Gifford Pinchot backpacking in the national forest. Photo by Nolan Kalish.

Backpacking is special Brand camp.. This is not about parking the car and pulling out the cooler box. Backpacking means carrying everything you need, hitting a trail, and miles away from a paved road. Flush toilet And even other people.That means the night between Washington Alpine lake When Native forest, Midnight view of the Milky Way and wild flowers and coffee. And the best part: it’s possible for everyone.

Please select a season

Believe it or not, we have backpacks all year round in the northwest. Summer is the undisputed peak season, wildA pack of sizes, a sturdy adventurer bravely confronts the spring rain, Camp in the colors of autumn.. A snow camp with spectacular nights and soothing downlayers turns winter into a special season. (check out Our guide on how to love it.).

Consider the weather when choosing a backpacking vacation window.Nights in the Pacific Northwest are cold, and the higher the altitude, the colder (especially). Mountain).Track the temperature with National Weather Service Check the snow level on the website SNOTEL.. Another good way to measure your recent condition: Check the travel report For each destination of the Washington Trail Association.

Remember that at any time of the year, a big trip doesn’t have to mean a big mileage. With more equipment in the pack, even a short hike can feel like training. Our search and rescue community Is strong (Even animals!), But the best trips don’t have to call them.




Request a campsite

Car camping is not the only form of outdoor activity. Reservations are required.. Many spots in the northwest are permitted areas, and some spots limit the number of issues. Rule of thumb: If you are in a national park (Rainier, OlympicAlso North Cascade), Backpacking trips probably require advance booking. Enchantment The area of ​​the beautiful mountain lake near Leavenworth is also carefully managed.the reservation Recreation.gov..

Still, thousands of miles of trails and unlimited spots are left for unreserved, unlicensed backpacking.Often all you need is Parking ticket It’s on the trailhead, but there are still rules: Leave no traceA framework for enjoying the outdoors without harming the natural world, and outlines how to camp on durable surfaces.

Collect gear

And you thought regular camps were expensive. Dedicated backpacking gear that’s lightweight and compact enough to carry can easily reach thousands of dollars. Some of the best outdoor equipment is: Made here In Seattle Therm-a-rest When Feathered friend.. First, focus on the basics of tents, sleeping bags, sleeping bags, backpacks, stoves, and more.

But there are many ways to get backpacking stuff without paying the full amount (or even buying our sales rack) Favorite outdoor shop). Borrow from many local stores and organizationsAs a bonus, beginners can try things out in the field before buying for themselves.

Backpackers have access to almost all gear alternatives and workarounds except food depots. Some national parks require a dedicated bear canister ( Local store) To prevent animals from accessing important food.Do you want to check with the ranger? National park website For many. Proper food storage However, it is required at all backcountry campgrounds. Bears are not the only ones who can ruin a trip. Rats, foxes and raccoons are equally destructive.

Find friends and procure skills

As we covered First camp guideThere are many ways to find the outdoors partner Around Seattle — and some will go backpacking with you. Even better Mountaineers backpacking course Also Guided company Kaf Adventures Appears with the ability to plan a trip on their own. Cascade Mountain Adventure Hold backpacking intensive for women (including snow camp expeditions).




Plan entertainment

Finding and setting up a backpacking site can be a daunting task. Don’t worry too much about getting bored. However, there is no problem even if you introduce a playing card or flower identification app. Or get the perfect Starlight photo —Mountaineers Books has the entire book Dedicated to capturing night scenes. Oh, and don’t forget the most important backpacking activity of all of them, go to the bathroom. REI When Leave no trace Did you cover it?