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  1. #1
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    Default Funzies!!! Taking two ladies out for a weekend introduction to this madness!

    I was asked to share about my backpacking trips with some ladies the other day. I shared how I find it so healing, peaceful, and settling to unplug and live with just the basics for a few days at a time. They asked if I was ever afraid alone (sometimes, yes but that is just where you grow). I have known and looked up to some of these women most of my life. I never expected a few to ask if they could join me!

    I'm in the planning stage for a trip in two weeks where two of these ladies will join me. I am planning two approaches and letting them choose what they feel the most comfortable with.

    Option A:

    Night one being Friday after I get off at 5-get to the trail head around 6pm (grab dinner on the way), walk to a campsite I know of about half a mile in, set up, sleep

    Day one-get up and do easily cooked breakfast like oat meal and coffee, hike 5 miles over the course of the day, pass 4 waterfalls, leisurely lunch, get to camp around 3, swim in the river, build a fire, do a more elaborate campfire meal like steaks or campfire pizza and cheesecake, enjoy the fire and just being in the woods in general, maybe play a game of cards. If we get to the campsite that I have used previously on this route, the embankment over looks the river and I have laid on my belly to watch animals come and go at the river in the late evening (not sure we will see anything with the smells and all from cooking) but, it is a beautiful view.

    Day two-cook a good campfire breakfast like burritos or pancakes, swim, or hike without our packs and explore. Start the 3 mile hike back to the car around noon.

    Option A gives a lot of time to just enjoy the woods. I know from texts I am getting that their will not be any light weight packs on their first time out so less miles is probably good.

    Option B:

    Start at a different trail head and do a 14 mile loop so it would still only be 7 miles a day, do more traditional backpacking food, cover more miles, see two waterfalls, really pretty colored cliffs, beaver dams, and have an experience that is more "backpacking" by my mindset. This option gives them a more clear picture of what a lot of backpackers do and they will see more trail but, I feel like it could be unforgiving if they don't have their loads adjusted well, sleeping system comfy, and have too much weight in the pack.

    I want to set these ladies up to enjoy being in the woods and I realize that they may spend one night outside and hate it but, I feel a responsibility to make sure they get a good basis for whatever opinion they end up having of the experience.

  2. #2
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    If these ladies have never hiked before, or camped without an RV or something, I say go with A. A positive experience will provide the opportunity for growth. First hiking, then camping, THEN backpacking. IMO.
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

  3. #3

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    Go with what you normally do. Adjust the miles downward to account for health/fitness and such concerns, but don't dumb down the experience because of your gender expectations.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    Go with what you normally do. Adjust the miles downward to account for health/fitness and such concerns, but don't dumb down the experience because of your gender expectations.
    It's not a gender expectation. I'm female as well.


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexusbritt View Post
    It's not a gender expectation. I'm female as well.
    Exactly... I am too. I took my 17 year old daughter out for a weekend on the Approach trail and it was her first time out. She hates the woods and she dreaded going but just did it as a favor to me because the trip was planned for my husband and I and he couldn't go at the last minute. We had a blast! I think we averaged 3 miles per day. Spent more time laughing and talking and goofing off than anything else.
    After the trip she told me she had alot more fun than she expected to, and though she is still not won over, she wouldn't be opposed to doing another weekend with me. Baby steps and fun is most important for those on a first time out venture.... regardless of gender. I would do the exact same with my son... if I could get him to even go with me.
    Last edited by Farr Away; 05-11-2017 at 17:18.
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexusbritt View Post
    It's not a gender expectation. I'm female as well.


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    Whoops, looks like my gender expectations were off! I was puzzled why you specified ladies. Same basic deal though. They were drawn in and interested by your experiences. Chances are they've eaten well before, eaten at restaurants before, so that won't be a new experience for them.

    The hike the peace, the healing, the unplugging itself, that you described so well, seems to be the draw.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lnj View Post
    If these ladies have never hiked before, or camped without an RV or something, I say go with A. A positive experience will provide the opportunity for growth. First hiking, then camping, THEN backpacking. IMO.
    They both hike once in a while or so but, I'm not sure how fast or how far. They said they bought tents so I'm not sure what we are looking like on weight. I did tell them to play with putting them up and taking them down at home so that they at least feel confident putting up their shelter.




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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puddlefish View Post
    Whoops, looks like my gender expectations were off! I was puzzled why you specified ladies. Same basic deal though. They were drawn in and interested by your experiences. Chances are they've eaten well before, eaten at restaurants before, so that won't be a new experience for them.

    The hike the peace, the healing, the unplugging itself, that you described so well, seems to be the draw.
    I need to upload an avatar or something. Lol

    I'm honestly concerned about the pack weight more than anything. They tend to be "cardio bunny" types at the gym whereas I hike with my pack at least once a week as it is also my BOB and I want to know i can run with it.


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  9. #9
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    Oh, well that's a good start. If they already enjoy being out in the woods enough to hike on their own, then the draw is what Puddlefish said, the extended experience you are getting by pushing a little harder and staying out a little longer. In that case I would go with B, and make sure you aren't out more than 2 nights, in case they do truly hate it after the first night. Seven miles, depending on terrain, is quite a hump for a first time backpack trip, probably with very heavy gear. I speak from experience... as my pack is always very heavy too (like 40 fully loaded) but I love it enough not to care. But if they are in pretty decent physical shape, this should push them a bit, but shouldn't shut them down.
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

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    The weight thing is really a perpetual lesson to be learned. I'm sure when hey get all their gear together, you could help them pair things down a bit to help with that.
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

  11. #11
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    Option A is still hiking to the sites. I apologize if I was not clear. it is an 8 mile loop.

    You bring up a good point though on how 7 miles can feel like a lot depending on terrain and weight. I did pick Sipsey Wilderness in Alabama. It is pretty level compared to a hike I know that one of them did at Oak Mountain the other day. It was a mile and a half or so but, it was a steep mile and a half.

    I may need to go back to the drawing board and look at some other loops we could do.

  12. #12
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    Does it have to be a loop? Several out and backs you could do on the Pinhoti as well. The drive would be the worst part to some of the trailheads though, especially with Friday B'ham traffic.
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    We won't have to go "through" Bham call me a chicken but, I am very generic about where I am on here. lol. Pinhoti would be a really good option though too. I guess I'm being selfish but, I really don't want to do an out and back as my last few trips have been out and back.

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    South Georgia has some good loop options in the Pine Mountain area. Some are pretty easy terrain. My husband and I did the PMT (Pine Mountain Trail) end to end, which is 24 miles, but there are lots of side trails that connect to and around it, so lots of loop options and great campsites.
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexusbritt View Post
    We won't have to go "through" Bham call me a chicken but, I am very generic about where I am on here. lol. Pinhoti would be a really good option though too. I guess I'm being selfish but, I really don't want to do an out and back as my last few trips have been out and back.
    No worries. Never a bad idea to be obscure about your location. You could do the Chin-Pin-Sky loop up near Cheaha as well. Not sure about water availability though, I hear it can be spotty.
    AT: 471 mi
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JC13 View Post
    No worries. Never a bad idea to be obscure about your location. You could do the Chin-Pin-Sky loop up near Cheaha as well. Not sure about water availability though, I hear it can be spotty.
    Honestly, that was my first thought but, as you said, water can be spotty. I've been and had plenty of water and been and had to watch my water. I'm just not sure I want to have one more thing to keep my eye on.

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    Definitely checking that out! Looks wonderful! I just added that to my list of the trails I want to do in 2017.

  18. #18

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    Option A in the Sipsey sounds fabulous. It'll give you time to play with gear, talk about pack weight, etc. The longer option can get rough with blow downs or adverse weather. There is always stuff to see in Sipsey and you can linger at the waterfalls.

    Can I come, too?

    charlotte

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by xMagnolia View Post
    Option A in the Sipsey sounds fabulous. It'll give you time to play with gear, talk about pack weight, etc. The longer option can get rough with blow downs or adverse weather. There is always stuff to see in Sipsey and you can linger at the waterfalls.

    Can I come, too?

    charlotte
    Send me a pm!

  20. #20
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    I wish I could go. I like option A. I went on a trip a few weeks ago and planned a 4 1/2 mile out and back. Ended up 5 1/2 miles because I missed the campsite. I packed light. Still had to bail in the AM and get a ride to car. I probably could have made it but I had my kids with me.

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