2 forum posts
I’m from Southern California and I am as new to backpacking as you can be – in fact, I’ve never been. I’ve recently been struck by an urge to embark on a ~3-5day backpacking trip. Of course, I knew I would need to do tons of research and planning before I would be ready to head out; however, I’ve noticed there are some things I didn’t realize I would need to learn. There seems to be so much more to backpacking than learning to be safe/survive and how to have a minimal impact on the environment. I was hoping that somebody here could help me out with some of my frustrations. If there is somewhere else I should ask these questions, please redirect me because I just recently realized that this website is an “outdoor *gear* community,” but it seems like these forums are used for this kind of thing as well....
First off, I’d like to ask about rules and regulations for different types of parks/wilderness. I had planned on window-shopping google images to find a place that looked interesting to explore, but I didn’t realize there were so many regulations and restrictions and that these rules differed from place to place. At first I was annoyed by this, but thanks to a post by Bill S. in this thread, https://www.trailspace.com/forums/trip-planning/topics/64877.html, I now realize and respect their necessity. I am, however, struggling to pick a place to go to because of these regulations. For example, after searching for a few days, I decided to go to San Jacinto… only to find (as I was printing the wilderness pass) that I would be restricted to camping in campsites (which is not what I am looking for). I am currently on the search again and was wondering if somebody could let me know if there is an easy way to find out whether a park/wilderness will let you camp in the wild. For example, do all wildernesses require a wilderness permit (adventure pass?) and not allow you to camp outside of camp grounds? or does it differ from park to park and I’ll just have to find out on my own? Also, does this sometimes differ depending on the trail (within the same park)?
There are a lot of “where should I go to” threads, so I don’t really need a recommendation (feel free to give me one if you’d like… I’m looking into Mt. San Gorgonio right now). I guess what I’m trying to find is a way to identify what restrictions there will be that's more easier/more efficient than reading the restrictions on the permit so that I can screen through places a bit faster…
Also, I’d like to hear whether people think starting out with a 5 day trip is too ambitious for somebody with zero experience… I am in very good physical condition and have read a lot (and will continue to read) about food/water/bears (and other hazards including sun, plants, etc.). I wouldn’t plan on going alone for 5 days, but would it be unwise to go at it alone for a single night?
I was going to ask more questions, and might do so later. Thank you for the help.