Published: June 20th 2012June 8th 2012
Anthony on the trail
Anthony is heading down one of the many fields he bushhogged in the pasture.
Backpacking Adventure Glacier National Park Montana
Africa? Summer Camp? Panama? What to do? What to do? After many searches for an adventure that we had never had before we decided on a 6 day backpacking trip to upstate Montana. BRRRR! In June! We are anticipating snow still being on the ground while we are there!
We will be flying to Kalispell, Montana - greatful for all those Tanzania to America frequent flyer miles - our round trip tickets only cost us $10 each! We are going with Glacier Guides Service as our guide.
I have never been to Montana ... did you know it borders Canada? HA. It's way up there.
Now, the preparation phase has given us new insight into the backpacking world. There are very specific rules about the placement of your gear in your backpack, the type of undershirts you should wear, and even outdoor bathroom etiquet. Did you know that there are sock liners? I did not. Apparently they will be footsavers for us. So of course we got a pair. I will say that if you all have never worn a pair
Shasta at Montgomery Bell
The trails at Montgomery Bell are really great.
Guess why I am only showing you our backs? Got to prove we are carrying a backpack! :)
of smart wool socks .... YOU SHOULD!
Along with rain gear, (the kind that if you sweat the moisture can get out, but if it rains, the moisture can't get in) - technology! Water proof gloves, wool socks at $15 a pair, (I say again ... GET SOME), and of course cool new water bottles ... mine is lime green to match nature :) we think we are set to go.
They told us we should TRAIN before coming if we had not done backpacking before. So, we proceeded to fill our regular backpacks with chicken noodle soup, canned tomatoes, and rotel. Oh, and a 20 lb bag of dogfood. And for me a big bag of bird seed. Then we headed into the pasture for an over the river and through the woods experience on our farm.
Anthony bush hogged several paths all over, up and down the hills, through the gullies, and across the fields. We walked and walked and realized very quickly that canned goods are not good test materical. MMM? Wonder why?
So, Sunday, after worship services, we went to Walmart and bought 55 lbs of birdseed. The required weight for practice, plus relatively mushable (is that a word?). We split it up. I took 25 lbs, Anthony the other 30. We shoved it into our packs, got some protein bars, some water and off we went to Montgomery Bell State Park.
It is a great park if any of you ever are interested in camping, hiking, fishing, etc. It is set in Dickson County on Highway 70. It has over 20 miles of hiking trails. Over night stay for campers and backpackers, a hotel and convention center, restaurant, pool, playground, and all the picnic tables you could use. (Thought I would Plug the park!)
The birdseed faired MUCH better than the chicken noodle soup, but we also found that we can see why they are not carrying regular backpacks. The ones that we are going to be using are true backbacking backpacks. Hardly weighing anything, harnesses and straps in all the right places, and a structured frame to help distribute the weight so your arms do not fall asleep because the shoulder straps cut off the bloodflow in your armpits!
In spite of the countryboy provisions we hiked with these packs for just over 2 hours, and covered 5.5 miles. Considering we have been told we will average 5 - 8 miles in one DAY - we actually feel pretty good about the shape we are in. We did run the St. Jude Marathon after all!
Now, if I can just get them to give me the map to know where the Mt. Dew stopovers are, cell towers, MAC charging stations, and bear free areas I will be ready to go! Montana here we come! Keep posted to see how we actually fare when we have to put those packs on and leave civilization!