Getting in Shape


You said in the post below that you and your H are major backpackers.  Mind if I pick your brain?

My H and I have recently become hiking fanatics (I'm so excited he wants to do it!).  We've been exclusively day hikers thus far but have our eyes on some awesome 3-4 day hikes.  We've got all the standard hiking gear but like you said, backpacking is a spendy sport to just jump into.  I've found lots of lists online of "must haves in your backpack" but they're all really different.

What do you think are the major items that we should add to our Christmas lists to be prepared for next season?

What's the max weight you'd think was reasonable for a tent to pack?  They all seem pretty light but I do know that what's light at the beginning of a hike might feel like a ton after a long day of rock scrambling and such. ;)

What's your favorite hike ever?

Back to weight,  What's your max pack weigh?  Obviously packing as light as possible is the goal.

What's your ideal sorta meal on a hike?  We haven't found anything that's worked really well yet so we're still doing trial and error.  Mostly bags of nuts, sandwiches, and such.

Re: *Firsttimersluck*

  • YAY!!!! 
    Let me preface this with... My husband is a pretty princess (ok.. he's just.. an Eagle scout.. so he feels like he has to have EVERYTHING in his pack) and I am a minimalist. I have no problem wearing the same pants 5 days in a row. So he and I have very different views on packing.. but it works out well in the end :) 

    3-4 day/night backpacking trips are my favorite length. It's long enough that you get to get away and FEEL like you're away, but short enough that you don't need to necessarily bring extra clothing. I will say, though, that if you decide to do a true-blue backpacking trip, make it just a 1 nighter to start. 
    We do this EVERY year, even being experienced. This is because you have to pack your packs after a year of not doing anything, so it's easy to forget something important, not bring enough food, mistake your trail guide, etc.  It happens. So we always start the season with a 1 nighter to just get used to it again and remember what we need/don't need. 

    As far as major things go.. I don't know what you have :P BUT! I do have OUR backpacking check list. I can send it to you with the things that I think are an ABSOLUTE MUST in one color, and a STRONGLY SUGGEST in another.. that way you know, and can use our checklist if you want... I agree. Google will pop up a crazy amount of different check lists. Ultimately it depends on what you can live without, and where you live. For example, We find rope super important because we're in bear country so we have to hang eeeeverything from the tree. I know some places this isn't needed at all. 

    As far as tents go, if you're wanting to eventually work up to week long backpacking trips, the heavier the tent, the bigger it is... And that means less space for other things. I would suggest keeping it under 8 pounds. 5-6 is ideal for a 2 person tent. 
    This is ours: 

    H and I both have REI Flash backpacks. They are phenominal. I can pack mine up to about 65lbs. His can go up to about 100lbs. But we never go that heavy. The max I have ever had to pack mine was about 50 for a two week trip.. It's a lot less scary that it seems. I know it seems like a ton of weight, but have you ever worn a backpack? THey are amazing, and if it's fitted correctly, it won't phase you at all :) The weight is all put on your hips, not your back, which means your legs are doing all the work and nothing else. For 1-4 day trips, my pack is as light as 30 pounds. SUPER doable! 

    Food is so important. The key to fueling on backpacking trips is timing. Protein takes longer for your body to utilize, so candy bars when you're on the trail and tired are ideal. Yup. Yup, I just said that. Grab the twix. :P With a 40 pound pack at 2.5mi an hour you're burning about 800 calories an hour. And you're hiking for... 6-8 hours a day? Yeah. EAT LIKE A PIG! haha.. I make our own protein bars, and we grab candy bars or fruit. Hearty stuff is key. Apples are awesome, but bananas and sanwiches with get completely squished on your trek. Tuna in those little bags are great (not for vegan me anymore, but you don't have that restriction?). We always make fast meals for lunch, and do big on the dinner meals. For big meals, you're going to want to give in to the freeze dried stuff. Mountain House makes delicious stuff. The chili mac is heaven haha
    MaryJaneFarms is also great, Made in the USA, and organic. But accept that your dinner should probably be about 1,000calories. And you will want it. Trust me. :P I know it's hard when you calorie count religiously, but this is the time your body needs everything it can get. 
    I also ALWAYS bring Starbucks Via.. WHat can I say.. I'm a Seattlelite and we love our coffee haha. 

    My favorite hike ever.. oh man. It seems silly because it was just a 1 nighter, but it's this place called Spectacle Lake in Snoqualmie forest, Wa. It was about 24 miles (12 out, 12 back) with an Elevation gain of about 3,500.  
    We had to ford this horrible river (H fell in and was soaked the entire rest of the way) 
    we had to climb over snow and ice because the snow pack wasn't fully melted (should have had ice picks), 
    had about 3,000ft elevation gain in just 2 miles of ure switch backs, 
    went through an area that was comletely destroyed from a fire 5 years ago (hauntingly beautiful).. 
    We had to climb over all these fallen trees on a side of a cliff
    We were MISERABLE, sore, blistered from wet shoes (bc we didn't realize we had to ford a river so we didn't bring a change of shoes >_< ), both hurt our knees.. and when we finally got to our destination.. Our eyes just welled with tears. It was the most breathtakingly beautiful crater in the top and middle of all these snow-covered mountains.. With crystal clear water and deer grazing. We about died. it was all worth it.. and we did it together (it was our first trip as a couple). Things went wrong and we were in pain, but we were together and never stopped supporting each other. It was an incredible moment in our relationship, and the beauty of that area will forever be burned into my memory. 

    Aaaaaahhhhh I love backpacking talk :) Sorry if I rambled on forever. Feel free to ask me ANYTHING and let me know if you want our list :) 
  • i love that you rambled on and on.  I love talking sport!

    My H is a bit of a pretty princess too in that regard.  i know he'd haul half the REI store if he could carry it  ;)

    We've got all the basics for day hiking.  Water gear (filters, bottles, purifiers), compass, basic , flashlight, headlamp, first aid kit, fire starter, knife, sunscreen, whistle, spare socks, hats, gloves, thermals, raingear, 50 ft paracord, t.p., lip balm, hiking sticks

    I'd love to see your list!  We'll definitely do a short trip for our first overnight.  Slow and easier lest I scare my H off from further adventures.  

    Good to know about the packs!  I was just nervous since my day even with ridiculous food packed always stays under 20lbs.

    As far as food, thank God you said candy bars.  My H was making me think I was nuts.  I always bring something like a bag of candy corn for a quick sugar boost.  I'm not afraid of trail calories at all.  I wore my HRM on our single day hike with the highest elevation gain we have done yet and burned around 7k calories.  I could've eaten a moose.  I'm totally making a note of all these brands.  This is awesome of you!

    That trip sounds amazing!  I started a whole pinterest board with places we want to hike and some of the overnighters looks so fantastic and i love that we'll have to work to get to see them.  I feel like it's really got to be something special if it's hidden away from everyday visitors and hard enough to get to that we don't have to fight to pass hoards of people with their jerk children who haven't been taught basic trail etiquette.

    Thank you so much!  This is awesome!
  • I really enjoyed reading this post--and I second the Mountain House Chili Mac--ridiculously awesome!  We always do instant oatmeal for breakfast, and I stir in some apple pieces and pecans.

    One piece of gear that I don't think firsttimersluck mentioned is a JetBoil--this thing makes everything so much easier.  It boils water in less than 3 minutes; there's also an extension you can add so that you can put larger pots on it.  Definitely worth the investment.

    I want to know how to make protein bars?  Firstimers, do you have a recipe you can share?
  • I made this recipe today:

    And they were delicious!  You could easily add coconut, nuts, or whatever you like to them.

    I'm looking into the JetBoil systems now.  I never had to think about this stuff with just doing day hikes.  It's a whole new world!
  • That's awesome that you made a Pinterest board! Smart move! 

    Yeah, H actually is the one that told me about candy.. and then I researched.. haha! But it's totally true. Protein takes too long for your body to burn and utilize. Simply sugar able to be used immediately so you feel it right away.. And when you are on your way back out, lord knows you need that extra push! haha

    I PMed you the list, but it sounds like you aren't missed too much. You have all the little SUPER IMPORTANT things. Now it's just about picking the right BIG stuff. Tent, sleeping bags, and I do suggest the sleeing pads. You have no idea how rough or soft you will find places to sleep. 

  • thanks for all the tips!

    I'm stalking The Clymb for tent/bag/stove deals
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards