The Beginner Backpacker's Essential Gear Guide

The Beginner Backpacker’s Essential Gear Guide

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Happy Monday! We are already halfway through summer. Can you believe that? Summer is my favorite season because there is so much to do. I love being outside as much as possible during the summertime. That’s why today I’m sharing my essential gear guide for the beginner backpacker!

We just went on our first real backpacking trip about a month ago. We planned our trip for about a year in advance. We actually intended to go on the trip last summer, until my husband broke his foot and we weren’t able to go. But it worked out. Delaying our trip meant that we were able to do a TON of research on the best essentials for beginner backpackers like us. That means I did all the work in tracking down the best essentials so you don’t have to! Check out my picks below the break!

[Related: Letting Go of Expectations: What the Wild Taught Me]
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Get the Most out of your Vacation by Traveling on a Budget

Get the Most out of your Vacation by Traveling on a Budget

When you’re on a tight budget, finding the time and money to travel can be a challenge. While I was in grad school, my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I wanted to travel but we were struggling to make ends meet as it were! With a little careful planning, we managed to save enough money to take some pretty amazing 3-4 day vacations without feeling like we were missing out. Best of all, we did this while living paycheck-to-paycheck! Now that we are more financially secure, David and I still plan budget-friendly trips that allow us to see all the sights without draining our savings. Today I’m spilling all our secrets about traveling on a budget.

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Letting Go of Expectations: What the Wild Taught Me

Letting Go of Expectations: What the Wild Taught Me

David and I finally got to take our backpacking trip up to the Porcupine Mountains in the UP of Michigan this past weekend. We had been planning that trip for over a year! We had been slowly collecting gear and were preparing to hike for our first wedding anniversary in September until David broke his foot. Sadly, we had to let go of our expectations of being able to hike and we made the decision to put our trip off for nine months. It gave us plenty of time to plan our trip, but not much could have prepared us for what we encountered in the wilderness!

If you haven’t heard, there have been a lot of bear attacks recently. Oddly enough, it wasn’t grizzly bears that were attacking humans. Instead, the gentler giant, black bears, have been wreaking havoc. This is apparently pretty uncommon for black bears. Of course, black bears inhabit the Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park where we were planning to hike.

I told David that I was hesitant to hike given the recent bear attacks, so we prepared ahead of time. We bought bear bells and bear repellent, which gave me some peace of mind. But when you’re in the wild, anything can happen.

And that it did.

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