Episode 126: If You Want to Try Backpacking,

You’re in Good Company

Sponsored by Merrell, Deuter, and Rooted

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Backpacking can be transformative – hiking out with everything you need on your own two feet is empowering. But it can be intimidating when you first get started, especially if you’re the first in your family or friend group to get out there. So we turned to our She Explores community for their advice.

With the help of listeners and Backpacking 101 author Heather Balogh Rochfort, we share stories of first-time backpackers, what they learned, and what they’d recommend you do differently your first-time overnight on the trail.

Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or a beginner, there’s inspiration and a little magic to be found in this episode.

Banner Image courtesy of Laura Navar

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Featured in this episode: 

Voice memos: Maggie Rehberg, Holly Bullis, Jennifer Jansen, Lindsey Falkenburg, Victoria Wang, Laura Navar, Tori Morrison, Marie Vanderpool, Lori O’Connell, Sarah Grothjan, Alexandra Goldman, Meg Dagon, and Julie Hotz.

Interview with Heather Balogh Rochfort on getting started backpacking.

Hosted by Gale Straub

Music is by Lee Rosevere, Kai Engel, Josh Woodward, and Meydän using CC by A license. 

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • Stories of listeners’ first time out backpacking
  • The story of host Gale Straub’s first backpacking trip
  • Conversation with Heather Balogh Rochfort, author of Backpacking 101, about practical advice for women who are new to backpacking, including:
    • Safety
    • Hygiene
    • What to pack
    • Leave No Trace
  • Advice from listeners about what they wish they knew when they got started, as well as specific advice for fellow solo backpackers
  • A bit of cheerleading you didn’t know you needed to take the final step towards your first backpacking trip!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Featured in the Episode

Victoria Wang, who believes there’s no one right way to do your first backpacking trip
Marie Vanderpool thinks you shouldn’t let anyone tell you you’re not prepared
Sarah Grothjan started out solo, but has made good friends by pursuing her interests in heading to the backcountry
Maggie Rehberg is slowly unlearning the things she believes she can’t do
Julie Hotz wants to be your backpacking cheerleader
Laura Navar assures us that backpacking doesn’t have to be ‘extreme’ to be backpacking
Meg Dagon feels safer backpacking than hiking – she knows she has all her gear with her to stay warm and safe!
Jennifer Jansen was inspired to start a new creative venture after her first solo backpacking trip.
Lori O’Connell doesn’t let naysayers get in her way
Holly Bullis went on her first trip in middle school, and she’s been backpacking ever since
Heather Balogh Rochfort shares her advice from almost 20 years of backpacking (and writing about it!)

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