Over 60 pounds of metal bars were rubbing my back and shoulders for 5 hours straight. That was my first real hiking experience in my life.
Several years ago, a group of my friends told me that they are planning a hiking trip to Red Mountain, Idaho. They told me to buy a hiking backpack. I went on Craigslist and purchased an external frame backpack for $25.00. It seemed to be comfortable and light. Of course, there was nothing in it yet. I met with my friends and discussed what we need to bring: food, water, resources, gear, etc. It was their first hike as well. We decided to bring chicken, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Since we were geniuses, we divided up the food between everyone that was going on the hike. The weight was distributed equally. What could go wrong?
Not realizing how heavy the backpack was already, I was told that I will also need to bring water for the hike. What?! Now I had raw vegetables and around 6-8 water bottles. That is when I realized that my backpack is not comfortable. Since it was an old external frame backpack, there were absolutely no pads. The bare metal frame was pushing on my back and shoulder.
Once I got to the trailer head, the weight of the backpack seemed reasonable. I play soccer once a week, my legs should handle it! After about an hour into the hike, that is when the weight hit me. I could barely move my legs and the metal frame of the backpack was grinding into my muscles.
This was my first hiking experience. Yes it was torturous, uncomfortable, and tiring, but it was also the most memorable hiking experience I ever had! For the first time ever, I saw mountains that were untouched by human civilization. I saw countless peaks and spectacular horizons. And best of all, I had my closest friends with me.
Over the years, I have spent at least $1,500.00 on my hiking gear, if not more. My gear is light and comfortable. Even all the money in the world will not buy the experience that I had during my first hike!
Idaho's rapid growth has many locals frustrated with the well being of their state.