, the better
#12] Wake up to watch the sunrise… + stay up to see the stars [it will be the best stargazing of your life — I saw Orion’s Belt for the first time!]
#13] Go to the vistor’s center after you’ve camped to discover the *wildlife* who were your sleeping mates — knowing we were camping with rattlesnakes, scorpions, + black widows was terrifying
#14] Yin yoga after hiking is life
#15] Plan a “zero day” [aka no hiking] if possible during your trip— eat, read, yoga, relaxxxxxx
#16] 3 days, 2 nights is the perfect amount for me
#17] Sleep with your phone in your sleeping back to prevent it from dying from the cold *sad face emoji*
#18] Shop at Trader Joe’s for all of your camping eats, + make sure bring a bottle of canned wine ; )
#19] UGH, NATURE IS EVERYTHING. LITERALLY EVERYTHING.
#20] Prepare to become addicted to nature
#21] Prepare for a “culture shock” if you do backcountry hiking in the Grand Canyon when you see a massive amount of humans again in the village… it’s literally like Disney World ; ) Smile ++ keep that inner bliss alive!
The earth has music for those who listen // Shakesphere
For all of you who don’t plan on going backpacking any time soon [or ever ; )], remember that nature is everywhere + is so, so good for the soul. Explore the earth around you ❤.
Rooting for you always, [also — ask me anything!]