Backpacking Blunders (part 2)

Back in 2008, after I saved up and bough some decent gear, I talked my best friend Jen into coming on a backpacking trip with me.

The pack I eventually ended up buying was an Osprey Ariel 75 – since my previous pack seemed to small to carry everything I would need, I was unsure about what size to get so naturally I bought the absolute biggest bag I could find – I figured it would be good to have the extra room and it had a ton of compression straps so that if I didn’t fill it up it wouldn’t be a big deal.  Unfortunately what they say is true about packs – if you have the space, you will find something to fill it up with – and boy did I ever.  Since this was my 1st backpacking trip I wasn’t sure what I would need – so I brought EVERYTHING, literally!  We planned on making it a 3 day/ 2 night trip so I brought a change of clothes for each day plus an extra pair and clothes to sleep in- all were cotton as I didn’t have any moisture wicking clothes.  I brought tons of extra batteries as that is what I read online, even though all my gear was new, my pocket rocket backpacking stove to cook food with and 2 fuel canisters as again I read you should bring a spare in case you ran out.  I hate to admit I even brought makeup, a razor, 2 books, a deck of cards, a mug, headlamp, flashlight, AND lantern, a pillow, plus the tent, food, and my sleeping bag – my pack easily weighed 55lbs – if not more.  It was packed to the BRIM with things – more than I would need for a WEEK on the trail, but again we had no idea and wanted to be prepared.  Jen ended up using the LL BEAN pack that I bought as that was the only spare I had.

PA-RT073
If you look really closely I think you can see the kitchen sink I packed peaking out – HOW DID I CARRY THIS???

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Old Loggers Path

Old Loggers Path in Loyalsock State Forest, PA is a backpacking trip I tried YEARS ago and failed miserably.   I had a MAJOR asthma attack going up the very first incline and couldn’t catch my breath.  Of course I forgot my inhaler (which I honestly hate using anyway because I start shaking so bad from it) so we turned around.  I was very disappointed and embarrassed, and couldn’t catch my breath even on the downhill.  We were with two people who hike all the time and are in AMAZING shape- one of whom hiked the entire AT.  We still had a great weekend hanging out at Kevin’s cabin, and doing some other hiking trails, but I still felt bad that we couldn’t do the OLP because of me.

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