Things I Noted on My First Backpacking Trip in 7 years:

In 2009 I took my then-6-year-old backpacking for the first time.  This is what I wrote up when we got back:

1. That ‘sleeping pad’ called a Z-rest that was perfectly comfortable to sleep on for 5 months in 1997 just doesn’t cut it any more. Once you sleep on a 10-pound Paco pad, there’s really no going back.

2. A bookbag with shoulder straps is NOT a backpack.

3. Putting 5 pounds on a 6 year old used to carrying nothing is apparently equivalent to the punishment of Sisyphus. Asking said 6 year old if she’d instead like to trade for my 40lb pack is totally ineffective in terms of gaining sympathy or a better attitude.

4. The journey is in fact NOT the destination.  Just ask Maisy.

5. The olfactory memories emanating from that 13-year-old pack might just be a sign that it’s time to move on to a new pack.

6. It doesn’t matter how cold, tired and hungry you are when the 6 year old you just dragged 5 miles and 2000’ straight up is colder, more tired, and way hungrier.

7. Ramen noodles make everything better. Still. After all these years.

8. A water filter is WAY lighter than a gallon of water. I really need to find that stupid thing.

9. The fairy world is an extensive and complicated society complete with its own language, rules and realities. After 8 hours of instruction on the fairy world, I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of all there is to know.

10. 1 mph, while maddening, is infinitely better than 0 mph.

11. A 5-year-old’s horribly bloody nose in the middle of the night at 11,200’ is just one of those little things you chalk up to ‘character building’.

12. Sitting at the edge of a high-alpine lake with a warm drink and a kid who, after being quiet for a minute says ‘momma, it’s really pretty up here’ ranks up there in life’s happiest moments.

13. In the end, the benefits outweigh the challenges. Now I just need to figure out how to fit that Paco Pad into my backpack.


4 thoughts on “Things I Noted on My First Backpacking Trip in 7 years:

  1. Let me know when you get that Paco Pad part figured out. That’s the one barrier to bliss in the back country. Of course it’s a slippery slope, might need the down comforter too?

    • mmm…and a dutch oven for hot apple cobbler, a big fluffy pillow…you’re right, now it sounds like we’re rafting. 🙂

  2. Wonderful! (I was going to say which “thing” was my favorite, but I couldn’t – they’re all great.)

    • thank you! since that first trip we’ve had several others and hope to keep them going now that we have a whole new neighborhood to explore at length and the 4 year old is hiking 6-7 miles. thanks for stopping by!

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