This weekend, I’m actually up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, hiking the Southern Presidential range on my first overnight backpacking trip. It’s not a standard backpacking trip – I’m staying in one of the AMC’s huts where they feed us dinner and breakfast – so I don’t need to pack in a sleeping bag, stove or food – just snacks and what I need to wear!
The huts have been run by the Appalachian Mountain Club for over 125 years. I’ll be staying at the Mizpah Spring Hut, a cool 3,777 feet above sea level. While it’s no camping, it’s not exactly glamping either. Shared bunkrooms, composting toilets, cold water, no outlets to recharge your iPhone ;). Enough to feel like I’m off the grid, but not too much to make me feel alone in the woods. Dinner is served promptly at 6PM, and breakfast is at 7AM. Meals are cooked by the hut’s croo (yes, croo)- usually young mountain-loving college students who spend summers helping out travelers like me. They bring up all of the food themselves – sometimes strapping up to 100 pounds to their back at a time!
I’ve heard really great things about the huts – initially reading about them here on the blog Dear Anna and then again when doing research in this piece in the NYTimes. Both give you a better idea of the community vibe you can expect from the huts – something I’m looking forward to hopefully doing again and again.
I’m actually going on a trip through an organization called Backcountry Yoga – where one of their yoga teachers leads the hike and helps you practice yoga under the stars. I was nervous about doing the hike alone – so it’ll be fun to meet some new people and hopefully make a friend or two in the process.
Laura from Backcountry yoga sent a big list of recommendations on what to bring and I did some research and bought a few things, below. The most important thing to remember for hiking in New England: quick dry clothes. While the hikes start out as any normal nice summer day, the high elevation causes extreme changes in weather and rain can come at any moment.
Of note, I haven’t splurged yet to buy a backpack of my own, since I’m not sure how often I’ll be going backpacking. So far I rented a pack from the Reading REI – so that is not included in the list below!
Sources: Puffy jacket (Uniqulo) // Hiking Boots (DSW) // Quick Dry Towel (REI) // Smartwool socks (REI) // Marmot Rain Pants (REI) // Patagonia Barely Briefs Underwear (REI) // Long sleeve (Old Navy) // T-Shirt (REI)