January 11, 2012
At the time of this writing, I am beginning to plan a 4-5 day solo backpacking trip to the Sioux Hustler Trail. I'll have to think about where I'd like to go with a group.
Hard question to answer as there are so many reasons. There's a certain thrill associated with going into the back country relying only on the provisions that you have in your pack. Being in unfamiliar surroundings with a map & compass to navigate yourself in and out safely! The purity of nature, clean air, hearing and seeing wildlife that you can only see in the back country and the peace and quiet.
If I were to speak the absolute truth, I'd end up labeling myself as a complete novice / greenhorn city slicker. But that wouldn't be accurate at all. It is accurate that I have only been on a handful of overnight backpacking trips, but I've grown up in the outdoors. As a child, I was out in the woods just about everyday. During the winter months, at the ages of 12-15, I'd load up a pack, shoulder a length rope and be out there from sun up to sun down. 10 miles from home. I've always belonged in the woods, by "life" has forced my into the city....so to speak. However, my inner woodsman has been calling lately, and it's time I answered. I have the gear and I'm fit enough to put in 10-15 mile days if I had to. No soft feet here.
As the day, months and years have gone by. I've become more and more interested in back country backpacking. It's been a slow build up process, and after 2 plus years, I finally have all of the basic gear, and a good portion of the desired gear.