Lauren! You’re getting ready for a 30-mile backpacking trip across Yosemite National Park! With less than a month before you set out, what’s top-of-mind for you right now in your final preparations?
I’ve been focused on improving my meal game! In the past, I’ve relied heavily on peanut butter sandwiches and pesto pasta. While those will still be part of the menu, I’ve been experimenting with creating my own dehydrated meals.
How did you pick this particular backpacking route, and what does this trip mean to you?
I’ve always wanted to backpack in Yosemite. When I was researching routes, I knew I wanted to experience a different area of the park as I had only visited Yosemite Valley in the past. I was excited when my permits came through to hike from Tuolumne Meadows via Vogelsang. The route includes stretches on many different iconic trails and feels like a unique way to experience the High Sierra!
This trip has been a long time in the making – you envisioned this trip when you first visited Yosemite a decade ago? How has your relationship with backpacking evolved over that time?
When I visited Yosemite about 10 years ago, I had never been backpacking. I remember chatting with a few backpackers during a hike that weekend. I was intrigued, but also felt like I would not even know where to start. Backpacking seemed daunting and out of reach.
I went on my first trip about 4 years later with a friend. Since then, I started to do a few trips each year, gaining more confidence in my backcountry skills with each trek. This trip feels like a fun culmination of those adventures and a good personal reminder to always start something new – even if it feels intimidating in the moment.
I love that each ambassador is engaged with the mission of The Cairn Project through their own unique adventure, amplifying the message that “outdoor adventure” looks different for everyone.
Along with getting ready to make your way over Vogelsang Pass, you’re also raising money for The Cairn Project! First, thank you!! And second, why did adding this layer of purpose appeal to you – what drew you to The Cairn Project’s community of Ambassadors?
I really resonate with the mission of The Cairn Project. I was fortunate to have access to the outdoors as a child and have benefited immensely. I love that The Cairn Project is working to elevate women and young girls in outdoor adventure sports and raise awareness to the lack of access and diversity that continues to exist today.
I also really appreciate being part of a community of like-minded women. I love that each ambassador is engaged with the mission of The Cairn Project through their own unique adventure, amplifying the message that “outdoor adventure” looks different for everyone.
Finally, some real talk for long mileage days: what indulgent food are you bringing with you? Salty or sweet?
Both! Goldfish and gummy bears are always within reach.