If you’ve never gone on a long camping trip before, you’ve probably got a lot of questions about backpacking life. Let us lay it all out for you:
A day in the life:
- 06:00 and/or butt crack of dawn: Rise and shine. Get up, pack up, and hit the trail.
- 06:30: On trail eating a mobile breakfast like granola bars and walking to warm up. This step may be postponed 15 minutes for instant coffee if it was a rough or cold night.
- 07:30: Fully warmed up, shed all excess layers like jackets, gloves, etc. About 2-3 miles in. Eating 100-200 cal/hour in snacks so that Levi doesn’t get cranky.
- Around 11:00 – 12:30: Stop somewhere with a nice view (or at least a comfortable place to sit) and eat a small lunch. Mileage goal at this point is 10-16 miles depending on terrain.
- Around 15:00 – 16:00: Still snacking. If we’re above our mileage goal for the day, we will relax our pace. At this time, we should have gone between 15 and 25 miles depending on terrain and number of breaks.
- 19:00: Start looking for optimal campsites. If we find it, we will take it.
- 21:00: Also known as hiker midnight. If we aren’t in bed, we should be. A successful day will be between 20 and 30 miles of hiking.
Frequently Asked Questions:
So, do you, like, hunt down and fish for your food? Do you scavenge for berries and stuff?
We will be bringing food with us, and will resupply in towns every 2-5 days. While hunting and fishing is allowed with permits in certain parks along the trail, we do not plan on bringing any gear with us. It’s too heavy. We have been known to snack on berries.
How do you get your food? What about things like tooth paste and toilet paper?
Every 2-5 days we will be making stops in towns that are on the trail or within eight or so miles from the trail. We plan on packing up food, toiletries, and other goods prior to the trip and shipping them in what are known as ‘resupply boxes’ to post offices, hostels, and businesses in these trail towns. We will also have opportunities to shop at local stores and businesses to supplement our supplies.
Are you going to be camping the whole time?
Most of the time. We do plan to overnight in trail town hostels or hotels once every couple of weeks or so. If storms are really bad and there are no towns nearby, we will take refuge in the shelters that are scattered along the trail.
How big is your tent?
We have the biggest tent. Our tent is bigly, it’s the lightest, and best tent there is. Nobody has a better tent.
Aaaaand back to reality. We don’t use a tent – at least not in the traditional sense. Kristen uses a hammock and tarp, and Levi uses a ground tarp and splash bivy (sort of a small tent).
You never said anything about a campfire. What about that and the songs and just hanging out in nature?
We don’t plan on having many campfires for a few reasons. The first is that many parks don’t allow them outside of established campsites, and we don’t like established campsites (we’ll explain in a future post). Another is that we don’t plan on spending a lot of time in camp. We want to see and do as much as possible. Hanging around camp won’t be a daily staple of our routine, but we’ll do it occasionally based on what our trail friends are doing.
How many changes of clothes do you bring? Do you bring deodorant?
We do bring extra clothes. Levi will be bringing two whole extra socks, and Kristen will have two socks and an extra pair of underwear. Because saving space and weight is so important, every item of clothing needs to have a specific purpose (or even multiple purposes). We don’t have the desire to carry things we don’t absolutely need.
We are going to smell and get dirty regardless of whether we have five changes of clothes or 15 sticks of deodorant. It is inevitable. Our clothes will be quick drying and anti-microbial, however, which helps with keeping us healthy in humid and wet conditions.
If you do see us on the trail, you might not want to hug us.
Wait. Levi isn’t bringing an extra pair of underwear?
Nope. Good luck, Kristen.