Last week, we extolled the virtues of basecamp backpacking : that is, hiking in a short distance with your camping gear to establish a basecamp, then doing day hikes from there. You get the advantage of backcountry camping minus the burden of hauling 35 pounds with you wherever you go.
You know why you haven’t gotten into backpacking?
A simple misconception.
When you think of backpacking, you likely think of hiking with 40 pounds on your back all day. In fact, you don’t. If every backpack trip we took involved lugging a full pack for days on end, we wouldn’t backpack, either.
It is the season that inspires our great philosophers. Friedrich Nietzsche, for instance, wrote: “Notice that autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.”
Or this, from a more contemporary purveyor of percipient thought:
“It’s the first day of autumn! A time of hot chocolatey mornings, and toasty marshmallow evenings, and, best of all, leaping into leaves!”
Why do we backpack?
We could give you a bunch of words explaining why. Or, you could watch this quick video capturing our latest GetBackpacking! trip, the second weekend of May 2021, to the Shining Rock Wilderness Area of North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest.
We had just crawled into our tents Friday night when the rain started: a gentle patter at first, the kind known for lulling you to sleep. Then it got down to business.
I drifted off to sleep realizing that the weekend of cavorting in the pools and cascades of Wilson Creek that we had planned might not come to pass. We’d been waiting weeks, in 90-degree-plus weather, for the chance to jump into these chill mountain pools, then sun off on the adjoining granite slabs, and repeat. Oh well, I thought, good thing we have a Plan B.