Backcountry Camping in North Carolina
I’m leaving for South Korea tonight! Finally! Wish I were more well rested. My dad was super excited to get breakfast with me this morning and woke me up at 7:30AM!
Last week, I said goodbye to the Great American Wilderness with a backcountry camping trip in the Great Smoky Mountains with said dad.
The art of backpacking isn’t hard to master. If you’ve never gone backcountry camping before, I strongly encourage you to do so at your earliest possible convenience. I feel like there are two people in the world: Those that backpack and those that do not. Why the polarity, betches? Backpacking is easy. You need to invest the money in a solid set of gear (see below) but once that’s over with, you have many cheap vacations ahead of you. It’s not just for outdoor nuts…it’s for anyone who wants to explore what it means to be human.
One thing you should know about backpacking is it can be really boring. You are going to be walking 5 to 10 hours per day, depending on how many miles you’re logging. But it’s a beautiful kind of boredom. It’s like meditating, and gives you some insight into what your mind and body are capable of.
What Nicole thinks you should bring on a two night, three day camping trip in the spring to the Great Smoky Mountains: map, backpack, sleeping bag up to 0 degrees F, sleeping pad, tent, hiking boots, chill camp shoes or river crossing shoes, hiking poles, small first aid kit, water filter, two water bottles, head lamp, rain jacket, a pair of underpants for every day you’ll be out there, a pair of socks for every day you’ll be out there, an ace bandage, a pair of synthetic long pants, two pairs of synthetic shorts, a synthetic long sleeve shirt, two synthetic short sleeve shirts, warm hat, fire starter, small cloth to wipe moisture off tent, hairband and hair tie, biodegradable soap or hand sanitizer, cell phone, camera, bag of granola, chocolate covered espresso beans, one summer sausage, one block of white extra sharp cheddar cheese, one big bar of dark orange chocolate, dried mangos, two homemade cookiebars, six Lara bars, a small bag of cashews, marshmallows, pocket knife, small flask of bourbon!!
How to plan a backcountry trip: Just google it! Pick a spot near you and call the ranger station. They’ll pretty much walk you through everything. If you want to go to the Smokies call (865) 436-1200. Or you can go straight to this website to make your reservation, which costs $4/night! Definitely make sure you have your map and know where you’re going.