Let’s Try Backpacking

In my research on the Camino de Santiago and the necessary gear needed to complete the 500-mile trek, I have come across quite a bit of information on backpacking. I am referring to hiking backpacking rather than travel backpacking. So think A Walk in the Woods rather than Euro Trip. Not a great comparison but you get the idea. Growing up we took many family camping trips to various state parks in Georgia. I loved these trips. I had so much fun exploring nature and spending time with my family. However, Georgia State Parks are quite nice and offer water and electrical hookups at camping spots and communal bathrooms with showers are just a short walk away. I don’t have any experience with the “backwoods” type of camping that comes with backpacking, yet the minimalistic experience of living off what’s solely in your pack is appealing. Well, we’ll see if it’s still appealing in practice. That being said, I had and still have so many questions. How do you decide where to make camp? What kind of food do you take? How do you properly store food as not to attract bears? And my favorite question, what’s the deal with pooping? If you’re wondering, there is a protocol for pooping in the woods if there is no toilet available. I’ve posted a video below for those who are curious. 

Since I’m already purchasing a few backpacking items for my Camino trip, I figured I should try out hiking backpacking as well. I want to take my first trip before the Camino, but at the moment it is a bit chilly in the northern part of Georgia. A great destination suggestion I found online was Cumberland Island near the Georgia-Florida border. Cumberland Island is a remote island off the coast of Georgia, with beautiful moss-covered live oaks, wild horses, and long complicated history. The only way to access the island is by ferry.  A limited number of people are allowed on the island and if you plan to camp you will need to make a reservation. The island has five campsites. Sea Camp which is located near the beach offers carts for hauling gear, restrooms with cold showers, potable water, and 16 tent sites with picnic tables and fire rings. If you’re looking for a more remote backpacking experience with scenic views, you can hike a bit further to one of their three wilderness campgrounds. According to the National Park Services (NPS) website, the wilderness campgrounds have non-potable water sources that will need to be treated before consumption. For more information about planning a camping or backpacking trip to Cumberland Island please see the NPS link below.  

I love the outdoors of coastal Georgia. It feels both romantic and gothic. Walking under a canopy of twisted live oaks with Spanish moss delicately placed on each whimsical limb is like taking a stroll through the pages of a southern love story. I travel to the region almost yearly but haven’t visited Cumberland Island since I was a child. Returning to the island will surely be a mix of nostalgia and adventure. 

Cumberland Island Camping 


How to Poop in the Woods || REI