Having a trail family is when a consistent group of people decide to camp and/or hike together. The idea of planning your days together is completely based on each individual’s capabilities. The trail family I am in is structured in a way where everyone can feel at ease and have the option to part ways if needed or leave the family without guilt.
The way my trail family’s schedule goes is to attempt to wake up together each day and decide on a campsite that becomes our goal. Typically, our miles range from 12 to 19 a day. If possible we aim for a campsite close to water or around 5 miles from a source.
My trail family at the time of May 11, 2020 holds 4 people, Cricket (Maddie: me), Turtle (Brittanie: my mom), Gnome (Greg: my dad), and Wiseman (Justin). From Mt. Laguna to Idyllwild we had 3 other people and a dog. When we left Idyllwild the couple and the dog decided to part ways and not skip the snowy mountain whereas my family, Wiseman, and a guy nicknamed Rooster skipped that section. Later on, heading into Big Bear Rooster left us and has been hiking with others as we leap frog with each other.
I am the only child in our trail family as there aren’t many on the trail. I grew up around a lot of adults that were my parents friends and they did not have children yet so I don’t mind being the youngest. At first I felt the need to prove myself, so I would push hard and keep up with the fastest hiker, Wiseman. Now, I have found my own pace fluctuating towards the front of the pack.
For now I’m enjoying my trail family and like the wide range of paces we all have. I always have the option to walk and talk with someone if I want to hike fast or slow and can enjoy time by myself in the middle. At the end of the day we always know that we will meet up, have dinner, and lots of laughs together.