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What would be your ultimate backpacking adventure?
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Ryan Grayson
What would be your ultimate backpacking adventure? on 09/17/2013 19:51:45 MDT Print View

After hiking the AT in 2011, I got the hiking bug. I hiked another 1,000 miles of various trails in 2012 including the JMT, WT, and LT. This year is all about saving money for 2014. I've been planning on hiking the PCT, but now I'm thinking of taking a couple years off for one amazing backpacking adventure (or perhaps hopping around to multiple long trails). I've considered mixing in cycling trips and kayaking trips as well. I need to narrow down my choices and start planning. So, I was just curious, what would you do?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
My ultimate adventure on 09/17/2013 20:22:20 MDT Print View

How about a packrafting/hiking trip somewhere in Alaska? Depending on how much money you have I'd consider a "warm up trip" in the northern Rockies or just a couple days in Alaska. You could work the kinks out of your system then go back for a big trip.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Dream trip on 09/17/2013 21:53:31 MDT Print View

I'd love to go back and do a long trip through the Sourhern Alps and Fjordland areas of the South Island, NZ. Amazing scenery, variable weather, and lots of opportunities for remote walking once you get off the Great Walks trails.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: What would be your ultimate backpacking adventure? on 09/17/2013 22:09:38 MDT Print View

Like to work my way up from a week and go for a week plus around the Wonderland trail, Tahoe Rim, Wind River Range, and similar areas. Then maybe do some foreign hikes (Switzerland and NZ), then maybe the long trails. Thought about waiting until my late 50's, getting a second civilian retirement, ... but after slipping/nursing a knee sprain for the last 2 months, it may be time to take a little time off as some things (like knees) don't improve with age.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: What would be your ultimate backpacking adventure? on 09/17/2013 22:14:27 MDT Print View

I'd like to trek the Westfjords and the Laugavegur trail of Iceland. GR10 is on my bucket list too.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: What would be your ultimate backpacking adventure? on 09/17/2013 22:18:23 MDT Print View

One that doesn't end.

Phillip Tatti

Locale: Adirondacks
Two choices for me on 09/17/2013 23:42:26 MDT Print View

Himalayas or Alps

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: Ultimate Adventure on 09/18/2013 08:12:09 MDT Print View

I used to think it would be the PCT or another long trail. More and more though, I've really come to respect people who follow their passions and come up with their own routes. Like this guy:
5000 mile canoe trek

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: My ultimate adventure on 09/18/2013 11:13:04 MDT Print View

>"How about a packrafting/hiking trip somewhere in Alaska?"

Luke: It's been done (not a reason to not do it again) by BPL's own Erin Erin McKittrick, her husband and two kids:

I'll let you do laundry and feed you sourdough waffles, too, if you came by like they did.

Pre-kids, they did a 4,000-mile trip from Seattle to the Aleutians and she wrote a book about that as well: A Long Trek Home: 4,000 Miles by Boot, Raft, and Ski

Jill Fredston's approach is to stick to the water more (but camping on land):

She does more miles, over 20,000 so far, but all in reverse (she's rowing, so facing backwards).

Edited to add: If you wanted to come to Alaska and use the Necky double kayak Jill converted to a rowing shell / 3-month food hauler, I could probably arrange that. Everyone up here is pretty darn supportive of cool trips (perhaps because we see so many people (local and tourists) doing really routine, boring things despite all the opportunities to really amazing trips).

Edited by DavidinKenai on 09/18/2013 16:16:29 MDT.

Ryan Grayson
Thank You! on 09/24/2013 10:54:41 MDT Print View

Thanks for all your input. I have a route planned out that is huge to say the least. It has multiple legs, starting with the Pacific Crest Trail, then I'll be cycling south into Mexico. Might go further south to Central America, might not. Depends how I feel at that point. If I still have the health and money when I return to the US border. I'll be hiking the AZT to Hayduke Trail to CDT then either go the PNW trail back to the PCT, or start the next leg of the trip, kayaking the entire Missouri River.

Hope I stay healthy and have enough money. I might take time off in between to work, rest, and heal if necessary.

Daniel Collins
(Diablo-V) - M

Locale: Orlando FL
Ultimate adventure on 09/24/2013 21:35:19 MDT Print View

To follow the path of the two characters in "The man who would be king".
Wearing a Freemasons pendant ......

Reginald Donaldson
(worth) - MLife

Locale: Wind River Range
Eskers on 09/24/2013 23:08:00 MDT Print View

From the Northwest Territories to Nunavut, all 800 kilometers, on the Thelon esker.

Steven Davis

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: What would be your ultimate backpacking adventure? on 09/25/2013 01:32:08 MDT Print View

how do you have the free time and money to do that??? :P

Richard May
(richardmay) - M

Locale: Swamplands.
Panama's 'Camino Real' on 09/25/2013 06:28:16 MDT Print View

Right now I'm working towards doing Panama's 'Camino Real'. It's the old Spanish land route to carry gold and goods between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean.

The little bit of research I've done indicates that a few tour companies will take you, carry your stuff, cook for you, etc. In other words, take out all the fun and charge for it. :S

I'll have to find another way. I don't mind going with a guide or small group. I just don't want to go on a five star expedition.

Edited by richardmay on 09/25/2013 06:32:03 MDT.

Ryan Grayson
Re: Re: What would be your ultimate backpacking adventure? on 09/25/2013 15:55:57 MDT Print View

I have time because I don't have a wife or children. As great as that might be, it really does open up your schedule. I also have no interest in building a career, so I don't waste any time with it. I have the money, not because I make a lot, but because I live very cheaply on and off the trail. I don't own much of anything. I don't date. I have roommates, so only pay $100 a week for my living expenses.

It costs about a dollar per mile to hike a long trail, so if I think of buying something I don't need, I think of the miles I could hike instead. When I'm in a town, rather than spend $80 for a hotel, I'll just find a free inconspicuous place to sleep: parks, baseball field dugouts, behind abandoned buildings. I'd rather hike another 80 miles than have one night in a hotel.

I've used to get free places to stay also. And I've had people invite me into their homes without me asking. They like hearing the stories and being a part of your adventure. Fellow travelers have invited me to sleep on the floor of their hotel, and once someone offered to buy me and my friend a room at a hotel and a steak dinner (nothing creepy, he just gave us a hitch after I finished hiking the AT and handed us $150 to celebrate.) I used to turn down stuff like that, but I know how good it makes me feel to give someone something, so now I just take it and tell them how much I appreciate it.

Also, when you have the time and you live out of a backpack, you can hitch wherever you want to go, for free of course.

To me being rich is all about having more than you need. I've never been motivated to make a lot of money. I find it a lot easier and a lot more rewarding to just need less.

I'm going to see if I can continue to reduce my expenses while traveling. When I've gained more experience, I'll post about it at

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: What would be your ultimate backpacking adventure? on 09/25/2013 20:44:16 MDT Print View

"One that doesn't end."

Like Mamma always use to say, be careful of what you wish for, just might come true.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Re: What would be your ultimate backpacking adventure? on 09/26/2013 10:21:32 MDT Print View

Ryan Grayson, I want to marry you......

Edited by Jenmitol on 09/26/2013 10:22:02 MDT.

Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
The SW Road Trip on 09/26/2013 11:41:59 MDT Print View

A month long excursion to the Four Corners area. Some multi nighters, some day hikes, long drives to Toroweap or up the Kaiparowits Plateau. Zion, Grand Gulch, Dark Canyon, Arches etc. Throw in a river trip and few nights relaxing in Durango or Moab.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Marriage on 09/26/2013 13:20:25 MDT Print View

He doesn't date...

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Re: Marriage on 09/26/2013 14:13:48 MDT Print View

Do you have to date to get married?!? ;^)