New Place // Lassen Volcanic National Park
My fiance and I decided to go on a weekend backpacking trip. We settled on Lassen Volcanic National Park for a few reasons. First, we had never been there. Second, it is a National Park and all National Parks are awesome. Finally, compared to the more popular National Parks, it is relatively uncrowded. We got to Lassen, got our wilderness permits and headed out from Summit Lake. We hiked just under 5 miles to Upper Twin Lake and set up camp lakeside opposite from the trail. The afternoon and evening were perfect. We had wildlife all around, the lake water was surprisingly warm, and the weather was perfect. The next day we headed north 6.3 miles to Little Bear Lake. Unfortunately, this part of the trail suffered from a recent forest fire and was not as lush as day one. We probably would have gone south, but to complete that loop required multiple waist deep stream crossings. On day three we hiked 5 miles back to our car.
All in all, this is a great backpacking trip to get your quick wilderness fix. There is no competition for wilderness permits like in some of the more crowded parks. I would highly recommend checking out Lassen if you feel like swimming in some beautiful mountain lakes.
New Thing // Sawyer Water Filer
I needed a water filter for the above-mentioned backpacking trip. I settled on the Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System. The system comes with two 1 liter bags you can use to gather water. Then you are required to attach the filter and squeeze the water through. What I liked about the system is it is light weight and easy to operate. The downside of the system is it not super easy to fill the bags and it can take awhile to gather all your water if you need to fill up hydration packs and have water to cook with. That being said, I will continue to use the system for the foreseeable future.
Best Self // Backpacking
Can you sense a theme here? After spending the weekend in the woods I choose to say a few words about backpacking here because there are both physical and mental benefits that you receive if you get out into the woods. There are obvious physical benefits from hiking with 50+ pounds on your back. But more than the physical benefits are the mental ones. We hiked where there was no cell service. Not having a connection for multiple days is something I would recommend everyone do at least once a year, preferably more. Plus, fresh air and wide open spaces do something that helps soothe your soul. In my book, there is no better medicine. So the next time you are in a bit of a rut, turn off your phone and head out to the woods.