Used Gear and Early Mornings - Training for My First Backpacking Trip
In October 2018, I am embarking on my first backpacking trip - Havasupai, located in the Grand Canyon National Park. For those of you who do not know about it, the highlight of Havasupai is Havasu Falls, famous for their rugged beauty in a harsh environment. This is going to be a pretty intense hike for me and my friends (8 miles down into the canyon, with an elevation change of about 3,500 feet), so we started training hikes to get into backpacking shape. We took advantage of the REI used gear sale a few weeks ago, and I ended up with a great haul. With our gear and our desire to get into hiking gear, we have been spending our weekends not sleeping in and getting training hikes in early.
Before the REI used gear sale, I went REI to test out a few backpacks to make sure I knew my exact fit going into to the used gear sale before. I tried out three backpacks, and my third favorite was a Deuter backpack. When doing backpacking, it is of utmost important to have the bulk of the weight on your hips and not your back. This backpack fit well, but my first choice was an Osprey because I liked the spring loaded hip belt.
Spoiler alert - the teal backpack that I got was a Deuter. I was so incredibly happy because one of my top choices was a the used gear sale. Now, I just need to learn how to pack it efficiently so I can do well on my 3 day hike in Havasupai. I am going to do a backpacking lesson at REI (they have free classes at REI, check out your local store for listings). I have to say to you though, if you really want to try a backpacking trip, test out a variety of backpacks to make sure it really fits. Do not buy online unless you have tested out the fit first in store.
I am trying hard to finish the Backpackers Handbook, which is a wonderful resource for tips on backpacking, from different boot types to backpacks and methods for hiking the most efficiently. Look forward to more updates from me with my journey to the Grand Canyon!