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spending 1,500 on a vacation before starting med school

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  • #46
    Didn't want to be the one to say this... in my head I imagined an Indiana jones type pit of snakes as the only reasonable way to be attacked by snakes.

    Although the last time my girlfriend went hiking with me she saw a snake that I walked past. The yell was as if she saw someone being murdered in front of her eyes. In her mind, she was attacked by an anaconda. In reality, it was a decent sized garter sitting under a rock trying to keep cool lmao.

    Of course this is in good fun, I appreciate the tip and will keep my eye out for poisonous snakes in Bend. That would be a terrible way to ruin a trip!


    • #47
      Speaking of snakes my lens was only 6 inches from this guy who stood still like a model wanting to be photographed. Pity I did not have a macro lens attached at that time. All the while my wife was screaming - watch out, watch out.





      • #48
        I think I have run into a snake in Bend too.
        Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011


        • #49
          You guys are hilarious ;-) But seriously, I literally jumped onto the back of the person I was walking with when we ran into the first rattle snake at our campsite. And then a few minutes later we came across another near the bathrooms of the campground. It was a very small, out of the way campground and every person there had seen several rattle snakes. So it felt like the place was infested with them and that we were under siege!


          • #50
            No question. After residency I took 3 months off to camp, backpack, and road trip. My job understood and was fine. You won't get many chances like this again.

            I live in the PNW and you've got a great trip planned. Be aware that even though you have 3 weeks, you've also made plans for an immense amount of driving. Hard as it is to imagine, you're going to feel rushed and you're going to spend a lot of your trip driving. I might suggest scaling back a little - either the Rockies (RMNP, GTNP, YNP, as well as amazing national forests thereabouts) or the PNW (ONP, MRNP, NCNP, St Helens, The Gorge, Bend, Crater Lake). Think about it, ONP itself has 3 distinct ecosystems you'll want to spend time exploring: the beaches/Pacific coast; the rain forests; the high country. We've spend a week in just one of those areas and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Just driving around the Olympic Peninsula takes all day.


            Good luck regardless, memories of a lifetime.


            • #51
              Valid points. I am going to consider your advice seriously and see how we are doing for time once I get to Oregon. At this point all plans are tentative. The only thing I know for sure is the day I'm flying into Seattle and the day I am leaving. Other than that it's going to be my friend and I roaming around with our packs and trying to see some of the most beautiful landscapes and most bad a** mountains our county has to offer.


              • #52
                I went in a really similar trip right before med school: flew from Texas to Seattle, spent a week backpacking in glacier, then hit Portland and Vancouver. Don't regret spending the money at all, though I do remember it being a little depressing sitting in a little cubicle in the library studying pathology all day while wistfully dreaming about the PNW


                • #53
                  1. Get AAA.

                  2. No mention of tasty beverages. The PNW has many, both hot and cold. How much of the budget is for beans and crowlers?

                  3. Make a spreadsheet of miles/hours from google maps. You might be surprised at the hours/day. We spent a month in Canada, doing something similar.

                  4. Crater Lake is beautiful, but a ways from the other sites you have... Hard call... but I'd skip it for this trip. But you'd better have a sweet day instead!

                  5. Drive the Oregon Coast.

                  6. go Clamming for a geoduck

                  7. Hike Multonomah falls, or something in the Colombia river gorge. Maybe buy a bottle of wine for the parents.

                  8. Take new hiking boots?

                  9. Take snowshoes?

                  10. What does this mean?

                  Day 5: drive to ranier, check it out for a day Day 6: drive through Portland and hit up mt hood
                  Click to expand...

                  See the mountain? Or go to the top? Or camp there?

                  11. Take the car ferry from Mukilteo to Whidbey island to fort casey through port townsend bay. Nice way to get to the Olympic peninsula. Good break from driving. Great photos.

                  12. Take another SD card for the camera.

                  13. take a phone/camera battery/car charger

                  14. Switch day 6 and seven. Take the back roads from Ranier to portland via the Colombia River Gorge.

                  15. backcountry camping in yellowstone is awesome, but can take some reservations and planning ahead. Go to the ranger station first thing!

                  16. Can you find a day to spend apart from the other person? You might need some space at some point.

                  17. camp in the car when it rains!



                  18. Plan days where the phones are in airplane mode. Separate from the world, and just enjoy the radio. Some 48 hours stretches, or a week of it is amazing!


                  • #54
                    great advice @adventure !!


                    I dont actually drink alcohol so the craft beer growlers are out for me, my travel buddy will probably partake though. I will def spend money on Coffee when the opportunity presents itself. No hesitation there on a trip like everyday life those $2.00 cups add up quick though!


                    I think I am driving the oregon coast on my way to Portland but it depends how much time it adds.


                    I am def hiking the gorge!!!


                    By check out Ranier that means I'm not totally sure what we are going to do. The pictures that WCI put up of the hike he did there from the visitor center to Muir base camp makes me think I am going to end up doing that hike. It looks sick!


                    I have solid hiking shoes and I am ordering some hiking sandals. I dont particularly like hiking in boots. Will prob bring a pair for the hikes with snow involved though.


                    • #55
                      *update* Many people seem to be interested in my trip so I decided to keep a bit of a journal of the journey on here...not sure If I should make a new thread or not about it?

                      Upon the advice of everyone on this forum and consulting with my travel buddy I have come to the conclusion that we can either SEE a lot or DO a lot.

                      We have decided to do a lot, and that our goal of this trip is wilderness immersion & isolation. This means more backpacking and less driving which means we are eliminating the Tetons and Yellowstone, spending less time in Oregon, and more time in Washington in the Cascades and time in Montana in Glacier. We will prob be backpacking Eastern Washington and northern Idaho as well.

                      Doing more and seeing less= less gas and less driving which can help keep cost down as well.

                      I had some PM's about backpacking and people who wanted to get into it because it seems be a frugal hobby but did not know where to start. This is what I am bringing on my 23 day trip. I am sort of a minimalist and pride myself on lightweight items. These items have been acquired over many years of backpacking and none of them are particularly cheap. I would say there is at least $1,500 worth of gear which I don't count in the cost of this trip. I do not go cheap on gear because I put my life in the "hands" of this gear. I am also a bit of a weight weeny and you pay for lightness in backpacking. My pack is going to be less than 25 lbs on most of my backpacking trips with food and water. Also, I find that buying the right thing once that will last many years is more frugal than buying crappy gear multiple times (or maybe I just like nice gear).


                      - 5 pair wool socks (1 lightweight, 3 mid weight, 1 heavy)

                      - glove liners, mittens

                      - fleece hat

                      - 5 pairs underwear (2 exerocisio antimicrobial) 3 pairs synthetic underwear

                      -mamut wool bend base layer

                      - smart wool base layer// lightweight mid layer

                      - the north face mid layer

                      -  The North Face Buff

                      - REI Down Jacket

                      - Columbia light weight sun shirt

                      - 3 hiking wool blend tee shirts. - ONE SHIRT COMING IN THE MAIL

                      -polartec long johns

                      - 2 pairs hiking pants (1 Columbia convertible to shorts, 1 LL bean pant- only)

                      - 2 pairs hiking shorts (1 rugged LL bean hiking shorts with many pockets, 1 ultralight & comfy)

                      - Rain gear

                      - Saloman trail shoes

                      - Bedrock Cairn sandals

                      - “True blue” patagonia hat

                      - rain hat


                      -Enlightened equipment 20 degree down quilt

                      -Hyperlite mountain gear pack organizers, 1 doubles as a pillow that you put your clothes in, 1 food bag w/ roll top, 1 super small one for toiletries, 1 for first aid quit and gear.

                      - hyperlite mountain gear pack

                      - sleeping bag liner that I use to cover my sleeping pad

                      -sleeping pad sea to summit ultralight

                      - daypack (Gregory)

                      - neck pillow for driving and the flight

                      - travel wallet

                      - REI black diamond headlamp

                      - multi tool

                      - compass

                      - camp stove/ pot & pan (ultralight titanium evernew)

                      - Journal

                      - GPS

                      - Toiletry bag (toothpaste, biodegradable soap, TP)

                      - First aid kit/ survival pack (bandaids, alcohol, glide anti-chafing, string, Waterproof matches, moleskin, ibuprofen, cortisone, Neosporin, gauze, tape, that stuff you put on babies for diaper rash)

                      - mosquito net for my face

                      - brush and dust pan for tent


                      - 2 Good to Go dinners (Indian Korma, Herbed mushroom risotto)

                      - 2 mountain house dinners (chili Mac, Beef Stroganoff)

                      - 2 breakfast meals (granola packets)

                      - 1 backpacker’s pantry Katmandu Curry Dinner

                      - 4 Clif Bars

                      - 2 Gu packets

                      - 2 energy block chews

                      - 2 snickers

                      - 2 coffees

                      - 16 chamomile tea bags


                      I had this food from a trip to the white mountains that I had to bail on due to blizzard like conditions--I'm not counting this already purchased food I had sitting in my drawer as cost of this trip which I guess counts as cheating but in my mind it makes sense.


                      • #56
                        Another item: Amazon Prime - Student. Use to dropship to a local Amazon locker for anything you need -- probably will be cheaper in many cases and wider variety.


                        • #57
                          I use my dads amazon prime so it's even cheaper than student lol.

                          You're telling me I can have any amazon item just shipped to an "amazon locker?" That's a great Idea I would have never thought of!