I’ve been a hiker for many years. But as of summer last year, I’d never backpacked on my own, carrying everything on my own back. Hiking is just one aspect of backpacking. Just because you’ve hiked doesn’t mean you know everything you need to know to go backpacking.
So, when I decided to backpack the Colorado Trail, the mack daddy of long distance hikes in Colorado and the number one item on my bucket list, I planned like crazy. My goal was to plan so thoroughly, I would be prepared for anything that happened on the trail.
Here’s the funny thing, though. Knowing a lot about something doesn’t mean you can predict how everything will go. And sometimes planning like crazy is just a way to avoid actually doing something you really want to do. Planning my very first true backpacking trip taught me this lesson, a lesson I’m still struggling to learn. Here are the top five ways that backpacking taught me to ditch my urge to overplan and just hit the trail.