A Ladies Guide to Backpacking

Hello Everyone!

We are currently consumed with counting down the days (or rather weeks) until we head out for Santa Fe, NM and the San Juan National Park in Colorado. We are SO excited. We’ve been running miles on end, rain or shine, to make sure we summit Conejos this time. The weather would not permit us to conquer any summits the last three times we went backpacking, so we’re relying on good weather to get some true mountaintop photos!

I’ve put together a condensed camping list that’s pretty much as girly as it gets in the back country.

So here’s the skinny on the stuff I’m sure to pack on these escapades:

Light my fire mess kit. It’s got everything, cutting board, bowl, cup,and spork. These all collapse into main triangle compartment. It’s your mini kitchen away from your otherwise small kitchen!

These are things you don’t want to forget. Water bladder (don’t forget your treatment tablets), sleeping mat and rain cover. You don’t want your stuff getting wet and weighing you down. That equates misery and totally ruined (electronic) stuff!

Many seem to agree, Osprey is where it’s at. We call this top compartment the brain. It’s where you want to keep the “brains” of the operation accessible.

These are the “brains” of your backpacking operation. You certainly won’t see these in my purse on a daily basis.

So here goes:
SAS Survival Guide, because duh.
-Two sharp knives, in case you get stuck between a rock and a hard place and need to cut something off.
-Lighters, for lighting the stove.
-Headlamp, because it’s dark out there. And extra batteries for that matter.
-A pen, to write the words “I didn’t consult this SAS Survival Guide, Love you Mom!” when you are dying from eating the wrong berries.
-Beanie, make sure it’s lucky.
-Compass, because you don’t want to become a statistic.

Ladies, learn from my multi-day camping trips: waterless shampoo is the most amazing product you’ll ever have in the back country. It’s foamy good smelliness that you rub in your hair and dry out with a towel. It’s the equivalent to beach hair, but in the mountains. If you take anything away from this post, it’s this! It’s worth the extra weight in your pack.

Also, Toms bags make excellent toiletry sacks!

Gotta say, I’m a sucker for Patagonia. I’ve got Capilene Long Underwear for those cold nights. And their leggings for hiking. Don’t forget your Smartwool or New Balance socks for every temperature variation possible and bring a midweight top layer as well. Top that list off with rain gear, the unmentionables, and your most utilitarian pair of Chacos.

You’ll be ready for anything. Except bears, they kind of do what they want. Play dead.

And don’t do like I did last year and forget to bring street clothes to wear on the weekend trip to Santa Fe. My recycled Keen messenger bag will be perfect for all the goodies I’m going to bring home, probably all from Cost Plus World Market and Trader Joes. Be sure to leave this stuff in the trunk.

Our trip is the first week of August, only 17 days to go!

P.S. Don’t forget food, your man, and the attitude that “this mountain will run out of UP at some point!”

16 Comment

  1. My Osprey bag has never let me down, was a dream when I back packed Europe! Good luck getting summit pics.

  2. Kendra says: Reply

    Dry shampoo is a brilliant idea! I usually just wear a headband and look forward to my shower when I get home. We have a few TOMS bags laying around too, another good idea for toiletries. Last backpacking trip we went, we didn't summit either due to snow — a bit of a disappointment, but it was still a great trip up.Hope you guys have a great trip and reach that summit! (sorry for the novel)

  3. Hahaha! I love your posts, I hope you have the greatest time up there. xx

  4. oh, this is great 🙂 My boyfriend loves backpacking…but I have none of the gear. This is a good guide!

  5. love this! you gave me hope for me to try real camping 🙂

  6. I'm so bummed I missed the REI tent sale this year, I really need a new backpack. I usually don't wash my hair (I can go up to 10 days.. TMI) Looks like you are ready to hit the road. Go and CONQUER!

  7. great set up!

  8. Brissa says: Reply

    i love this. that triangle kit is genius!! you make me want to go legit backpacking!

  9. i think i pack like you, this is a great list! have fun on your trip!!

  10. tc says: Reply

    oh, i never pack right going camping! : )have fun!

  11. Mandy says: Reply

    Have fun on your trip girl! Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog! X Mandy http://mandykoster.blogspot.com

  12. @Kendra, I'm glad you share the enthusiasm! Waterless shampoo will revolutionize your trip. @Jenny, it takes a long time to get a full set of legitimate backpacking gear. Start little by little so you don't incur a huge bill at the gear shop!@Kathleen, the closest REI to us is in Dallas. Boo, so I do my shopping at (here comes the shameless plug for my friend Pam's store) Backwoods. They have everything you need, and then some.http://www.backwoods.com/And to everyone else, thanks for the well wishes, and I encourage you to get out into the wild!

  13. ummmmmm, picture of your lithops please! i want to see some tall ones! have fun in CO, i can't even imagine how beautiful it will be!

  14. Gaby says: Reply

    i love backpacking! thanks for all the suggestions, i hope you have a great trip!x

  15. This is awesome, I am so glad to have found a hiking blogger!! I actually work at a hiking store and we sell alot of this gear. Osprey is the best:) Can't wait to hear about your trip! I have forgotten my street clothes a few times too.. thermals and boots look even better when paired with hiking smell hey 🙂 I can't wait for it to warm up so I can go hiking again. Have the best trip xo

  16. @ThePieces you totally know what I'm talking about because you too have worn your base layers and boots through the boutiques with the (TMI) "pigpen" smell cloud following you. It definitely discourages exploration into cities like Santa Fe!Live, learn, never forget your street clothes and waterless shampoo again. I will hike, then shop 'til I drop. One work week to go…

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