It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.
When I was 19 I took a bus from Port Angeles to Forks (on the western side of the peninsula) and walked into Olympic National Forest from the bus station. My plan was to spend about a week in the NP, climbing east into the mountains and then heading north along Madison Creek back to the 101. My gear was third-rate and better suited to tramping around on Greyhound, which is what I had been doing the rest of that summer. I spent a few incredibly soggy days in the rainforest, but it wasn't the damp or the cheap gear that did me in. All that rain made me feel incredibly melancholy and lonely and I missed my girlfriend (now wife) something fierce. After a few days I couldn't stand the ache in my heart anymore and hiked out to catch a bus to Utah to see her and dry out in the sun. I can't believe I'm admitting that, but it's fun reminiscing.
I started taking 3 and 4-day trips when I was about 16. Incrementally increasing the length of the expeditions was key, both in making my dad feel comfortable and in building my own competence in the backcountry.
Good luck and keep us posted, whatever you do. I wouldn't mind being 15 and full of wanderlust again. It makes life exciting.
.. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville
My son is 15 and is planning a thru hike of the Sheltowee Trace in KY with a friend of his when they turn 17. In order for this to happen, we (me, my son, his friend and his friend's father) are doing section hikes of the Sheltowee (should be able to hit most of it before he goes) not only to assure me he can manage, but to give him some idea of what it will be like and some of the obstacles he may encounter. Last summer we ran into a 5 mile section of blowdowns that took us almost 8 hours to get through...needless to say, it was an eye-opening experience for both of us. He completely surprised me with his navigation and decision making. It was definitely a proud moment for both of us.
If you can't get the parents blessing on this trip, I would recommend that a trusted adult go with you on a couple of shorter sections throughout the year to get an assessment of your skills. They could help persuade your parents to let you follow your bliss on your next trip.
Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand - Robert Hunter
But thanks for starting this thread. We learn a lot about ourselves in these dialogues, too. Speaking of dialogue, what are your thoughts now? It's your turn ...
I've been talking to my parents, and they are sort of okay with it. My friend and I have a fair bit of backcountry experience, and we can do it. But, to test out backpacking alone, our parents thought it would be a good idea to test it out on a smaller 2-3 night trip first before going out for a week. I cannot go on the Canada trip,it got canceled. I spent my hammock money on some cycling gear, so I'm going to make a DIY hammock. Thanks for the help guys, i wanted a few other opinions, and you guys gave me a bit of a confidence booster.
I bet there are plenty of places in AZ for you to work out the kinks in your system, but you might run into a slight glitch when testing the rain-worthyness of your tarp.
Yes, but my buddy refuses to accept hammocks as a viable option, so if the tarp is bad, I can go in his tent. I may just buy a tarp to minimize that risk.
Does your buddy give a reason for not accepting hammocks? I'm just curious.
Lots of good hiking within a few hours of you. A 2-3 day trip is a great idea and will give your parents even more confidence in you!
Sounds like you've got your head screwed on right. Have a good trip.
Boy, am I jealous that you got to see that World Cup in Germany!