We have all been there. We see something we like or someone doing something intriguing and we think “I could do that”.
That was me. I had a coworker who had done backpacking trips when she was in high school and I was intrigued.
“What do you mean you carry everything on your back?”
“What do you use for food?”
“How do you use the bathroom?”
“Where do you get all the equipment from?”
Just a few of the questions I had. But the more she explained it to me, the more interested I became. The idea of going out into nature and not having the vehicle there to protect you, having to rely on yourself and the things you have in a backpack had such a primitave and appealing sound to it.
So, she said she would take me and some other friends. We decided on Fiddle River in Jasper, AB in the summer of 2014.
We planned. My now husband and I bought backpacks from Costco. We found gear on sale and planned on borrowing other things from my friends. I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not! I wasn’t sure if Hubby would like it either.
The trailhead was at the Miette Hot Springs parking lot. Easy enough. We put all our gear on and took a moment to commemorate the occasion.
From there, we started on the trail. From the parking lot, the trail is a paved path. I won’t lie, it was a bit disappointing. I kept thinking, this is going to be easy if it is like this the whole way.
Never mind. Niave me. Innocent me.
It was steep. That’s what I remember. The begin was lots of elevation gain in a short amount of time. Hubby almost didn’t make it.
Side note: This was the trip we discovered that this past time was not for him.
It was not a far trip. It was only for one night. On our way to the campsite, we crossed rivers, walked between trees, even walked through what seemed like muddy river but was the path. It rained off and on (only sprinkled) but it didn’t seem cold.
When we arrived at the campsite, we were the only ones there. It stayed that way all night. We had a fire, a rehydrated meal, sat watching the flames and telling jokes and stories. What a night it was! When it was time to go to bed, we put the fire out and went to our seperate tents.
It was quiet except for the river. It was dark except for the stars.
The next day, we packed up and headed back. I remember feeling the pack on my back and thinking how incredible it was that all my survival gear was actually on my back (now I know I was missing a few key pieces!). I loved it. I loved walking through the forest. I loved crossing the river. I loved looking at the view knowing my own two feet got me there.
It truly was a moment that created a life long passion.
2014 was a crazy year. But learning what backpacking was, was definately one of the most valuable lessons I learned that year.
What was your first backpacking trip?