Although solitude and an escape from the crowded streets of Fresno draw many solo backpackers to the trails of the Sierra Nevada, there is something to be said for heading to the high country with a romantic partner. The scenic seclusion of the backcountry is the perfect place to commune with a lover, and it offers plenty to enrich and build a relationship.
A change of scenery
Even the healthiest relationships can end up in a rut. The pressures of workaday life, paying bills and even mundane chores like housework can put relationship building and maintenance on the back burner. Enter the Sierra Nevada. The stark beauty of the wilderness not only puts the rest of life in perspective but also requires the simplest of daily routines: making and breaking camp, quick meals and a daily "commute" from one bivy to the next along amazing stretches of trail or across the scenery itself. The simplicity of backpacking can give a couple time to focus on each other and enjoy quality time relaxing without the distractions of the daily grind.
Sharing the burden
Backpacking with your best friend means sharing the load—from the work necessary to plan and prepare for a trip to the actual weight in your pack. Poring over maps and guide books to devise a trip plan together builds excitement and anticipation and is a fun project for a couple in and of itself. Assembling menus and meals for the trip together cuts the work in half and frees up time to plan something a bit more extravagant—dehydrating your own meals, for example, or going shopping for your and your partner's trail food favorites.
Then you can share the drive to the trailhead, divide navigation responsibilities and camp chores and split or alternate the packing of heavier gear so that everyone's pack starts off and stays light. Relying on each other throughout a trip builds trust and appreciation for what a partner brings to a shared life.
The couple is greater than the sum of its parts
Joining your life partner on a backpacking trip can set the stage for even more exciting trips than those you might experience alone. With combined skills for backcountry navigation and the increased safety of a partner, you may be able to hike to off-trail destinations. On trail, you and your partner may be able to hike longer or farther, knowing that making camp and dinner will take half the time with two sets of hands instead of one. Epic adventures always await in the wilderness, and these shared experiences make memories that a couple can reminisce about for years to come.
Private time and romantic escapes are integral parts of any relationship, and few settings can match the splendor and romance of the intricate cascades, massive peaks, expansive canyons and wildflower meadows that await couples who backpack in the Sierra. Sun-filled days and starlit skies will quickly restore your hearts to unison and provide the ultimate setting for love. Make a date with mother nature—at any time of year—and let the magic of the high country bring you closer to the one you love.
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