When is a backpacking trip not a backpacking trip? While such a question sounds like either a riddle, or a rhetorical question, it actually is a question with a solid answer. In my mind, a backpacking trip is not a backpacking trip when it is an introductory backpacking trip. Simple, right? Wordplay aside, what I mean by this is that when you are starting out as a novice backpacker, or whether you are trying to interest someone in backpacking, the thing to do is start out slow – don’t start out with the fifty mile, multi-day trip with no experience; or all new gear. If you want to be a backpacker; start out with smaller one to two day trips – such an approach allows you to test out your gear, and it allows you to test out your conditioning. Also, if you’re trying to introduce someone else to the sport, it allows them to become acclimatized to being immersed in the wilderness without becoming overwhelmed. Finally, this approach allows you to enjoy what you are doing without the pressure of having to be somewhere on a deadline; and allows you to appreciate the experience.