How Backpacking Changed My Relationship With The Outdoors

David, my boyfriend on the time, didn’t know that I had by no means been backpacking earlier than, and I didn’t know that he didn’t know. So, when he chosen a high-altitude trek up one in all Sequoia’s most iconic mountains, I shrieked out an emphatic “Yes!” assuming he had finished his analysis and picked one thing appropriate.

I donned a threadbare pack that had been left behind by Airbnb company at my Hollywood condominium and laced up a pair of navy path runners I had solely bought every week earlier than at REI. My pack didn’t have a chest strap, so after I lifted the colossus onto my again on the trailhead, its 40-pound heft tilted backward, and we scrambled round to seek out an previous piece of twine to tie throughout my chest, securing it in place.

David’s gear was questionable too. Being off form since his highschool Eagle Scout days meant that he solely had a 30-liter climbing pack for the tour, which meant that my 60-liter behemoth was crammed full with our bear canister, meals for 2, all my garments, my toiletries, and my sleeping bag. My pack hung heavy like a limp gorilla draped throughout my torso, however I used to be excited for what lay forward.

The starting of the path was mellow. Manageable. I squealed as we noticed an adolescent black bear scurry out from behind a bush simply three miles in, and we strolled previous towering timber that rose excessive overhead just like the impossibly lengthy fingers of some underground large. My eyes have been huge with the cheeky glint they get after I know I’ve been gifted greater than my justifiable share of the world’s magic.

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