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Converting my wife
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darren stephens
(darren5576) - F

Locale: Down Under
Converting my wife on 02/20/2008 13:50:50 MST Print View

G’Day All
I would like to tell you all about a little trip I took with my wife. There’s a trail in Tasmania called the Overland Track, It’s between 75 and 100Km long and fairly easy. It’s designed as a walk for tourists, not hikers especially and there is a series of huts along the way you can use if you want.
Despite the crowds and the lack of a challenge the scenery is beautiful and it’s still definitely worth a look.
Now my wife despite spending heaps of time in the bush with me is not a hiker, she has only done two short overnight hikes in her life and would only do a few day walks a year. This trip was designed as more of a walking holiday to try and get her into hiking a bit and se if she likes it.
Now my wife up till now has had a bit of a laugh at me making and modifying things, counting grams etc and the same happened with this trip. I packed both the packs with suitable food and equipment for 7 days in Tassie having done this trip before and we were off.
From the minute we arrived at the visitor’s centre to register and we met a few other walkers she was glad we went light. She was carrying a Macpac amp 35 with all her gear and her set off weight was 10kg. I was using my new osprey either 60 at 13kg. The first four people we met had packs between 19 and 24kg!
Now as I'm trying to get her into bushwalking we didn’t travel as light as I would have on my own. We slept in a floorless shelter, ate well, were never cold or wet and had a great time. The more people we met the more she started saying things like “I can’t believe there carrying that” and “why would you bring that”. This of course made me smile.
As there are a lot of non bush walkers on this track you also see a lot of strange things and probably the most heartening comment my wife would make was “How can people have so much gear and be so poorly prepared”
At the end of it all we had a great time and we will go hiking together again so its mission accomplished from me.
We now have one more in the ranks

Steve B
(geokite) - F

Locale: Southern California
Converting my wife on 02/20/2008 22:33:14 MST Print View

Good story. That might be my girlfriend/wife someday. She too gets a chuckle with my antics.


Benen Huntley
(benen) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
re: on 03/06/2014 19:16:00 MST Print View

I know this is an old post but I'm planning this with my wife for after winter and would love to pick your brain for some advice!

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: re: on 03/06/2014 20:22:43 MST Print View

I would never try to convert my wife to anything. If she really, really wanted to go backpacking that would be great. But she isn't interested. She is still the best wife a man could have IMO.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: re: on 03/07/2014 07:25:51 MST Print View

My wife has expressed some interest to try backpacking this summer. The general plan is to hike a section of the PCT with her where we are not limited to staying in designated and reserved campsites (fairly common practice in our national parks) so when she's done, we can drop our packs and call it a day.

Don't really care if we hike four miles or ten. I expect that it will be a camping-centric trip and I'm very much looking forward to sharing the woods with her.

joseph peterson
(sparky) - F

Locale: Southern California
Converting my wife on 03/07/2014 11:01:40 MST Print View

I try to get away from all the complaining!

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Converting? on 03/07/2014 12:34:46 MST Print View

" I would never try to convert my wife to anything. If she really, really wanted to go backpacking that would be great"

As with most things in life, I am finding this out the hard way. I've only been married a little over a year after all...

Mrs Mags is at the tail end of her graduate degree (yes!!!!). Going part-time for four years while working full time means in between classes she is rather tired. She wants to decompress, unwind and relax.

She loves the outdoors, but has no desire to bushwhack, do 20 mile days and steep climbs on trips where me taking a canister stove is a luxury. Come to think of it, nor does she want to even hike five mile days with a pack. :)

Her idea of the outdoors is remote car camping with hikes mixed in. Something off the beaten path on BLM land where we have to take our own water and the nearest privy is somewhere back on a paved road. A Coleman stove is brought, good food is enjoyed and we often are in places as remote and quiet as any places I've done backpacking. In fact, we are going to this place next week. Never been:

Is it backpacking? No. Is it a beautiful place? I imagine so. Is it time spent in the outdoors with a person I love? Yes.

As with Nick, I don't want to convert my wife. Finding something we both love to do together seems a better option. ;)

Edited by PaulMags on 03/07/2014 12:35:25 MST.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Guess I was lucky on 03/08/2014 01:28:51 MST Print View

My wife sort of self-converted, or rather, she drinks at least some of the kool-aid now.
On a couple of my longer trips, she opted to train hard and join me on sections of the trail --- three different pieces of the PCT and the Shenendoah section of the AT. She did 20 mile days out of the gate and I mostly forgot that she wasn't just a thru-hiker that I happened to be married to.

But that style still isn't entirely natural to her. She doesn't like much more than a week of backpacking at a time, doesn't sleep well outdoors.

But still, I feel pretty lucky overall, to include that she "gets" what I like to do, and participates some and leaves me free to go off on longer trips alone. I in turn try to do a bit of biking, which is her thing.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
A possible "IN" for converting wives, lovers, etc. on 03/08/2014 13:02:09 MST Print View

Perhaps asking a wife (etc.) to help you prepare and test meals (like freezer bag meals) could be a way to pique their interest enough to get them try backpacking.

Also bringing over a female backpacker to help her in this may be another aid in the "conversion" process.

Remember, experienced female backpackers know about things like "How to Pee in the Woods" that we guys never consider.

Edited by Danepacker on 03/08/2014 13:02:57 MST.

Benen Huntley
(benen) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
re: on 03/10/2014 21:06:46 MDT Print View

I'm very lucky in that regard. My wife and I share very similar passions. She'd never had much to do with the outdoors before we got together but instantly fell in love with it when I introduced it to her.

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
my spouse on 03/13/2014 02:42:08 MDT Print View

Janelle is wonderful to me. She really knows her stuff and followed my lead up to that point in the back country. I don't find its a gender based activity like most couples seem to around here. She can really take care of herself believe it or not. I could never take credit for converting her any more than the boy scouts can take credit for converting me. You either have it or you don't in my humble opinion.

I'm blessed with a supportive, beautiful, wonderful wife.

We even recently started sleeping in the same hammock together. I bought it on our anniversary for us so it means something forever :)

A way to a woman is through her heart, not her mind.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Converting my wife" on 03/13/2014 12:23:37 MDT Print View

What about converting HUSBANDS? Haha.

I'm a woman that loves hiking, backpacking, and pretty much anything to do with the outdoors. My DH- not so much. Oh, he likes to fish and hunt. But he sees little reason to walk from point A to point B unless there is fishing or hunting at point B.

I had to join Meetup in order to get some buddies to go backpacking with.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Converting my wife on 03/13/2014 18:33:56 MDT Print View

I met my wife on a backpacking trip, so there was that common ground.

I've done (and continue to do) more high-mileage days than she likes, but she's been higher (21,000 feet) and in more remote places (Nepal, Zimbabwe, Andes) than I have.

I've led the charge on UL gear, but she's been on board because with two young kids, UL really enabled us to do more and bring the kids (a 2-year old is ultimate non-UL gear. 30 pounds and it serves no useful purpose).

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Converting my wife on 03/13/2014 20:30:15 MDT Print View

"a 2-year old is ultimate non-UL gear. 30 pounds and it serves no useful purpose"

Well, they do live longer than dogs :)

Troy Childs
(tchilds) - F
Re: "Converting my wife" on 03/14/2014 06:10:22 MDT Print View

Yeah hunting and backpacking are kind of contrary seasons here.

Maybe you could get him to join you on a back country fishing trip though!

There are a few isolated fishing holes left worth walking to. By and large though I understand his point though. Most good fishing is stocked and highly accessible to anglers in the USA today.

Have you considered a boundary waters canoe trip? It might be a good way to break the ice and get him on your boat so to speak ;)

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Converting one's Alaskan husband on 03/15/2014 13:36:40 MDT Print View


For reasons of marital harmony, I don't hunt. Which is to say, I don't pull the trigger. But someone who'll do multiple trips carrying meat back to camp and is a decent outdoor cook is really popular on a hunting trip. I've really enjoyed trips to Adak, a caribou-infested Aleutian Island with spectacular scenery (if you like grassy volcanos in northern seas - rather like Iceland without all the pesky Icelanders). Anyway, that's maybe a good overlap of hunting and hiking. There's a lot of hiking to do to get to the 'bou because they've learned to avoid Adak town. And, then, if successful, lots of hiking to do to get back. Almost everyone tries to get back to town each night, so if you're prepared to overnight, that opens up the whole island instead of just a few miles around town.

And while airfare can be up to $1300 round trip, your Alaska Airlines miles are very well spent on a Adak trip - 15,000 miles for a RT. Maybe dangling a trip like that in front of your DH could be motivation for a joint trip. It's a hunt that just calls for a lot of stomping around, unlike a lot of road and river hunting in AK.Eagles over Adak

Those are eagles circling a volcanic peak.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Converting my wife" on 03/16/2014 15:23:59 MDT Print View

Troy and David-

Thanks for the ideas!

David, I'm like you- I don't hunt but will go along as a pack mule/safety backup. I've never been to Adak, though! Looks beautiful.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: "Converting my wife" on 03/16/2014 16:30:15 MDT Print View

Here's a photo to tempt you:Adak

One to tempt him:caribou

and one for a laugh (the island is totally treeless except for a few introduced and nursed along by Navy personnel):Adak NF

The cush way to do the trip is to rent a "Lodge and a Dodge" in town and stay in a former Navy condo (full kitchen, 3 BD, 2BA, heated). But being willing to overnight out gives you much larger radius in which to operate.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
my wife is ultralight on 03/18/2014 09:40:48 MDT Print View

My wife and I backpacked, cycled, and canoed before we were married. Her backpacking became less with little kids, increased when the kids could go on backpacks, decreased when our teenage daughter refused to go backpacking. She goes again now, with her ultralight strategy being for me to carry the tent and stove and food. I would be carrying the same gear if I was camping solo, so I'm good with that arrangement.

to encourage her to backpack, I always made sure she had newer and better clothes than me, we had good food, a warm sleeping bag, and some wine or liquor.

Gordon Gray
(GordonG) - F

Locale: Front Range, CO
wife made it out on 03/27/2014 15:42:14 MDT Print View

My wife likes car camping. I talked her into getting a pack and we went on 1, two night trip. She experienced bushwacking, thunderstorms, and beautiful scenery. She did not complain at all. Though at the end of the trip she mentioned backpacking wasn't for her. So now my daughter wears her pack. Here she is in the elementsJen in the elements