Backpacking for Beginners (Natchez Trace)

  • July 12, 2014 · 11:30 AM
  • Aaron's House

Whether you are a beginner or an experience outdoors fanatic, this trip will be fun. The only thing that makes it a beginners trip is that I am going to make it short and round trip.  Read all the way through this description for information on what to bring.

We are going to do a segment of the Natchez Trace.  The trail head is about an hour and a half drive.


Day 1:

11:30 pm - Meet at Aaron's.  Gear Check.  Trail review.  There will be time to make a quick trip to the store if anyone is missing anything critical.  Backpacking 101 clinic.  Experienced backpackers may choose to opt out of this part. 

2 pm - Depart Aaron's and pick up lunch to go. Drive to trail head.

3:30 pm - Arrive at trail head and begin hike.

7-8 pm - Arrive at camp site.  Make Camp.  Cook, Eat, Watch Stars... general merriment.

Day 2:

6-7 am - Wake up break camp.

7:30 - 8:30 am - Begin return hike.

12-1 pm - Arrive at trail head.  Return home or to cars.

NSO doesn't have enough gear yet for everyone so unfortunately, at this time, members must provide their own gear.  As Stephanie pointed out below:

Mountain High Outfitters in Franklin rents backpacks & equipment. (615)[masked]

They a la carte rent backpacks, sleep pads, sleeping bags, tents, etc.  Between $20-60 for the weekend depending on what you need.

What to bring:

If you are new to backpacking, here is a minimum of what to bring (I will help you pack your backpack if you need help):

• Backpack (backpacking frame style pack is best... but since this is a short hike, any backpack will do.  A framed pack is better for your back if you want to do this regularly or for any significant distance... but you can get away with a large soft backpack for this short trip).

• Sleeping Bag

• Tent (highly recommended - although if weather is good, not altogether necessary).  If you don't have a tent, contact me, I might be able to help you out.

• Sleeping pad (highly recommended - you can get one at Wal-Mart for like $8.  It's not absolutely necessary, but you will sleep better.)

• Food and Water.  Bring snacks like trail mix or granola and chocolate to give you energy as you hike.  Bring Dinner and Breakfast.  Consider using google to come up with good backpacking meal ideas.  Bring at least 3-4 liters of water.  I recommend bringing a "Camelbak" or similar along with a Nalgene style water bottle or two.

• Small lightweight LED flashlight or head lamp.

• Toilet paper

• Medications - If you require medications, please bring them.  If you have an epipen, an inhaler, etc... bring them.

Here are some recommended items:

• Small pillow

• camp stove and fuel if you have it

• Bug spray if you are prone to bites.

• Camera

• Multi-tool.

Remember, if you need something... write it in the comments and I or someone else may be able to help provide you what you need.

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  • Administrator

    A few of my fellow medical students will be joining us. They are all also beginners.

    July 6

  • mayra

    I would love to go. Don't have experience, but I'm fit to walk 10 miles. What would we have to pack/ need?

    July 4

  • Stephanie

    Mountain High Outfitters in Franklin rents backpacks & equipment. (615)[masked]

    June 30

  • Aaron G.

    I didn't realize holiday weekend so I'm pushing it back a week. Sorry guys. Hope this didn't screw anyone up.

    June 29

    • Dumaka S.

      I still may be down. I plan on taking a group to Virgin Falls July 18-20. One consideration is that the water is low right now. Even the Falls is down to a trickle.

      June 29

  • Roseanna

    Where can we rent gear

    June 26

    • Dumaka S.

      Check REI

      June 29

    • Aaron G.

      I don't think REI rents but I will find out and post.

      June 29

  • Dumaka S.

    I may go. If I do. I will probably go up Friday and meet you all Saturday at the camp site. Do you plan on camping right at Virgin Falls or at the River campsite?

    June 29

  • Britny B.

    Sounds fun!

    May 6

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