The Shorts -- Bootstrapping by The Dirtbag Diaries published on 2013-06-18T16:25:22Z Our baptism in wild places is different for each of us. For some, it's ingrained so early in life that it hardly registers as a memory. For most, it was probably a little awkward, a bit daunting, yet so compelling that we wanted to do it again. For Wendy Irwin, it began with, "a soft-shell cooler, a MacGyver like trust in the magical properties of duct tape, and a 'Tent for Sale' ad in the classifieds." Though much went wrong on Wendy's first backpacking trip, the tendrils of nature's beauty wound themselves into her mind and around her heart. And years later, when she met a teenager hiking the John Muir trail carrying two backpacks, she knew to smile and wish him luck. Because if you love it, you'll figure it out.