WWW Wednesdays

IMG_1384-0Happy WWW Wednesday! This is my first time participating in this and I came across it from Jenna Bookish. Essentially you just answer the three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’ve been stepping up my reading game and have been reading and listening to quite a few books and I am pretty proud of myself with how many I have been able to finish. When I started my goodreads challenge, I only had 12 books read and was way over half way through the year. In the past 2-3 months I have read and listened to a lot more.

Currently I am reading:

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I Know You Know – I am not very far into this book, but I am listening to this book on Scribd and is about a murder that has occurred in a small town. Two boys have been murdered and the police have found the killer and sentenced him to life in prison. Or did they put the wrong person away? Years later, Cody Swift, a prominent film maker and best friend of the two boys who were murdered has been plagued with the feeling that perhaps the real murderer has not been caught.

Circe –  A Greek mythology story about the witch Circe who is exiled to the island of Aiaia. You get to hear her side of the story of her life and her encounters with mortals, especially the famous Odysseus.

Everything I Never Told You – Murder? Suicide? A Chinese-American family struggle with the death of the ever perfect and favorite child Lydia. The story follows the family as they grieve and go through the process of dealing with Lydia’s death with some insight into the parents own life. A very touching novel so far and looking forward to finishing it.

 I recently finished reading:


Every Heart a Doorway – What happens when a door magically appears before you that allows you to enter into a fantastical world, but then throughs you out after you’ve already felt like you belong to that world? An Alice in Wonderland type of novel where kids have travelled through special doors that lead them into different worlds. However, for whatever reason they are brought back to their families and the “real” world. One that they no longer feel attached to. Eleanore West has a special home for these special children. Where each child in this house has been through one of these doors and is trying to cope with the reality of being back.

Binti – A sci-fi novel about Binti who is the first of the Himba people to travel across space to receive an education at Oomza university. However, during her travel, the ship she is traveling on gets attacked by the Meduse, a jellyfish type alien, killing everyone except her. She believes it is because of her edan. With her edan in hand she is able to communicate with the Meduse and decides to speak on their behalf to Oomza university in order to get back was was stolen from them without blood shed. My full review is here.

The Simple Wild – One of my current favorites of 2018, all thanks to the lovely @evavstheworld on instagram. My full review of this books is here.

Ready Player One – Another great book that played to my heart. A virtual reality world where everyone prefers to live in rather than in the actual world around them. A fortune from the creator of the virtual reality world is at stake and is hidden in the virtual world that everyone loves. It is a fight, even to the death, that everyone is after. The entire novel is dedicated to the 80’s: music, movies, video games. I enjoyed reading about several of the films and music from the 80’s that were spread throughout the novel. I grew up with an aunt who was a teenager in the 80’s and I remember growing up with the music and movies with her as well.

Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft – An anthology dedicated to witches, women, sexual orientation and feminism. Each story is from a different author and every tale centers around women and their struggles of being a woman, identity, sacrifice and power.

What I plan to read next


Goodreads Description: The story of a twelve-year-old girl’s harrowing experience fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany with her family and best friend, only to discover that the overseas asylum they had been promised is an illusion.

I absolutely love historical fiction novels and have a thing for novels set in WW2. I’ve read several novels set in this time like: The Tattooist of Aushwitz, The Nightingale, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Sarah’s Key,
and many more. I am sure this novel will be one of my favorites and I can’t wait to finally read it.



Share your WWW Wednesday with me! Please leave a link to your post in the comments.


Image result for binti uk coverGoodreads Description

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive.

My thoughts

I listened to this audiobook on Scribd and found it to be quite different from what I usually listen to or read. I’ve tried science fiction books before (Seveneves) and its a guessing game as to whether I will like it or not.

No Himba has ever gone to Oomza Uni. So me being the only one on the ship was not that surprising. However, just because something isn’t surprising doesn’t mean it’s easy to deal with.

In the middle of her journey to Oomza Uni, Binti and the rest of the students aboard the ship are attacked by the Meduse. Binti is the only one to survive and spends the rest of the trip using her wisdom and gift of her people to persuade the Meduse to not have attack the students and staff at Oomza Uni. It is up to Binti to persuade Oomza to give the Meduse what they want without any blood being spilled.

The novel was beautifully written and I enjoyed it very much. It centers around the theme of identity and race, with the main character constantly going back and force between who she was and the transition of who she becomes while on her journey to Oomza university.

I am also very glad to have listened to the audiobook versus reading it because I don’t think I would have been able to properly pronounce some of the words that are used in this book. If you are looking for a short book with a great plot and set of characters I would give this a go. It is the first novel of a trilogy. The second novel is titled Binti: Home and Binti: The Night Masquerade.

The Simple Wild


The Simple Wild follows Calla, a 26-year old living in Toronto with her mother Susan and her stepfather Simon. From the beginning of the book we find out that Calla has just been let go from her job at a bank and has ended her year long relationship with her boyfriend. She is currently not sure what to do with her life when she receives a phone call from a woman named Agnes who tells her that her biological father is sick and that she should come visit. Calla and her father have not seen or spoken to each other in over 12 years.

12 years that Wren Fletcher, Calla’s father, has not been a real father at all. Back when Calla was only 2 years old, Wren let Susan and Calla leave Bangor, Alaska and never stopped nor followed them. He let it be, because Wren Fletcher is not the type to express or act on his emotions.

Now Calla is on her way to Bangor, Alaska to visit a man she doesn’t really know and a place that her mother ran away from years ago.

Her mother’s one advice to her before she leaves? Don’t fall for a Sky Cowboys.


There are so many wonderful characters in this book. Firstly, Calla, who’s perspective we follow. Her adventure begins when she decides to leave Toronto to visit her father who she has always felt never put her first in his life. A man who let his wife and daughter leave Alaska without a fight. She ends up learning however, the truth behind Wren Fletcher’s decision and forms a relationship with her father; one that she has always dreamt about and now finally happens.

Wren Fletcher is a quiet and stubborn man. He runs a charter plane company that was left to him by his father and has always chosen the company over everything else, including his family.

Jonah – The proud, obnoxious and blunt pilot serves as the mediator between Calla and Wren. Throughout the book he pep talks to Wren about opening up to his daughter and does the same with Calla. He mentions how she is “such a Fletcher” meaning that her and her father never really know what to say when it comes to emotions and are better at just leaving it alone. Jonah and Calla develop a relationship, one that at first is all sarcasm and filled with getting underneath each other’s skins.

My Thoughts


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I absolutely loved this book! It is my first novel from this author and I am excited to pick up other books from her.

I came across this book by seeing a friend posting about it on her instagram stories (@evavstheworld). I asked her how she was liking the book and she said she was loving it. So, from her recommendation I went and got it with the hopes of liking it just as much.

I read this book in two days; it was a quick and easy read and one that I did not want to put done. Even while I was at work I would keep finding excuses to go into the break room to read a page.

K.A. Tucker does a wonderful job with the dialogue between characters as well as developing each character’s story. You feel like you know and understand each main character and the reasons for their decisions.

A lovely book that I think anyone can enjoy. Love, romance, father-daughter relationships, humor and tears.

Have you read this book? What is your favorite good read?


The Rain Watcher

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Publishing Date: October 23, 2018

The Rain Watcher follows the Malegarde family who have decided to come together to celebrate Paul, the father of the family, 70th birthday. Paul is an esteemed arborist, Lauren, his wife is an American who visited Europe with her sister Candice when she was young and fell in love with Paul. She stayed in Europe and married him. They have two children: Linden, a renowned photographer, and Tilia, the very blunt daughter of the family.

The novel is predominately told by Linden’s perspective and it is clear from the beginning that he is estranged from his family and finds this reunion to be tortuous. Each member of the family seems to be walking on egg shells in order to not disrupt the delicate reunion. At the time of their reunion however, Paris is having a huge storm and the Seine is flooding. Secrets and hidden fears are about to come forth as Paris encounters a natural disaster

I was really excited about reading this novel. Especially because I loved Sarah’s Key, both the novel and the movie. However, this novel was different. I had a hard time getting into it. It was a great story line, and I was looking forward to it, but felt that it was slow moving and with not a lot of dialogue like I usually like.

Netgalley/St. Martin’s Press

November TBR

November has finally arrived! Pull out the sweaters, candles and get ready for the perfect reading weather!

I love the autumnal season because of all the vibrant colors that fall has. Sadly, where I am it is far from fall weather. It’s still currently 80 degrees Fahrenheit and feels more like summer than fall.

However, I thought I would share with you all a few things I have lined up for the month of November.


The group Pick-A-Shelf is hosting a different shelf for this month, which is “Retellings”

I’m looking forward to this shelf, because after a quick browsing, I could already see a few books that I am interested in. Here is my list:

  • Girls Made of Snow & Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
  • Tiger Lily by Jody Lynn Anderson
  • The Bear & the Nightingale by Katherine Arden


BooksandLala is hosting a week of reading her favorite books during November 1st-9th. She made two videos that list her favorite books. Click here and here to check those videos out. Join me as I read some of Lala’s favorite books, my TBR for this readathon are:

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  • A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma


Lastly, I joined a few buddy reads on instagram. They are:

  • Circe by Madeleine Miller
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

I’d love to hear what your plans are for this month!

October Wrap Up

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Another month has come and gone, and October was filled with many many books!

In one of my previous posts, “October TBR” I listed all the things I wanted to do and read for the month of October.

I was successful in many of them, however not all.

First on my list was to read a book from the group Pick-a-Shelf a community in Goodreads. For the month of October, the shelf was “Birthdays” in order to celebrate the groups 10th birthday. This shelf was particularly difficult to navigate as it contained several children books about birthdays. However, I did find a few books on this shelf that I had been wanting to read. They were:

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – A dystopian novel that follows Wade Watts, a boy who is obsessed with the 80’s and playing video games. His world revolves around the OASIS, a virtual reality simulator, and its creator James Halliday. James put an “Easter Egg” into this world and whoever finds it will inherit the creators fortune.
  • The Iron King by Julie Kagwa – For the synopsis of the plot and my thoughts on this book, click on this link.
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – A fantasy novel that follows a boy who is coping with his mothers illness. A story about death, truth, and filled with emotions. Patrick Ness captures the raw feelings of a little boy dealing with his mother’s impending death and the nightmare of it finally happening.

I also set out to participate in BooksandLala #spookathon.

She had a photo challenge and a list of challenges for the books to be read in the month of October. The photo challenge was very fun, but I was not always able to participate because of work or just having a busy day and not planning ahead of time. I think I got about half of the challenges done in the photo challenge, better than I expected for my first year participating. For the books the challenges were:

  1. read a thriller
  2. read a book with purple on the cover
  3. read a book not set in the current time period
  4. read a book with a spooky word in the title
  5. read a book with pictures

One of my books actually fulfilled most of these challenges, but I wanted to challenge myself and read more than I actually thought I could.

  1. read a thriller  – I read Sadie by Courtney Summers
  2. read a book with purple on the cover – Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft
  3. read a book not set in the current time period – Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft and The Tattooist of Aushwitz by Heather Morris
  4. read a book with a spooky word in the title – Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft
  5. read a book with pictures – A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Lastly a few more books that I read/listened to as an audiobook this month were:

What books did you read for the month of October? I would love to hear what was on your TBR



Havasupai Falls: How my 1st backpacking trip went

IMG_4763It has been a week since I have been back from my backpacking trip and I thought I would do an update post about how it went, my experience hiking 10 miles to the camp ground in one day and what I wish I had brought and what I wish I had NOT brought.

Day 1:

I did my backing trip with my boyfriend and another couple. Our goal for the day was to get to our halfway point, which was Kingman, Arizona. Our plan was to stay there the night and start our journey to Havasupai Falls the next morning. It took us 5 hours to get there and once we did we spent the evening “carbing up” for our long walk.

Day 2:

Our journey started at 0430. We still had another 2 hours before we got to the trailhead and we wanted to start our hike at about 0800 in the morning. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery and I was amazed at how green and different northern Arizona is in comparison to the souther part (I usually drive through the souther part to get to my grandmother’s home in El Paso, TX).

Myself and the rest of the gang before our descent into the canyon

We arrived to the trailhead and were blown away by the grandeur of the canyon and spent about an hour preparing ourselves both mentally and physically for our hike down the canyon. We were full of energy and very excited to begin and after reviewing that day in my head, I would say we were also a little naive about how it was going to go.

It is a very steep climb down for the first few miles and with a heavy pack, we quickly realized how long of a trek we had until we made it into the camp, but even with that realization we didn’t let it dampen our moods and the excitement we all shared.

The way down to the campground took us quite a long time. We were not letting ourselves rush the experience and took the time to take many pictures, many rests and enjoy the overall experience. We did however want to make it to the campground before the rain was going to start. We constantly saw the ominous clouds behind us almost catching up to us.

Our lunch spot with the ominous clouds looming just behind us

We made it to Supai Village in the late afternoon about 1430 and spent about an hour and a half eating in their cafe and resting our feet. It took us six and a half hours to walk 8 miles. By the time we were ready to start back up, the rain clouds had reached us. We donned our rain jackets and ponchos, covered our packs and continued with the last two miles to the campground.

Excited to almost make it to the campground

The last two miles were definitely the hardest. I was DYING! My feet were already hurting, I felt like I had blisters and my knee was starting to bother me. My first big mistake about this hike were my shoes. I wore my High Sierra hiking boots and even thought I thought this was going to be the best shoe, but it definitely was not. They are great hiking shoes, but not long distance walking. I did end up with a few blisters, which did make my walk back really miserable. I actually ended up hiking and walking back up the canyon in my Birkenstocks. You’ll probably think I’m crazy, but they didn’t squish my feet especially when they started to swell because of the long distance. What I would take next time would be my Merrill Women’s hiking shoes or my New Balance shoes that could have cushioned by feet better. I also should have worn a compression sleeve for my knees. I realized that walking down a hill the outer part of my patella starts to pinch. It made me walk a lot slower especially as we got closer to the campground where it descends once again into the campground. My boyfriend was my cheerleader and kept me motivated to continue.


IMG_4852Finally, we make it to the campground and we see the beauty of the first waterfall in the canyon. The water is clear blue and surprising warm. Nature is absolutely amazing and every time I got hiking and camping I revel in it’s beauty.

“The most beautiful gift of nature is that it gives one pleasure to look around and try to comprehend what we see” – Albert Einstein

We set up camp around 1745 and make our dinner. However, we had to say goodnight to each other by 1900 because it started to pour! We were right by a creek and with the amount of rain, we were nervous that it would end up flooding the creek. Thankfully it did not, but we did have to have our cup of noodles in our tent.

Day 3:

Whenever you go camping, you will most likely wake up early. It always happens that as soon as the sun starts to peek through I am up and ready to start my day. Usually thats with a cup of Joe and waiting for everyone else to trickle out of their tent. apO0rQEKAp4Oemqgihg

It was also going to be my first meal trying MRE’s (Meal, Ready to Eat). I had a breakfast skillet for breakfast, which consisted of potatoes, eggs, onion, and bell peppers. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was actually pretty good. All you need to prepare these pre-packaged meals is hot water and then you let it set for a few minutes and then its ready to eat. GgW2oQBQTrWLv5U+SLBXBA
I was definitely surprised, but also super happy to actually enjoy them because if not, I would have had to force myself to eat them anyway since I had no other meals to eat.

One big downfall to the rain was the fact that the pretty blue color of the creek and waterfall had now turned to a muddy brown. It no longer was the picturesque scene that we were hoping to see during our trip.

After the rain, the water was a muddy brown

We didn’t let this deter us, we still enjoyed the day and did a few hikes. We spent some ti6JfvcCLfRl+cK95l2DK8LQme at at several different spots  and enjoyed lunch. We also did a second hike called Mooney Falls. This one we didn’t really know what to expect other than there was a ladder we would be climbing down.

I loved this hike because we had to climb through caves and scale down the mountain. It required upper body strength, but also a sense of adventure because we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

Day 4:

Our last day consisted of us hiking back to our car. I wore my High Sierra boots, but after 3 hours, I ended taking them off and switching to Birkenstocks because my feet were swelling and I had blisters that kept rubbing on the inside of my shoes. The last mile was tortuous. Its a steep incline and with Birkenstocks and a heavy pack, it requires a lot of self motivation and perseverance to keep going. Again, my boyfriend was my cheerleader and constantly was cheering me on to keep moving forward.

Our hike back this time only took us 5 hours to complete and then we had another two hours until we reached Laughlin, where we were to stay the night before setting back home the next day.

We spend our night in Laughlin showering the long day, eating a good meal and falling asleep early.

What I wish I had brought/ had not brought on this trip


My list for this section is pretty small, I already named a few things earlier in this post such as better shoes and compression sleeves for my knees.

I think the biggest take away from this trip was overpacking. I had all of this stuff to pack into two pack and it ended up being too much. I was nervous about not having enough food/snacks and we had way too much (food definitely contributed to a large amount of our weight). Another thing that my boyfriend and I realized was the amount of clothes we both brought. He ended up only wearing one bottom all three days and two different shirts, and I essentially did the same. For such a small trip we didn’t need 4 bottoms/tops and two heavy jackets. We also didn’t need to bring our big camelback. One like this one would have been more convenient as it is compact. Next time I’ll be even more prepared after this experience.


The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1)

Image result for the iron king Goodreads Description:

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

What Did I Think?

I stumbled upon this book while on my trip in Maui. I was looking for something to read as I had finished the books I had brought with me. The Iron King was available through my library as an ebook and found it interesting to loan.

I love fantastical and mythical settings, and I honestly thought I would end up loving this book a lot more than I really did. It took me so long to actually get through it because I felt like the story was just taking forever to move forward. The main character Meghan Chase goes through a series of almost-being-killed and saved repeatedly by different creatures and she never learns. It’s like telling a child to not do something, but they end up doing it anyway. The book did not pick up for me until she was in the Iron Court, but that was the last 4 chapters of the book!! It was really frustrating and tedious to finish.

I did however find it clever that the author used characters from A Midsummer Nights Dream, such as Oberan (king of the faeries), Titania (wife of Oberon), Robin Goodfellow (also know as Puck, also Meghan Chase’s protector in the human world and goes by Robbie Goodfell).

Then there is the typical love triangle between Meghan Chase, Ash from the Unseelie Court who is the “badboy” of the book and Puck, who is the best friend. It felt too much like twilight for me, and even though I did read the entire twilight series (books were way better than the films), I’m not too sure if I will be picking up the other books in this series. I feel like it might be just as frustrating.





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Publisher: Wednesday Books

Pub. Date: Sept. 4th, 2018

Rating: Image result for 5 stars picture

Sadie by Courtney Summers is a YA/Mystery book that follows Sadie Hunter, a nineteen year old girl who lives in Cold Creek, Colorado with her thirteen year old sister Mattie.

Sadie has had a rough life – she has a stutter which prevents her from speaking her mind, was raised by an alcoholic mother who never showed any affection towards her, and was abused by one of her mother’s boyfriends. She has also been the protector of her sister Mattie. Her whole life, no matter how crummy it has been, has always and will be centered around Mattie. She puts Mattie before herself and had always sacrificed herself in order to protect her. When their mother leaves, Sadie becomes the sole provider for Mattie.

Mattie, however has been struggling with the fact that their mother has left them, but when she receives a postcard from her mother telling her to “be a good girl,” Mattie will do anything to get to her mother. She ends up doing just that, but never makes it there.

West McCray is a radio host that ends up creating a podcast called “The Girls” that features Sadie’s journey. He meets Sadie’s family and digs up information about her life and her disappearance.

I listened to the audiobook through Scribd for this book and it was mesmerizing. I was completely drawn into the story and Sadie’s life. I loved how you would hear from Sadie and then in another chapter it would be Wes McCray.

Mattie was Sadie’s entire world, and when Mattie ends up dead, it leaves Sadie crushed and out for revenge. She travels far in search for information and many times ends in a situation that puts her own life in danger. When she finally reaches her destination and finds the man responsible for her sister’s death –  justice is delivered, but at the price of her own life.

I loved this book and enjoyed it so much, but I did feel like the ending was just not there. It’s clear that Sadie ends up dying, but there is never any closure as the what finally happened between her and her sister’s killer. All we know is that the man stumbled back home and was injured and ultimately died, but what about Sadie? What lead to her fate? How did she deliver her final justice for the murder of her sister? What was going on inside her head? We hear from Sadie and her innermost thoughts that I would have liked to hear her side from her own mouth. Overall, a great book and a great mystery to read in October.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts on the ending? Did you find it satisfying?



Packing for my first backpacking trip

IMG_0597My first backpacking trip is to Havasupai Falls. Its a small trip, but for my first time backpacking, it’ll be a good experience before I try anything longer.

I’ve been camping several times to King’s Canyon National Park, Zion National Park and Yosemite National Park. I love being in the outdoors. It is a beautiful feeling waking up early when the sun is coming out, stepping out of your tent and smelling the fresh, clear air. With camping you can take everything you need and have it at the ready in your car. I have a big box that contains everything: tent, sleeping bag, stove top, extra fuel for the stove top, flashlights, cooking utensils, pots/pans. I just have to pull it out and place it in my car along with an ice chest and I am set to go.

With backpacking I realized that I would have to condense all of that so that it could fit into a single backpacking back pack. I am going to be carrying everything in a Teton Sports Explorer 4000.


The idea of carrying everything I need is a bit intimidating.  I am a small person; 5’1″ and 115 lbs, and I knew that if I didn’t plan carefully, I would end up overpacking and making my pack extremely heavy.

Havasupai is deep in the Grand Canyon, on the west side of the Grand Canyon National Park. It is a 10 mile hike to the waterfall and is only accessible by hiking, horseback or helicopter. My boyfriend, our friends and I have decided to get the whole experience and hike. Here is a video I found that shows Havasupai Falls. It is absolutely beautiful and I am excited to see it for myself.

Before I actually started packing, I made a list of all the things I would possibly need. This included my sleeping bag, tent, a sleeping pad, clothes, cookware, and food. I also made a list of things I needed to stock up on in my emergency kit. My list also included items that both my boyfriend and I would need (he is a last minute packer and I know I would be in charge of making sure we had everything).

2UuTAFniQvmjn%GZghp%PA.jpgOnce I made my list, I started taking out my items and laying them in my spare bedroom and crossing them off from my checklist. This is what my second bedroom looked like with all my items


This photo doesn’t show all of the food we will be taking on this trip. I will be eating MRE’s (Meal, ready to eat). Its essential a dehydrated meal that only needs hot water to be poured over it. I don’t know what that will taste like, but I hope it’ll be filling.

It’s a 10 mile hike from where we will be leaving the car  to the campsite. I’ll be writing a post about how it went, things I wish I had and had not brought, and the overall experience.


Wish me luck! Have you been backpacking before? Do you have any tips that you found very helpful when you went? I’d love to hear all about it!