Post # 1
So I’m a photographer and trying to photograph alot of my images for my undergrad thesis this fall. I am focusing on highlighting those who live a different lifestyle from the mainstream and one thing I really want to photograph is the lifestyle of backpacking trail hikers on the 2600 mile Pacific Crest Trail. However to do this I need to get on the trial myself and I’m absolutly terrified! I am a huge outdoors person but have never gone backpacking so the thought of taking a week backpacking trip alone as a female absolutly scares me to death. However I know if I don’t I will completely regret it, espeshally cause we are going to be right by the trail to visit family in July. Unfortunently my SO cant take off work to come too so it’s just me. Ive been trying to prepare in every way possible, choosing an easy, populated and well marked trail and stocking up on all kinds of gear and will be taking a mini backpacking trip close to home next week to prepare. My SO has been super supportive but I know he’s getting stressed that I’m so nervous and stressed out about this. It really is putting a damper on my summer. have any bees ever had to do something similar or completely out of their comfort zone? Was it worth it?
Post # 3
@ash064: Funny you should ask because the last *major* thing I did outside my confort zone was go backpacking (for my first time ever) with a group of 6 girls, only 1 of which I actually knew. We went on a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail in the Trinity Alps (just West of Mt. Shasta off Hwy. 3 to Echo Lake). It was amazing! Scary as heck because I got heat stroke on the way out there, but the other girls only had like 1 mile left… Luckily two of the gals were wilderness first-aid trained and they got me what I needed and found a super cool shady spot on too of a rock for me to sleep on & chill out. They went ahead, established camp and were planning to come back for me but I woke up felt okay and met them halfway there. It was very scary for me but I am sooo glad I did it, that trip was amazing & I’ve been trying to make FI do one with me the the past 4 years!
I will say that the few people we met out there (literally, two groups of 2) were extremely nice & friendly. I’d still take something for self defense though, you never know some people are legitimately crazy kooks, plus the bears and other things. One of the girls that came with us had a gun in her pack that her mom gave her (also an avid backpacker) since we were all girls she didn’t want anyone thinking they could prey on us. Never even pulled it out of her pack the entire weekend. I know they also make emergency mapping beacons- that might make your SO feel more comfortable. If anything goes wrong, you just hit the button & it sends your location & an emergency signal out over the radio/satellite waves to the local rescue/sheriff/ranger/fire dept.
All that said, nervousness is a good thing, it keeps you alert & on the lookout! It is dangerous to backpack alone, period, much less as a woman, but I know experienced backpackers who do it (one of which is a mother).
Post # 4
@ash064: My coworker met this man for lunch yesterday. He said he has had an all around positive experience. Granted, it’s a man – but still…pretty amazing!
Post # 5
@ash064: I know this is a long way off but I’d love to see what pictures you come back with. That sounds like it could have some very interesting photos & stories to go along with them!
Post # 6
I am very much a high maintenance city girl. Last winter I did a field rotation at work (I’m an engineer at a major oil and gas company) that involved spending 2 weeks at a time on drilling rigs in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t so much as comb my hair. It was a very weird thing to adjust to! I came into my trailer one day after being out on the mud tanks and I had drilling mud and dirt on my cheeks… But I am so glad I did it. There were definitely some low moments but looking back I would do it all over again.
Post # 7
I’ve battled anxiety my whole life. Most of the time I lead a normal life, but there are periods of time when just doing basic day to day things (instead of hiding in my house) were out of my comfort zone. During a particularly bad spell with anxiety, I took a job in Ecuador for 4 months. I went by myself and I didn’t speak Spanish. I was terrified of eating anything b/c one of my phobias/issues is food safety/food poisoning. I was terrified of ending up in a hospital, puking my guts out…which of course ended up happening! I’m slightly less paranoid about that stuff now.
I also refuse to do anything death-related – no cemetaries, no funerals, no scary movies, no will-writing (I know that’s a bad idea, gotta do it sometime!). But when my best friend’s mom died, I was there, like, in the room as it was happening. I’m slightly less freaked out by death now.
I went camping in the desert with people I didn’t know when I was a WRECK with anxiety, like, sick to my stomach having major panic attacks crazy. The trip ended up being fine.
So, my advice is DO IT. You’ll end up with great stories. I certainly wouldn’t trade my time in Ecuador for anything.