We heart backpacking a bunch. Backpacking is somewhere between exercise, catharsis, mindful, smelly, exhausting, achieving and rustic—all simultaneously. Needless to say, when I think back upon every year, backpacking (and hiking) is one of the things that I always remember well. With that said, we thought we'd assemble a few of the thoughts that pop into our mind as we're humping through the trail or waking up in the middle of the night. It's the kind of fun stuff that we think about when on the trail.
- Everything in the world required to sustain life is on my back.
- There's only one way to get here. By foot. This is generally experienced when you summit or have an amazing view.
- Exhausted at the end of the day, laying down to go to sleep or overlooking an amazing view: “Now I remember why I do this.”
- "Is that me?" Please note this generally refers to personal body odor and the startling revelation that is me.
- I volunteered TO DO THIS? This same thought occurs when you are in boot camp as well.
- What I wouldn't pay for (insert food)…
- How bad do I have to pee? Middle of the night problem for sure.
- A cold beer would be nice.
- Whoever said there is a billion stars might be right.
- Leaving the trail: How do I hold onto this centered feeling?
One of the reasons you experience so many thoughts when hiking, some random, is that you're freeing your mind to wander while you are pumping your body full of oxygen. You're 100% engaged in the movement and aerobic activity. It's invigorating. When you've stopped the aerobic portion of your day, you migrate to camp chores. Backpacking is tiring physically and mentally because it requires quite a bit of engagement. Things like filtering water, preparing a fire, getting your gear setup and clean seems mindless, but it's important stuff. When a thought or idea comes to you, you are caught off guard and remember it. You savor it just a little more because you're 100% engaged.
That engagement is the centered feeling. How do you hold onto that? That's always how I leave the trail.