Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sailing the celestial spaces.

Yesterday TRM and I drove an hour down into Maryland to go to a REI store there that was having a "Backpacking 101" seminar/class thing.

I was a bit anxious as it was my idea and I was worried that it'd be stupid and that's alot of driving for something stupid.

But good news! it wasn't stupid and quite worthwhile.

First of all REI is an outdoors enthusiast mecca. Seriously the place freaking rocks. Tons and tons of camping stuff. Oodles of biking things. Spiffy clothes, etc. And as an awesomely awesome bonus the workers actually know what they're talking about and can like help you out with what to get. Sweetness.

The seminar itself was rather interesting. The presenter was an employee/avid hiker. Basically he talked just a bit about general things like planning and leave no trace, but then just tried to go through all the stuff you need for backpacking. He explained it all and told us what he uses and stories about absolutely everything. He knocked somethings down, talked others up. It was pretty freaking good.

So now I'm all psyced to go backpacking again.

I don't know if I've ever brought it up here before but TRM and I are planning next summer to go on a Sierra Club Beginner Backpacking trip. I came up with the idea last year and she was into it as well. So the thought was to start saving money now. The cost of the trip is $500ish with the Club. Then there's whatever (significant) cost to get out there (most of these trips are out on the West Coast) and possibly stay somewhere before/after. And last but most certainly not least is all of the gear.

Backpacking requires alot of gear. The thing last night reinforced this. Actually the whole experiance really left my head spinning, so much to think about.

Today I sat down and using the REI website put together a tentative list/budget of everything I need (well I suppose it really is more of a want) to aquire. I came up with $700 as a basic get the stuff I pretty much really need generally at a rather low price. Stuff that it would be nice to have/can be gathered over a longer period of time (although things like having not just 1 but 2 shirts are in this now as well as good to have but not necessary things like treking poles) are an extra $400.

Ouch. That is definately over my initial estimate of $500 for gear. Ah well in theory this stuff will last me for years. And shall provide years of awesomeness.

TRM and I are actually going out for our first hike this weekend. It's off to a bit of the Appalachian trail that is quite close to us. I'm thinking we'll do about 6 miles. And I'm excited.

In writing this I also found an amazing quote that just mentally 'took my breath away' if that makes any sense to you:

"How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has this glorious starry firmament for a roof! In such places standing alone on the mountain-top it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make - leaves and moss like the marmots and birds, or tents or piled stone - we all dwell in a house of one room - the world with the firmament for its roof - and are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track." ~John Muir

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