Tiff’s Personal Backpacking List

If you read my previous backpacking guide post, here’s my personal gear list I use.  I love my gear and I love gear shopping and researching so I’d highly recommend the products I use… amongst so many others of course 🙂

I’m always open to new product recommendations so if you have anything really awesome for me, comment below! Continue reading


Beginners Backpacking Guide

**disclaimer:  This is a beginners backpacking guide according to MY OPINION.  I’m no expert – I’ve only been backpacking since summer 2015, nothing extreme, haven’t been on too many adventures and have taken a few girls on their first backpacking trip, but I want to share what I’ve learned for anyone else looking to transitioning from day hiking to overnight backpacking.

For starters, I’d recommend going with someone who has been before.  Make sure you check if there is a permit system for your trial.  Many people have asked me how I trained to backpack; hiking and walking on an inclined treadmill both help.  Remember that when you actually get out there, it’s just you and the fellow backpackers out there, so know your limits.

Once you get to a good camp spot, I always like to pitch my tent, blow up my air pad, and lay out my sleeping bag right away so I won’t be too tired when I’m relaxed after dinner.

Below I’ve listed the gear you will need to acquire, my personal gear list, and food recommendations.

♥ If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments below.
♥ If you just want to know my recommendations/ what I like to use, scroll to the bottom. 

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Backpacking Havasupai in One Night

Hike to: Mooney Falls / Havasupai
Trail:  Havasu Falls Trail
Miles:  20 miles out & back (parking lot to Supai: 8 mi | Supai to Mooney Falls: 2mi)
Time:  1 overnighter (started 7 am first day, finished 2:30 pm second day)
Date I went:  11/19 – 11/20 2016
Difficulty: easy beginners backpacking trip (except the last mile kind of kicks your butt)
Hike Permit: Yes
Parking Permit: No
Location:  Supai, AZ

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Backpacking: Big Pine Creek to Third Lake

It’s been awhile since I’ve been backpacking and I must admit – I missed my big Osprey backpacking pack.  I haven’t been since I summit Mt Whitney last August, so last week, I decided I was going back to the Eastern Sierras to backpack just for one night [6.7.16 – 6.8.16]… and talked my adventure buddy into going with me.  Big Pine Lakes has been on my list for months now, but when I first heard about it, it was late Fall and not the right season. Now… was the perfect time.

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Upper Yosemite Falls, Struggles of a Winter Hike

Winter hikes are really a wondrous things… trails are less busy, everything is white, and the experience is completely different than a summer/spring hike.

A few months ago this past winter [2.20.16], I went to Yosemite National Park and it was beautiful!  I’ve been wanting to see Yosemite Valley in the winter with all the snow and hike to the top of Yosemite Falls, but wasn’t sure if the trail would be open due to winter weather conditions.  Well, we picked a great weekend to go with perfect weather and I was able to hike the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail.

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Mt. Whitney Hike Video

Video of our backpacking trip to Mount Whitney in August 2015!  It’s a little rocky because it was our first time shooting with the GoPro, but thanks Duy!  It includes footage from the Mobius Arch in Alabama Hills, as well as our journey on the Mount Whitney Trail, Lone Pine Lake, Trail Crest, Pinnacles, and of course the Mt. Whitney Summit.  Enjoy!

If you want to read about my entire Mt. Whitney backpacking trip, check out my previous blog » I Conquered Mount Whitney [14,505 ft]

p.s. It took me awhile to guess the tune in the video…. can you tell what it is? 😛

I Conquered Mount Whitney [14,505 ft]

Two weeks ago [8.25.15] at 9 am, I summited Mt Whitney… and it was amazing!!  How many people can say that?  Well I’ve been told only 30% of hikers who attempt it will succeed in summiting.  I’ve never even thought about doing this until early this year.  I knew someone that went last year, and someone else asked me to go this year… so I thought sure… why not… it’ll be a good short-term goal and quite an accomplishment.  That’s when I got really into hiking and decided to train with the Socal Six Pack of Peaks.  Mount Whitney is one of those big hikes you really want to be prepared for, so if you are like me, you want to read up as much as you can about other hikers’ experience.

It’s true what they say… the Mount Whitney Trail is like a freeway… you can’t get lost.  It is definitely the most beautiful hike I’ve been on.  All of my training hikes have definitely prepared me well for this;  the hike actually seems relatively easy if you don’t take into account lugging around a gigantic, heavy, backpack.  I definitely want to try this as a day hike next year.  This is what nature should look like everywhere… unfortunately, California is too dry to start with and the drought doesn’t help. 😦

Read on for my lengthy, detailed Mt Whitney hike experience including our timeline & a ton of unfiltered pics… just so you can get a feel for every view I had 😉  Continue reading