About 3 months ago, 2 friends of mine who I have known and been close with since early elementary school days asked if they could join me on an overnight backpacking/camping trip. Now to be clear, I would say they are beginners with no experience at all, however, about 8 years ago they both came out with me on an overnighter, and Jamie has also been out 2 other times on different trips. So they have very little experience and had pretty much no gear. Over the last 2 months they acquired what they needed and found what they had. I gave them my advice.. Take what you may.. They did what they wanted. Finally the morning of the hike, we met at the trail head parking lot and I thought we were about to start hiking.. But to my dismay.. All of their gear was in the trunk of their car.. Still in packaging from REI and where ever else they ordered from! And oh my goodness.. So much other stuff I was taken back! So basically I had to do an individual gear assessment for each of them.. Take this and that and by god, leave that and that and that … And that, and that, and c’mon guys, leave that and this and that too!! Their packs were still full to the max and yes it was ridiculous, but hey.. We were all there in the beginning. Honestly, the one main problem was their sleeping pads that REI sold them, weighed over 3 pounds each and was larger then their actual backpacks!! Insane yes, but we had no choice now and had to pack and use them.. Lol. So watching the video, yes it was a hard hike for 2 beginners. I really knew they could do it, struggle yes but at the end of the day I knew they were capable. And to be fair, they both repeatedly assured me that they could very well hike 6.5 – 7 miles a day. They also were aware of the trails we would be hiking and I sent them my videos to watch from previous trips I posted while hiking those trails, so no surprises there! Did they actually watch them or pay attention or do any research themselves? Absolutely NOT!! I knew it though, so 3 months of this back and fourth.. I knew what was happening and I knew I was going to have some fun with these guys.. And the final straw was them rolling in the trail head parking lot, half hour late.. And the gear incident! Oh boy, I was gonna have some fun and punish these fools while giving them what they asked for, some fun, lots of views and come backpacking/camping with me! Doug struggled indeed, and while Jamie kept pace and did not struggle, he had more gear failures in 2 days then I have had in my entire career!! I was not feeling 100%, tail end of a nasty cold and if this was a solo trip I would have cancelled on myself, but I did not want to cancel on them after 3 months planning so I sucked it up. Maybe I would have been a little nicer if I felt 100%? It was aggravating at times with 2 beginners and no clue, and it was hard too.. But at end of the day, we were 3 great friends From young childhood days, on a camping trip together now at 48 years old! It was funny and I gave it to them good. Yes they got the views and yes they earned those views!
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