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MT - Newbie
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Rachel Green

Locale: Northwest MT
MT - Newbie on 03/26/2012 19:44:55 MDT Print View

I'm new to backpacking in general. I moved around a lot as a kid, always to large cities, where no one I knew so as much as hiked.
Now I live in beautiful Montana, and would love to get into backpacking. I've done a couple group trips through the college, and have slowly grown a large collection of gear... the problem is that I never use it.

I don't know the first thing about planning a trip. I don't know how to read maps, or really how to even get started.

I live right between Glacier NP and the Bob Marshall.

None of my friends are into this sort of thing, and I'm quite shy and haven't been able to meet anyone who is. But I feel like I might be able to talk someone into it if I'm able to plan it all out. How do I get started? Are all those guide books really helpful? There are so many that I wouldn't know which one to start with.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: MT - Newbie on 03/28/2012 12:25:42 MDT Print View

I just had to reply to say that I'm jealous of your location! :)

I'd say spend some time learning to read maps and navigate, and check for backpacking groups in your area.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
MT Backpacking on 03/28/2012 13:36:50 MDT Print View

Another thought would be to go into one of the gear shops in your area and see if they have any clinics scheduled that might allow you to meet like-minded folks. It's also not a bad idea to just drop in one of the outfitters and start talking to them. They can often offer a suggestion for a 1-2 night "get acquainted with the area" trip.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: MT Backpacking on 03/28/2012 14:44:26 MDT Print View

Rachel, send me a PM. You don't sound too far from me. I can give you a few tips about local places to check out (and those to avoid).

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: MT backpacking on 03/30/2012 08:23:58 MDT Print View

Come hiking with Clayton and me! With as warm as it's been lately this promises to be a killer year for hiking on dirt.

dave at backpackinglight dot com (seriously, 'net appearances to the contrary I'm actually totally agoraphobic and non-scary).

Edited by DaveC on 03/30/2012 08:27:41 MDT.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Backpacking in Glacier/Bob Marshall area on 03/30/2012 08:33:21 MDT Print View


The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation in Hungry Horse (at the USFS building),, and the Montana Wilderness Association,, have organized hikes and trail programs in your area. One way to meet some hikers.

Cheers, Richard

Rachel Green

Locale: Northwest MT
Thanks! on 03/30/2012 09:36:07 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the replies! I really appreciate it and I will try to check those out.