My First Backpacking Trip

Growing up, my family spent almost every weekend at different campgrounds around Alabama. I loved the freedom of exploring the pine woods and the Alabama River, but always had the option to seek out comfort in our family’s RV.

When Red Beard’s Outfitter opened in October of 2016, I found a job that not only encouraged me to explore the outdoors, but also provided me with the knowledge to make it happen. After hearing about the Perdido River Trail at work, I decided to make it my first backpacking destination. I packed my backpack, boyfriend, and pups in the car and headed toward Perdido.

We chose a pretty wet weekend, so rain kept us off the trail until late afternoon. The rain also made the trail a mushy mess, but thankfully we had both invested in a good pair of sandals before the trip (I recommend a pair of UNEEKs by Keen). Despite the mud, the trail was clearly marked and still relatively easy to navigate.


After about an hour of walking, the trail goes right through a wide, sandy beach. Although the trail continues for several miles, we couldn’t pass up such a beautiful spot and pitched our tent right on the beach. It was a perfect spot to swim and let the dogs play, and when the sun went down we were able to build a small fire.

The air was nice and cool at night, but warmed quickly as the sun came up. We slept like babies on the beach, and our tent served as front row seats to a beautiful sunrise. I woke up early and appreciated a calm, restful morning on the beach. As Keith was beginning to stir, storm clouds started appearing in the sky. Not wanting to get caught in the rain, we packed up quickly and headed back for the car.


The trail had already dried significantly, so the return trip was much quicker. We made it back to the car in plenty of time to get a picture with the trailhead and promise ourselves another trip very soon.

-Julia Newman, sales associate and trail blazer