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Why I Hike: Backpack Bren

Backpack Bren has been traveling and hiking on the cheap in some of the most scenic spots in the world. The photos on her Instagram account are spectacular, and she has a blog that documents her travel and tips. Here's why Backpack Bren hikes.

Why do you hike?
It gives me time to think and time to not-think. Also it gives such a great feeling of achievement when you reach the top, and you’ve done it all by yourself. My own legs brought me up there! The views are the price. There’s nothing more beautiful then a whole mountain range surrounding you, a lake to look out on, to raise above a forest, to walk in the snow on summits or to reach a waterfall you can jump off.

What’s your favorite place to hike?
As long as I’m surrounded by mountains and mountain views I’m happy. I like the dramatic stuff with big cliffs, drop offs and dangerous edges :)

Where would you like to hike?
I really want to summit the Mont Blanc one time, but I can’t wait to do the Kepler Track in New Zealand and the Kalalau Trail in Hawaii.

What’s the craziest animal you’ve seen on the trail?
I almost walked into a bear one day. He was just 23 feet away from me. I was all by myself that day, so I backed up and started shouting and making as much noise as I could. I was so afraid to walk into him again that I just sang songs and kept yelling for the next 2 hours. I was saying stupid things like ‘I don’t understand why teddybears are sweet, you guys are so scary, so please go away!” Of course I felt like an idiot, but I didn’t walk into him anymore :p

Another time I was hiking in Yosemite, early in the morning, through miles of snow. Out of the blue I stood eye to eye with a huge deer. He was just staring at me. I think we stood there for a minute, gazing at each other. So humbling!

Also I met a family who was spreading ashes of there beloved brother who passed away exactly a year ago. They went to his favourite summit. I watched their peaceful ceremony and thought: If I ever die, I want my family to do the same…

What piece of gear do you love and why?
A good sleeping bag. Nothing worse than cold nights!

What advice would you give to people wanting to start hiking?
Just do it. Don’t overthink to much and don’t be afraid you can’t. Your body is always stronger then you think! You never know if you like it or not, if you haven’t tried it yet.

You can follow Backpack Bren on Instagram at @backpackbren and read about her adventures on her website at backpackbren.com.

backpack bren hikes

backpack bren hikes

backpack bren hikes

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