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Monday, May 23, 2016

Guest Post: 3 Tips for your first Backpacking Trip!

Happy Monday!  
I am driving across the country this week, so I have some fun guest posts lined up while I am lost in the middle of South Dakota.  And today is the first day of awesome posts by some great Utah bloggers.  If you think I go on a lot of trips, hikes or fun adventures around the west, wait until you meet the author of today's guest post.  

About Me & Charlie

I met Alicia through a Meet Up group she leads on Tuesday "Hiking in Utah with our dogs". I have gone on some fun hikes with Alicia, some most recently being our trip to Southeastern Utah. Not only does she lead a hiking group, but she also writes an awesome blog, Girl On A Hike. "Girl on a Hike" follows hiking enthusiast Alicia, and her hiking companion, Charlie, a Golden Lab, on their outdoor adventures. Alicia became an avid backpacker in 2008, after her first experience backpacking in Winter in Montana. The trip didn't go quite as planned, but she was hooked. She has since then backpacked all over Utah, Arizona, California, and Nevada. She recently backpacked the Bright Angel Trail at Grand Canyon National Park, and has plans to take a week long backpacking trip in Wyoming in 2016. You can follow her and Charlie's adventures on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

During our last trip I asked her and the other hikers 6 million questions about backpacking, and tips for beginners. It is something I really wanted to get into, after seeing all of her amazing trips and photos, carrying only what you need to spend a few nights sleeping next to an alpine lake (sign me up!). Not only did she fill me in on some great basics for dabbling into Backpacking, but she was willing to share them with all of you.
Thanks Alicia!

Have you always wanted to go into the backcountry, sleep next to a pristine lake, on a mountain side, off the beaten path, in the middle of a dense forest, next to a campfire? Have you looked at your girlfriends photos or social media and been jealous of these places? Backpacking is fun and takes you to some of the most beautiful places in the world. It doesn't have to be tough - check out these 3 tips on backpacking so your first trip is as enjoyable as possible.

1) Backpack with friends who have experience.

Always go with someone for your first backpacking trip. Not only will the "pros" show you how everything is done and can give you extra tips, but you will have great company. Friends can help show you how to pack your pack, give advice on lowering your pack weight, and encourage you to keep going when you are at your lowest. Friends give you support and someone to watch your back – a wingman or wingwoman! Backpacking with friends gives you people to share not only an adventure with, but an experience. So often when you get home from an epic trip, you’re other friends or family aren’t that interested in your adventures because they just can’t relate; your friends understand the excitement and bond that come from that trip and can help you relive that experience.

2) If you have new gear, such as a tent, 
practice setting it before hitting the trails.

Use your living room, your yard, a garage - wherever you can to practice using your gear before you head into the wilderness. Not only does practice make perfect but you won't run into any surprises while setting up camp. Setting up a tent a dusk in the woods, when everyone is tired and hungry, is not the best time to learn. Also learn to pack your tent up yourself when it’s time to head out, so you know exactly where each piece of the tent is, including the stakes.

3) Only go for one night.

Going for one night will allow you to see what gear you will actually use versus what gear you think you'll use. It's a good time to get used to your pack weight without causing the usual hip bone bruises or shoulder rub (well, that's what I get anyway!). The first night hiking in you may have your pack set up a certain way, but on the way back, you can move items around to be more comfortable or organized better.


All of these pictures and tips are courtesy of Girl On A Hike 
For all the lady hikers out there, check out Alicia's post

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