Seems like I've been schlepping stuff on my back through the wilderness ever since before I can remember. My parents took me and my brother on family backpacking trips pretty much every summer when we were kids. I've been hooked ever since.
The first backpacking trip I can remember was near Mt Cardigan in New Hampshire. I think I was about 7. I remember carrying a small red daypack that contained all of my clothes. My (even younger) brother carried a day pack that contained all of his clothes. My parents carried everything else.
I doubt we walked very far. We had pretty small legs. But I must have enjoyed it because it’s been something I’ve been doing regularly ever since.
I definitely remember the first backpacking trip I did without my parents. It was in highschool. My two best friends and I planned out all the logistics for a five night trip. As you may know that’s not a trivial undertaking. I doubt I realized it at the time but doing that planning and then having a successful trip experience was very empowering and confidence building.
As a (blossoming) adult I journeyed west to find big mountains, big skies, and big wilderness. I found them.
I’ve tried living for extended periods of time in the woods. Occasionally I’ve wished I could just stay there forever.
I’ve spent a lot of money education myself in how to spend time in the wilderness in ways that remain congruent with my integrity. I’m a graduate of Boulder Outdoor Survival School (2 weeks), Jack Mountain Bushcraft School (3 months), and Anake Outdoor School (9 months).
Intentionally or not, backpacking has woven itself into my life. The first date I went on with the women who is now my wife as a hike. The second date was a backpacking trip. Yes, we did know each other (sort of) before that, yes it was a bit crazy, and yes it worked out great. Recently, half of our honeymoon was a backpacking trip and we both agreed it was our favorite half.
As an adult I’ve realized that I’ve tended to take a lot of what I’ve learned through my backpacking experiences for granted. I’ve realized that I’m incredibly blessed and privileged to have had these experiences in my childhood and that they continue to be a part of my life.
Much gratitude goes to my parents for planting these seeds.
My hope and dream is that this site can be a resource for those who want to bring meaningful and empowering experiences of the wilderness into their lives.