Last week, when the blog on the Bluff Wilderness Trail was posted, I promised to share the lessons I learned on this backpacking trip.
They may not look like big mistakes, but together or even separately, they could cause big headaches or worse. Full disclosure: I ‘m a bit embarrassed to admit them, but here they are.
- I cheaped out on a sleeping bag. I have a good sleeping bag, but it’s big and heavy.I wanted one small and light for backpacking-and I got it. It was plenty roomy-I checked that out beforehand. But it’s kinda hard to gauge a sleeping bag’s warmth from the comfort of one’s own living room. Harsh fact-I was really cold during the night on our trip-the temperature had dropped considerably as the sun went down. I was close to shivering-and as one knows-that is a dangerous symptom of to hypothermia. Click To Tweet
- Bring extra clothing. I know this. Yet-did I? I brought a light hoodie-which I put on during the night. It was not enough. Somehow, packing light seemed to be all I could think about beforehand. We had such a hot month-I assumed I would be fine with pretty much the clothes on my back and extra socks. People die from that kind of thinking. Lesson: Pack warm clothing.
- There is good cell phone reception on the Bluff Trail However, that is no good at all, if you phone is dead. My phone only lasts a day.No worries, because I brought a portable phone charger . Guess what? The charger was dead. I neglected to check it before I left home. My friend and hiking partner Kate let me use her device to charge my phone. Lesson: Check your electronics before you leave home.
Kate, I might add. never cheaps out on her gear, always packs for possible conditions and brings an extra phone with her. Be like Kate.
Any or all of these mistakes could lead to serious consequences. What’s worse-I knew all this stuff. It could have been a much harsher lesson.
Take heed: Hiking and backpacking is serious business.