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#118422 - 07/17/09 12:39 PM Newbie starting his trek
RavenSong Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/17/09
Posts: 7
Loc: St Paul, MN
I am just starting to get into back packing. I used to go camping with my father when I was little, but that was mostly a canoe and portage sort of thing. Now, I'm 23 and I want to get out and start camping again. I'm getting my gear together and I have chosen a place to go for my first trip. It is going to be a 3 day 21 mile solo backpaking trip. Only 2 campsites just to make sure I have the right gear and give everything a field test. I have never been backpacking before, but I can't even begin to describe to you how excited I am to start. Most of my gear is military issue, that is just how it worked out. I don't have the money to be buying all the really fancy stuff.

What should I expect from myself for a solo trip? Am I asking too much from myself on this first trip or am I going to end up boring myself to tears by not extending my distance?

"Easy and fun are mutually exclusive" -Dad

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#118425 - 07/17/09 01:06 PM Re: Newbie starting his trek [Re: RavenSong]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Depending on your own psyche, you may expect to experience several unexpected emotions, such as an uneasiness about being out there all alone, missing having other people around, and general insecurity about your own skills (even when you know you have no reason to be insecure.) Just be prepared to talk yourself through them.

Depending on where you're going, how heavily used the trail is, and whether the campsites you're using are designated by the land managers (thus making it less likely you're there alone), these emotions may be exaggerated or less severe. I know on my first solo, my mind was working hard to sabotage me - right up until I met my first hiker; then I was fine.

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#118429 - 07/17/09 01:42 PM Re: Newbie starting his trek [Re: Glenn]
RavenSong Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/17/09
Posts: 7
Loc: St Paul, MN
Thanks Glenn,

That is pretty much what I figured I would be facing. I am just hitting a state park her in MN so I think I am (unfortunately) not going to be all that alone. The backpacking camp sites are designated backpacking only and are a good 5 miles from any other campsites, but you never know there may be others out there with me.

I think this particular area is going to be fairly flat, but at least I won't be in the city. I'm a country boy transplanted to the city because of my career choice and I really need to get away, but I don't have the cash to be running of to a mountain range. Heh.

Thanks again.

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#118467 - 07/18/09 08:14 PM Re: Newbie starting his trek [Re: RavenSong]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
What park are you going to? I'm from St Paul too and depending on the park you have chosen, may have suggestions from prior trips.
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#118475 - 07/19/09 11:21 AM Re: Newbie starting his trek [Re: RavenSong]
chris Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 26
Loc: kentucky
My best advice would be to first go out with a small group. I'd check meetup.com and see if there is any backpacking groups in your area.

Going with a group does a few things. Obviously it provides safety to someone with no experience although I'm sure you'll be fine this time of year.

The better thing it provides is a huge wealth of knowledge that you can tap. It is wonderful to go out with others who have real experience who can teach you all of the tricks to backpacking. You'll also get to see all kinds of gear and different ways to use them.

In regards to your planned trip length I think it is too short. If you are going soon with plenty of daylight you're going to probably be bored. I led a beginner's trip recently and the first day was five miles. We started at about 10:30A and I tried to take long breaks. We arrived at camp at 3P and everyone took a nap because we were so bored.

If you're in decent shape you should be able to do at least 10-12 miles. Just make sure you wear shoes or boots that you are comfortable.

KY Chris

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#118493 - 07/19/09 10:57 PM Re: Newbie starting his trek [Re: thecook]
RavenSong Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/17/09
Posts: 7
Loc: St Paul, MN
Originally Posted By thecook
What park are you going to? I'm from St Paul too and depending on the park you have chosen, may have suggestions from prior trips.


I'm going to St Croix State Park. I am going to hit both campsites that are specifically for backpackers.

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#118494 - 07/19/09 11:02 PM Re: Newbie starting his trek [Re: chris]
RavenSong Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/17/09
Posts: 7
Loc: St Paul, MN
Originally Posted By chris
In regards to your planned trip length I think it is too short. If you are going soon with plenty of daylight you're going to probably be bored. I led a beginner's trip recently and the first day was five miles. We started at about 10:30A and I tried to take long breaks. We arrived at camp at 3P and everyone took a nap because we were so bored.

If you're in decent shape you should be able to do at least 10-12 miles. Just make sure you wear shoes or boots that you are comfortable.


I'm actually not starting on the trail on the first day until about 5pm. So, I am not too worried about getting to my camp too early. I have all my gear together and I have a pair of hiking boots I really like.

Thanks for the advice man.


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#118496 - 07/19/09 11:46 PM Re: Newbie starting his trek [Re: RavenSong]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
That is one I have never hiked, just done a quick drive through and short hike. Be prepared for ticks as well as mosquitos and check with the rangers on whether those creeks will have water or not before you leave. Most important, have fun!

If you are looking for a quick get away close to the cities, try Afton. All sites are backpack/walk in and it is possible to get in a longer hike to the campsites if you wander a bit. The campsites are pretty well seperated and not too busy midweek. Don't know about weekends as I rarely get one off.
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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