A quote from my favorite movie: Wild. The inspiration for my last -and actually also my first- real adventure. Wild, with Reese Witherspoon, is based on the story of Cheryl Strayed. Who hiked the PCT when she was 26 years old. 1.100 miles in three months. All alone. I was deeply impressed by her story. The movie made me adding something to my bucketlist: hike a trail. This was the inspiration for this adventure and waking up with, yes, coffee.
So, hike a trail. Not necessairly the Pacific Crest Trail. But well, let’s start small. I went hiking and wild camping for just two days. Alone. In the mountains close to Barcelona. After reading some blogs and a lot of tips & tricks, I bought all the gear. I felt mentally prepared. Will it be your first time as a women alone camping in the wild? Check these tips. How to survive in the wild. It helped me a lot to prepare myself.
So, time to pack my bag. I don’t know if you have seen the movie, but at a surtain point Cheryl, the main character, is in some kind of eufory. She is packing her bag and everything fits perfectly. I totally understand that feeling. Till the moment you try to put the bag on. Good feeling’s gone. Cheryl has some issues with standing up and keep standing straight. Yeah, I do understand that feeling now too. How is this possible? I’m only carrying things for two days, not for three months. Let’s see it as part of the adventure. Like a free gift. A 1+1. Time to go!
“I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back. And, most surprising of all, that I could carry it.”
After a train ride, it was time for the real deal. Time to hike. After more or less 10 meters uphill I already felt like dying. The devil on my shoulder start telling me that I still can go back and that I can quit every moment. Luckily the strength in me and the feeling that I could do it, was stronger. My legs just needed some rest. I tried to sit down on a small brick wall next to the path. With my bag still on. It seriously almost dragged me in a clought. Learned my first lesson. Believe me, I never tried it again. After a while I really started to enjoy the hike. My body was kind of used to it, I had a positive state of my mind and the view was amazing. After taking a cross road, I was all alone. Exactly what I was looking for.
I felt strong and tough. During the day and during the night. Never felt a moment of fear. What I sometimes feel when I’m home, alone. I think the safe feeling you have at your home or bed, is already not there in the wild in your tent. After a cold windy night I woke up like a hero. Proud of myself. That I did this while a lot of people thought I was crazy. And, that I could cross off some things from my bucketlist (camping alone, wild camping and coffee in the mountains). The best part was yet to come: breakfast.
I was safe
I was strong
I was brave
Nothing could vanquish me.”
Where was I? Oh yes, breakfast. I prepared some pourage and fresh coffee. This was really the best moment of my adventure. Coffee with a view. I took my Hario V60 with me and some fresh ground coffee from Nømad Coffee. Even if I didn’t had the pouring technique, the right equipment and the coffee was pre-ground, it was one of the best coffees I ever drunk. Feeling like a hero, the view, the peace and calmness, the loneliness, all together in one cup of freshly brewed filter coffee.
What I have learned from my first time wild camping:
1. Be and feel prepared. It is better to take some extra stuff on your first wild camping adventure, than to feel bad, insecure and/or unsafe.
2. Tell people where you go and when. I made a deal with some friends and family that I would send them a text in the morning. Just to let them know that I was not eated by a bear. Nor a men.
3. Don;t think about all the things that could go wrong. Have a positive mind. You will enjoy it more. If something will happen you will definitely figure it out on that moment.
4. Add something to your trip that you are looking forward to. For me it was the coffee in the morning. It helped me through the night. I woke up like a 9-year-old on Christmas morning that is ready to unwrap the presents. I was totally ready to prepare coffee!
Just one last tip. Never sit down on a brick wall with a heavy backpack on. I speak from experience.
All the quotes I use in my post are from Cheryl Strayed herself.