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Colorado on Film: Backpacking and the Wilderness

And we’re back with another edition of Colorado on Film. Today’s topic: backpacking and the wilderness. The camera of choice: The Minolta Freedom Dual. AKA, a film camera I thrifted from Goodwill for $3.99.

Another neat hobby I picked up during Quarantine in Colorado was backpacking. Kevin and I may have gone a little gear crazy at the beginning (and to this day). We invested in backpacks, sleeping bags, water filters- the whole lot- to prepare ourselves for sleeping in the wilderness. One of the many beautiful things about public lands/BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land* is the ability to disperse camp. This has taken a lot of research and to be honest I still don’t always understand where you can and cannot camp. This is the BLM website if you’re interested. *Ute land.

So we ended up purchasing booklets from REI that have backcountry camping trails already listed. And that is how this lovely adventure started.

I’ll let the film photos speak for themselves (honestly I am the most proud of these), but this was certainly the most memorable trip for us. This little snippet of what I wrote on my Instagram (by the way, you should follow me on there!) should explain why:

…We found a perfect hidden spot right above the lake. It was so quiet and peaceful… until nighttime when we started hearing animal noises outside our tent. I have Never been that scared in my life. I’m talking unbelievably shaking, clenching our tripod as a weapon, and banging on our tent to scare it- them- away. I could have Sworn it was a bear and thought it was trying to get into our bear bin (with our food in it). Then I started hearing it get closer to our tent and sniffing around outside of it. To say I didn’t sleep much that night is an understatement. In the morning we realized…our bear bin was completely untouched…

I think I still have slight PTSD from this trip. But, the reality of being in the wildness is that you are on their (the animals) turf and I have to be okay with that. So…needless to say now I sleep with my noise cancelling headphones on (and Kevin doesn’t just in case).

Despite the frightening reality of wilderness camping, this was our most memorable backpacking trip. Full of solitude, excitement, and of course- film photos.

Until next time, friends!


Mary A.

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