Backpacking With Mama Bear

Everything in the backpack, ready for the hiking adventure out of the wilderness after a night of camping.

How we get into backpacking for beginners, setting up our tents in the wilderness after hiking in to our campsite.   Perhaps it looks something like this.  Here we sit , looking at the snow falling.  We feel the cabin fever setting in.  The February Blahs are just around the corner.  Ah, Man, I would rather be thinking about summer.  I’d rather be thinking about what we’re going to be doing in August.  You know that month where it is so hot we sweat sitting still.  Not this.  I don’t want to think about the bone chilling, piles of white stuff.

Well then, Lets think about summer!  Lets think about adventure!  Lets think about what we want to do this summer!

I am the lady down the street you saw put a big backpack into her trunk, and her son was standing there with another one.  Nothing else, just these big bags.  You’ve seen me at the grocery store talking about camping.  I hike into the woods and just go camping.  Where is there to go backpacking around here?

So, You’re interested.

So, you’re interested in backpacking, camping, hiking or canoeing.  You’re new to this, or maybe have a little experience, and are nervously eager to begin.  Maybe you’ve seen a few movies.  Maybe you’ve seen a few YouTube videos or read a few books.  As that is all well and good, nothing beats real experience.  Nothing is better than trudging to the chosen destination and taking off your pack, and the joy of feeling,, “We made it!”

“We made it!”  or if you are brave enough to take your first adventure alone “I made it!”  Drop the pack, sit on a rock or a log, and take 5 minutes to soak up the moment,  There is still a lot of work to be done, but getting there was half the fun.

What season is it? What time of day is it?  How are the bug conditions?  How trail beat are you?  Assess, sort your priorities, and get on it.  Fire, Food, Water, Shelter, What does this day require to be done first.  Are there many hands?  Can the jobs be delegated to different people?  Someone fetch water, someone fetch firewood, someone set up the shelter, or each for her and himself.

I have many stories to share.  I have many ideas to develop.  I have skills that require honing.  Wanna join in my adventures?


QE2 Wildlands

Let’s Go!!!

Its not that simple. But it’s not that complex either.

Yes, I have everything self contained in my backpack, and Yes I just drive, hike and camp.  But it all begins with a lot of planning and experience first.

Ok,  Where do we begin?

You will need a few basics first.  Lets look at some ideas.


Who? What? Where? When? Why? And How?  Pretty standard questions.  Lets look at this.

Who is up for this adventure?  What is the previous experience level?  And what mode of transportation are you considering?  Where do you live? How far would you like to travel? Where would you like to go then?  When, pretty straight forward, but what is the season like?   and How?  How prepared are you? How much skill or knowledge do you have? How much gear do you have? Or, How much gear will you need to borrow, rent , or buy?

For more on planning, click here .


How many adults are going on this adventure? What is their skill and knowledge level?

How many children? What is their tolerance and interest level? How far will you realistically be able to get them to hike, and how long will it take?

In addressing the Who of this dynamic group we have to consider health and fitness levels, any personality concerns and realities of who they are.  Sure Mom is eager to go, but she has a bum knee every now and then, and the 8 year old sister says sure, but in reality we know she barely gets off the couch, what will she do without the TV? And the 12 year old boy, might be enthusiastic, until he realizes there will be no Xbox, or outlet for his phone charger.  And Dad, is there a ball game or race on that weekend that you’re going to be missing?  Basically, what I’m saying here, give this a sincere reality check to your capabilities before you plan too enthusiastically.  The first time out may not be the best time to plan a 5 night, 20km per day hike. Oh yeah, and there are usually no toilets in the woods. Although you may find a thunder-box in some areas.


Please feel free to look around the site.  Let me know what you think, your comments are valuable to me.



Tammy · February 8, 2016 at 9:14 pm

This article really makes me think about us camping somewhere besides our yard. Our yard is comfortable and there is a bathroom too lol. I hope to do some hiking and we live by the Appalachian mountain trail near Georgia. I worry about safety from strangers and animals. What is a thunder box? Any advice would be great.

    Mama Bear · March 7, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Tammy, any adventure is good for you. Fear can hold us back. But knowledge is power. Start off pushing your own boundaries safely. A campground or park is a good start. Then push yourself to something a little more wild. But by then you will know your gear, and your own skills set. Get out there, have fun!

cleveland bondhill · February 8, 2016 at 9:31 pm

I just wanted to commend you on your site. To me it is very organized and coherent. I think you are further along then you give yourself credit for. Great job. Check out my page and share your thoughts.

    Mama Bear · March 7, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Thank you for your kind words. Its interesting to see how some website topics cross over to other sites. We are more interconnected than we think.

Sandy Kendall-Chapman · February 9, 2016 at 9:16 pm

Love it! Been years since I packed my tend for a hike. Camped. Hiked, but not both for about the last 15 years. Know I’m out of shape, but now how out of shape.
Can’t wait to see what comes next.

    Mama Bear · February 9, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    We will have a trip together Sandy. I’ll go easy on you sis.

Sandy Kendall-Chapman · February 9, 2016 at 9:18 pm

can’t wait for the next post. Would love to be included on a hike too.

Paul · March 10, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Hi Mama Bear … I see that we share the same passion for the outdoors . I also try to direct my knowledge to the beginner types . I have spent many years in the wilderness and continue to enjoy it more and more each day . Nature is God’s creation … an endless supply of Beauty and Wonder … a never ending story !

    Mama Bear · March 10, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    A Never Ending Story. Yes, I agree, I am doing what I can to make sure that generations that come behind me have the love and knowledge to enjoy whats out there. And more than ever, to grasp the environmental movement and respect, to keep it as pristine as it is now, or even better. And yes! It is a Gift of God, our spirituality and awe can soar from the splendid beauty of it all.

Chester · March 13, 2016 at 11:07 pm

Makes me want to be in the woods. A campfire, plenty of wood rounded up, shelter and food and water. Now to keep the bears and the coons and the critters from taking it.. good site. Spring is renewing itself…

    Mama Bear · March 14, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Yes, spring is in the air. Here in Ontario we are just barely above the freezing mark, but the dry sunny days are encouraging. I’ve been fighting the urge to go hiking and camping out for weeks. Darn paycheque keeps me grounded, but I get out for a few hours every week.

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