Last weekend Ben and I went on a 3-day 2-night backpacking trip in the Manti-La Sal National Forest (about an hour from hour house). We camped at around 9,500 feet where the snow is on average about 6 feet deep. It was our first snowshoeing experience and we absolutely LOVED it. It was gorgeous and walking on top of the snow was such a fantastic experience. I especially liked how strenuous it was compared with regular hiking. We both definitely want to go again.
It was also our first winter backpacking/camping experience. That part… well let’s just say it wasn’t our favorite. It was extremely cold–so cold that any type of electronics (headlamp, camera) had to be kept close to your body at all times for warmth. Any water froze completely through at any time of day (like rock solid, no lie) and had to be kept in your sleeping bag. And then there was the sleeping part… Ben and I have really nice and expensive hiking/camping gear but it’s not cold weather gear so we basically froze our asses off at night. We got sleeping bag liners and did boiling water in water bottles but it just wasn’t enough to combat the below freezing temperatures (it was 9 degrees Fahrenheit during the night). It’s really hard to enjoy being out in the wild when you only get 1-2 hours of sleep and spend the rest of the night trying to stay alive. I was completely exhausted, especially after hiking around in deep snow, and just felt gross most of the time.
Though I will say our second day (Saturday) I absolutely loved. It got sunny and (kind of) warm during the day (don’t get too excited–we’re talking around 25 degrees) and I got to practice my harmonica for a few hours and drink hot chocolate. Ben went on a nature hike and wrote some poetry, which he also enjoyed.
Overall it was a fun, adventurous experience and I’m glad we went. We’re trying to figure out a way we can do some more snowshoeing without having to sleep in a tent… so we’ll keep you posted. For now, enjoy the beauty of Utah mountains in winter!
Curious what a couple of vegans eat during a backpacking trip? Click here to find out!