#5. backpack somewhere

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As compared to the next Midwestern-raised corporate attorney, aka the land of no topography and zero trees, I like to consider myself as relatively “outdoorsy.” I mean, in a past life, I frequently car-camped and schlepped through rural Kentucky (redundant?) in order to destroy my hands and body on some incredible sandstone. Pre-law Clee was a much cooler cat than lawyer Clee can ever hope to be. *Sigh*

That said, I had never been on a proper backpacking trip that required me to carry all necessary supplies out to the site. Nor had I realized that “necessary supplies” could entail a rotisserie chicken and a dozen fresh eggs. Just goes to show you, there’s always something more to be learned. Maybe this wasn’t the purest of backpacking experiences. But the clock is ticking, that list is long, and I’m counting it!

Truly, it was an amazing experience with stellar company. If you’re looking for a moderate hike (16-ish miles out and back) for a weekend trip, I’d highly recommend Paradise Lake. Especially if you’re going with a dozen easygoing clowns, the aforementioned chicken, a LifeStraw, and approximately 10 ENO hammocks.

Notes from the field:

  • Hammock camping is great in theory–until it starts to storm. But then it’s hilarious to witness the collective scurrying out of hammocks and into tents.
  • If using a LifeStraw for the first time in front of a predominantly male group, expect heckling.
  • Everyone needs an ENO.
  • A Safeway rotisserie chicken magically multiplies in volume when you’re camping and can feed hundreds.
  • I have some amazing friends.
  • But seriously, the LifeStraw is pretty nifty.
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don’t you dare tell me to suck harder…

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