Backpacking is the Perfect Summer Adventure
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Backpacking Is The Perfect Summer Adventure

Beautiful mountains, peaceful rivers, and long days hiking outside combined with no cell reception. A perfect way to get off the grid and truly enjoy your free summer months!

Backpacking Is The Perfect Summer Adventure
Brandon Thomison

If you would have told me in middle school that I would grow up to love hiking more than 10 miles a day, I would have told you that you're crazy. I was a stereotypical "nerdy" kid who loved reading, movies, playing chess, and going to school. I still enjoy those activities, but I would say that college has set them on the backburner. In the last three years, I have learned that I love nature, being outdoors, and adventuring as much as I possibly can. I started running a lot (competing in half marathons is my favorite), hiking whenever I could (Montana has some amazing mountains!), and putting travel at the top of my bucket list. However, it wasn't until quite recently that I realized my passion for backpacking too!

Tip: Keep your sleeping pad at the bottom of your pack, not the top, and take something thicker than a yoga mat. #whoopsBrandon Thomison

Before this summer, I have been on a few backpacking trips, but usually my friends or family did the majority of the planning and preparing. This most recent trip was kind of similar, but more in the sense that it was impromptu and we-will-figure-it-out-when-we-get-there kind of mentality. Which is something that you shouldn't do. My backpacking trip worked out surprisingly perfect for a trip that was planned as it happened, but I would recommend to others to have a little better of a plan in advance. It really helps to have all of the logistics and scheduling figured out. However, perks of backpacking is that it isn't too expensive once you have your basic gear and it's fun for college students who have a lot of energy and more free time.

We camped on the beach (not backcountry) one night and our REI tent kept us pretty warm and cozy. Ukes aren't apart of the "essentials" list for backpacking, but they sure are fun to have camping.Brandon Thomison

My most recent backpacking trip was to the east coast of Washington, Olympic National Park. I had asked my boyfriend to go backpacking with me for my golden birthday on June 20th, so I picked him up from the airport and we drove to ONP. We spent about five days in the park, exploring the diverse natural beauty. Olympic National Park has intriguing rainforests, stunning mountains, and even calming beaches. Luckily for us, the weather was sunny the whole time we were there and we were fortunate enough not to get rained on when we were hiking and camping.

The view from Hurricane Ridge. Just another beautiful sunny day in WA!Brandon Thomison

We ended up hiking 10 miles total on the Hoh River Trail, located in the Hoh Rainforest. We had plenty of free time, so we did some reading, yoga, and a lot of napping. We also explored around the river and found some little critters to take pictures of. (Just remember a few basic hiking rules: don't touch/approach/feed wildlife, always pack out what you pack in, and respect your environment).

Brandon backpacking on the Hoh River.Natalee Wheeler

We were also able to trek 13.5 miles into one of the most beautiful places I have been to, Enchanted Valley. It wasn't too difficult in terms of elevation, but a whole 7 hours of hiking with our packs proved to be exhausting and we passed out shortly after arriving at camp.

Enchanted Valley is absolutely breathtaking.Brandon Thomison

Backpacking is the perfect summer adventure because you have the opportunity to explore, adventure, and find peace with yourself and your hiking companion(s). I found that I gained so much appreciation for myself, my boyfriend, and the Earth, just by taking five days to truly experience these things and all of the positive qualities they have to offer. I highly recommend to anyone to get started on backpacking, even easy, short hikes, because you'll find yourself happier and healthier because of it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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