Romance and the Wild: How to Pull It Off

At first thought, mosquito bites, blisters and chaffed body parts don’t sound too romantic. Yet all of these things are part of backpacking. If you’re an avid hiker, you know to always pack bug repellent, wear wool socks inside of your boots and bring Vaseline. As unromantic as it seems, couples flock to the wilderness to get closer together, reconnect and adventure side by side. Afterall, backpacking requires trust and most times you’ll be spending a lot of time with that other person out on the trail, especially if you’re trekking through the backcountry together. If you’re planning the adventure of a lifetime, or the most romantic adventure ever to exist, take some inspiration from these four ideas.

Sweet, Sweet Sunsets

There’s something so romantic about watching the sun go down over the horizon. Spend the evening in each other’s arms and gaze at the orange, pink and blue sky until the sun disappears. Bring a blanket to sit on or a hammock to string up to take it all in. Make sure you bring a heavy-duty flashlight for the trip back to your car or camp spot. If you want to catch a sunrise instead, wear a headlamp on the climb up to avoid any missteps. Otherwise you might be coming down the mountain with a sprained ankle.

Backpacking and Brews

Imbibing in a drink or two after a long day on the trails is a great way to wind down from a long, strenuous day. When your legs are sore and you’re gathered together around your campfire roasting marshmallows and enjoying conversation together, set up your own impromptu beer-tasting sampler. Each of you should bring your favorite beer, like a Guinness Nitro IPA, and then critique or enjoy each other’s drinks. But remember, if you pack it in, you’ve got to pack it out. Don’t leave any cans or bottles behind.

Dog Days

Dogs are man’s (and woman’s) best friend. What better way is there to spend a day backpacking than with your pooch and your partner? Dogs are great companions on the trails, but before you bring Fido to the forest, make sure you’re well prepared. Bring a versatile doggy vest that is specially made for hiking trips. This way your dogs can carry their food and water on your trek. If you forgo the vest, you’ll have to make room in your packs for their essentials. Be sure to snap a few photos of your entire group, so you can reflect on your memories together.

Coastlines and Coffee

To make the best of a romantic hike, don’t plan a trip that’s grueling and strenuous. Instead, choose a trail at a moderate level that both you and your partner feel comfortable on. For example, consider the Andrew Molera Loop in Big Sur. The 8.8-mile loop offers breathtaking views of the California coastline and big blue ocean. The trail is not too challenging, so you can take your time and take in all the sights. Get an early start to the day and pack along some coffee in both of your thermoses to sip along the way.