I recently wrote a blog post about making 30 goals for myself before turning the big 3-0. When I wrote that list I started to get a bit worried… I am already 24 so I don’t have the FULL decade to finish, but I have been trying my best.
I have already completed one! #PraiseHandsEmoji
#26. Hike up a mountain.
When Mr. Yell and I went on our road trip up here to Seattle, there was one hike I was adamant about completing: Avalanche Peak Hike in Yellowstone National Park.
I had been researching our trip for months, and when I found pictures of the hike, I just couldn’t forget about it.
I am not very athletic, and I am honestly a quitter. If things get hard or I feel uncomfortable I just quit. So for me this mountain represented so much. It was a challenge to myself to set a goal and complete the goal completely.
Guys, it was so worth it.
Finally reaching the peak after 2 hours of climbing steep trails and shale was the most incredible feeling. I felt so proud and honestly, somewhat amazed, of what I had done. It unlocked something inside of me that I didn’t know I had… That I can do it.
I can hike up a mountain. Crazy right?
All this to say: if there is something you want to try, but aren’t sure if you can do it, or if you “know” you can’t… do it anyway. It may take you 2x, 5x, 10x longer than anyone else, but when you complete it, there is no better feeling.
I was always the kid who would be forced outside to play, and then instead of running around, I would sit and read… because technically I was still outside.
I loved nature, I just didn’t like camping. I HATED camping. I didn’t like the lack of showers, good food, warmth, or books. I wanted a cabin… not a tent.
However, as I got older I have really started to fall in love with the outdoors, and with being out in nature. I love hiking and camping now. Nature has started to become a place to relax and reflect, that alone has made me slowly but surely fall more in love with camping.
Zach and I have recently started to go camping more often. We want to work up to a backpacking adventure, but we are starting small with camping trips where we don’t pack out all of our stuff in order to try new gear and refine our skills.
One of the pieces we bought was a tent. We bought a 3 person tent that was light-weight, easy to assemble, and perfect for us.
However, it took us a bit of time to get to the end result of buying our tent.
Buying a tent is a big deal. There are so many options and variants to tents that it is overwhelming to know where to start.
For Mr. Yell and I, we just asked ourselves 4 important questions:
How many people do you want to fit in your tent? Do you need a family size? Do you want a two person tent? How much room do you take up as an individual? How much space does your gear need? For Mr. Yell and I, we really wanted a two person tent. We wanted something small so that less area would be disturbed. However, once we started looking at our needs, we realized the 3 person tent would be better. This way we have plenty of room for us, and our gear.
Mr. Yell and I are slowly getting into backpacking, so for us the answer was NOT heavy at ALL. We wanted something light and easy to pack, this way we have room for other things like… food. This narrowed down our options considerably since we wanted a pack around 5 lbs and no more than that to conserve space and energy when on the trails.
Again, since we are starting to make tent camping a bigger part of our lives now, durability was a major factor. We wanted to buy a tent we could use for a few years and not just a season. This meant looking at what our tent was made out of and how it was put together.
How much set up?
Like most people our answer was “None. No set-up please!” But also like most people we realized we don’t live in a fantasy world and will have to set up our own tent. Since I am not a master at puzzles and Mr. Yell and I knew we didn’t want to freak out over instructions, we really wanted a tent that took under 15 minutes to set up. We wanted easy and quick so that when we do start backpacking for longer hikes, we don’t have to waste much energy on our shelter. The tent that we ended up choosing promised a 10 minute set up time and it is definitely fast! The poles are already connected by bungie cords and the hooks are twist and snap to attach the poles to the fabric. Definitely a win for us!
Just remember: buying a tent can be a pretty serious commitment because of the cost, so don’t be afraid to take your time when looking, be sure to ask questions of yourself about what you want vs what you need, and ask others questions as well.
Mr. Yell and I have been enjoying the outdoors more and more lately. If you happen to follow my Instagram, you might have noticed how I am making it more about being outdoors. I realized recently that I hadn’t quite done that here on the blog.
I will post more about the trips and hikes Mr. Yell and I take; as well as the gear we use. We’ve been researching, trying, and buying gear for a while now, so it’s about time that I share these things with you all. Not to mention the places we visit and enjoy.
“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.” — Wilfred Peterson
I am excited to share this new and incredible part of my life with you all. I love that I am getting to share more about my thoughts on the beauty of this earth and the gear Mr. Yell and I use to see it all.