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11 Tips for Backpacking (Especially If You’ve Never Gone Before)



I was thirteen when I went on my first backpacking trip, a month-long trek through the Salmon River Valley, Idaho on a NOLS course. My family wasn’t particularly outdoorsy (an understatement!) so the trip was my first time camping or spending any extended period outside. From the moment I hitched my forty-pound pack onto my shoulders, I loved everything about it: the unimaginable density of the stars, the self-sufficiency, and joy/fear that comes from being completely vulnerable to the elements. Since then, I’ve gone on a number of backpacking trips that have taken me to some of the most beautiful spots imaginable, but a recent trek along the forty-one mile Timberline Trail that encircles Mt. Hood was among my favorite and most challenging. When I posted about the trip to my Instagram, I received so many questions that a post was inevitable! Below are my tips for backing: 


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