The Care and Feeding of Your Backpacker

The audience for this post is those who do not backpack and whose Significant Other is a backpacker. Additionally, and most importantly, it is for those who have some level of conflict with their backpacker and their hiking trips.

Recognizing that many backpackers are women, we will be using he or him as a non-gender pronoun. I don’t how our society came to disdain the traditional use of he or him as a non-gender pronoun, but it seems to be an issue for many people these days. We are doing this in recognitions that we need to do our part to reduce human-caused (apparently now politically incorrect to say: man-made) climate change by using only recycled electrons in the construction of our website, and by using he instead of he/she, we can reduce the effects of climate change by using fewer words, which require fewer electrons in our sentence construction, ultimately saving the planet.

Important points in the care and feeding of your backpacker

  • If your backpacker goes backpacking without you, it is not abandonment. He simply wants to go backpacking, and you as a non-backpacker should not feel separation anxiety. If you feel anxiety you might need the assistance of a mental health specialist. If by chance your backpacker does want to abandon you because you are a bitch or a dick, then perhaps you might want to change, or find a more suitable significant other.
  • If he goes backpacking and leaves you at home alone, you should be able to take time off and do something you enjoy. Life is a two way street.
  • If your backpacker constantly tries to force you to go backpacking with him, and knows you abhor the idea, then he is probably a bitch or a dick, and you would be better off with a new partner.
  • If your backpacker asks if it is okay for him to take a backpacking trip, he is not asking for permission. He is asking if there any commitments he has forgotten about. If you feel he needs your permission, the relationship is suspect and probably won’t last.
  • If your backpacker can’t verbalize why he wants and needs to go backpacking this is normal. More than likely he wants to get out of the man-made world for a while and seeks to enjoy the wilderness experience.
  • Understand that going into the wilderness means there is no Wi-Fi and no cell phone reception. This may be part of the reason your backpacker goes into the wilderness – to escape technology for a period of time.
  • If your backpacker doesn’t want to carry a satellite communication device so he can communicate with you while he is in the wilderness for your peace of mind, it is probably related to the point above. So chill out. Odds are exponentially high he will return home on time and without mishap.
  • If you would like to spend time with him in the outdoors, but not on a backpacking trip, it is reasonable for him to take you car camping or the two of you should even buy a camper. It is not a compromise for a backpacker to also engage in these activities.
  • You should insist that he provides you an itinerary of where he will be going, when he will be back, a date and time that you should begin to worry if he doesn’t check-in or get home, and emergency contact numbers of who to contact.
  • Don’t buy him backpacking gifts. That cute crank-up AM/FM/Weather radio with the fold-out table, utensils and plates is probably not something he will want. If he asks, as a gift suggestion, for something then go ahead and buy it for him if it fits your gift budget.
  • If your backpacker spends large amounts of time out in the wilderness without you, then you should expect him to spend time with you on trips you would enjoy as a couple. This includes exotic trips like ocean cruises – if he doesn’t think he’ll have a good time; he doesn’t have the proper frame of mind if he refuses to try. Consider that he may not be a keeper.
  • Understand that a couple doesn’t have to do everything together, but they should enjoy each other’s company enough to compromise on things like a cruise. Forcing someone to carry a backpack, sleep on the ground, and deal with creepy crawlies isn’t a compromise.

      Related Content