I have been wanting to go backpacking for years now. Chad has taken Caleb and Hannah each individually but ever since college I have had a little one at home that one of us needs to keep an eye on. I know there are backpacking families with young kids, but their parents know what they are doing and have gone before kids, most on long distance hikes. When Hannah was six we bought a kids pack and my backpack the old model on clearance at REI Eve was going to be turning three and we were just shy of a year from starting our trip and wanted to have the things for backpacking so we could do it if we were given the opportunity. Besides that, we could not take much in the car with us as we traveled about the country so backpacking sized camping gear made more sence than the things that we previously camped with. For this reason we already owned most of the stuff that would be needed. After packing it with us the first year and only using it a handful of times for camping our way to Wisconsin and at Lake Villacito in Colorado we haven’t packed it with us the last two assignments. The timing worked out and family was willing to help get the gear to us. Stephanie gathered our backpacking stuff from our camping tub and my in-laws brought my loaded pack south when they visited us in the beginning of April. I did need to purchase a few items and had luckily been saving up some of my weekly play allowance and had enough to get most of the things I needed. I run on a pretty minimal closet so we took a look around REI and found a down jacket on clearance for $46 which is an amazing deal. I could hardly believe it. We also picked up a tank top there that was synthetic fabric thinking that I would need light weight. I didn’t think about the potential of the straps rubbing my arms and needing a protective layer from that so needless to say I ended up getting another shirt to wear with kohl’s cash (from replacing my two pairs of holy jeans). That cost me a whopping $2.15 after taxes.
I bought the purple synthetic long sleeve shirt at Walmart along with a cheap pair of sunglasses. I also bought a stick of sunscreen and bug spray. I didn’t end up taking the bug spray as they didn’t seem to be a problem on the first section of trail in the desert anyway.
Our sleeping bags are down and very compact but only go down to 32 degrees so an emergency bivy seemed like a good idea. I didn’t use it but if it had been any colder I might have. We looked at food options and I decided on oatmeal packets. And a rice pasta probably not much more nutritious than ramen but it is light and cheap. Tiffany had picked up a packaged misquite chicken for dinner and eggs for breakfast. Since we ended up only needing those two meals we never got around to my oatmeal and pasta. Guess I will be packing those for lunch at work these next few days. I also learned the power of electrolytes for preventing bonking out when doing endurance events from training for and completing a century bike ride in 2011.
The Starbucks card was a gift for Jay. Tiffany’s friend who was dropping us off at the start. In the shuffle of getting everything to San Diego Monday after a long shift at work it was forgotten in Murrieta. He said, “No payment accepted. Getting you guys to the start of the trail is my adventure for the week.” So alas it shall be quite a burden using that gift card myself. 😉The other part about planning this hiking trip was the logistics around it being the heaviest flow days for my period. That took some research as to how to handle that. If you want specific details on that let me know I would be glad to share I just thought that it may be too much information for some.
Monday morning the new sleeping pad I had ordered to help ease the sciatic pain had not yet come in the mail. I thought the pain may flair back up as my back injury was only a week before. It had gauranteed delivery by that evening. I decided that if I needed to swing back by the house for the pack I might as well leave everything there and pick it up after work. I left the house at 0445 with sticky notes on my pack not to forget the tortillas n the fridge and everything that needed to go stacked around the end of my bed. I got off work late at 7:00pm getting into Murrieta around 8:00pm then changed my clothes and gathered the refrigerated items as well as stashing my purse and wallet only taking the necessities out of it (this is where I left the Starbucks gift card in my wallet 😟) and headed south to Chula Vista getting in to Tiffany’s around 9:30-10:00pm. I had a pounding headache and still needed to organize and pack my bag. Tiffany was carrying the tent and o was carrying the stove and food. She had a water bladder j could use and we both made sure we had at least 5 liters of water on us. At 2.2 lbs/liter it was heavy but there is no water for the first 20.3 miles. I took out anything that was not deemed absolutely necessary but still the packs seemed heavy. Neither one of us had a scale so we don’t know how heavy. We had to have all the water, and should maybe have had more. We finished packing and showered crawling into bed around midnight. It had been a long day, my head still hurt and I still had to talk myself into sleep. A mixture of excitement, anticipation, and a since of what have I gotten myself into churned through my mind. Sleep sleep I needed to sleep 0400 would come soon and I needed at least a few hours.