Adventuring With Your Significant Other
So you're an avid backpacker and experienced outdoor weekend warrior but your new significant other doesn't quite have the same experience or love for the outdoors as much as you do, but they are willing to give it a try? Show them what they are missing and how great nature can be! Isn't that the dream? To have a full-time partner for all your adventures!
The Hike It goes without saying, but plan a fun adventurous hike with tons of waterfalls, starry nights, or beautiful mountainous views. A beach trail hike is also great if you live near a coastal park. More than likely your significant other won't be used to hiking long distances with a 30 pound pack or tackling huge elevation changes and endless switchbacks up a mountain. Choose a fairly level trail and plan to cover between 5-7 miles per day. It's also a great idea to find trails that follow streams or rivers because they are usually very scenic and don't have much elevation change. Plus, the mid-day swims are always a good idea! If the relationship is still relatively new, may only want to stick to 1-3 nights. Base camping is another great option. Start by backpacking with all your gear to your campsite and setting up there for your time and just "day pack" it out from camp with food, water, and any essential items you may need for the day. If it's there first time ever camping, you could always opt for car camping too by driving to the campsite with all your gear instead of backpacking to it. It generally makes the camp life easier since you're able to bring more gear but comes with the price of less solitude since there's going to be roads near by.
Prepare I’m sure you're used to bringing the bare essentials, packing light, sleeping on the ground with just a rain fly as your shelter but being this is their first time, you may want to opt for the roomy 2 person tent with some bug protection. Preparing for your trip is going to be the key; Plan days ahead of the gear you'll each be carrying, have them try their pack on with all the weight to see if it feels comfortable and get them used to it. Things are bound to go wrong at times, which is why you should always prepare for the worst. Check the weather several times prior to the trip. Make a gear/food list of everything you think you'll need so nothing is forgotten. Don't forget to include a first aid kit, toilet paper, bug spray, ibuprofen, and maps. There are pros to going backpacking with another person! Since you probably won't mind sharing, there's less overall you will have to bring and you can split the weight evenly between the two. Generally, one stove will work, 1 can of bug spray, using the one tent, etc.
Sleeping Comfort One of the hardest things for a "newb" is sleeping outdoors. It's something one must get used to so prepare and bring the right gear that is comfortable. If you're car camping or even camping from your canoe or kayaks, air mattresses are extremely comfortable. There's some out there that only take a battery operated pump. If you are backpacking, sleeping pads are a must! No time better than now to get cozy in a 2 person sleeping bag and snuggle in. They are bulkier and would be harder to hike with but if you're car or base camping, might very well be worth it! Don't forget the compression pillows! Cozying up in a hammock for napping around camp is also a fun favorite, but sleeping 8 hrs in them with someone else, you'll wake up with an arm or leg completely asleep.
Food Girls love a guy who can cook, especially when outdoors and not in a traditional kitchen. Show off you resourcefulness by preparing a gourmet meal! Get creative and plan the meals out in advance. If car camping, bringing a cooler is an option, then pack eggs, bacon, steaks, potatoes, the possibilities are endless! If you're preparing everything on your backpacking stove, do some research for some amazing backpacking recipes! Spices are also impressive to have in your kitchen set, and heat up any meal along with some hot sauce in a travel container. What's a gourmet meal without something to wash it down with. Some nice wine in a Nalgene bottle can be a romantic way to top it all off!
Other Things to Think About When backpacking, you generally spend your day hiking, cooking, setting up and taking down camp, but once there is down time, you'll want to entertain yourselves with something other than just conversation. Plan to swim in a nearby stream, bring a book to read together, or bring some playing cards. And since it's probably their first time, you don't want to forget the camera to document your hiking trip together. Don't forget to have fun between all the meals, hiking, and camp chores. Enjoy your time together and show them a romantic adventure they will remember forever. Keep safety a priority and never take any unnecessary risks. These are all things I've learned from my experiences and I believe they can work for men and women. Just ease them into it and show them the beautiful and fun side of nature that made you fall in love.