Backpacking in the wilderness can be some of the most exhilarating and satisfying experiences of your life. A sense of wonder and curiosity, combined with heightened senses and just a hint of danger make it a habit worth getting addicted to. Nothing can replicate the satisfaction of being in the wilderness over an extended period of time, leaving the trappings of civilization behind.
It’s great to get out of you heavy hiking boots once you get to your camp spot. You will also want to spend time there and not always be on the go. An old pair of sandals or Teva’s are great to wear around camp for swimming and lounging. Your feet will love you!
In the Sierras, mid to late August is a time when mosquitoes have mostly faded away, and your life will be immeasurably better for it. Try to do your backpacking trip during this time. However, if you must go earlier, or if it has been a wet year, a mosquito net will keep you from going insane. They tend to be mostly active at dawn and dusk, so if you had to wear one, it would probably just be during those times. This is my all-time most important piece of equipment!