Backpacking: A Love Story
Ok, ok; that title is the most cheeseball thing I’ve ever written, but bear with me. Valentines Day is for being gushy and ridiculous about the people we care about, so I wanted to channel that energy into the thing I love enough to start a blog about: BACKPACKING.
My Body, My Choice
Backpacking is such an empowering adrenaline rush. Every time I put on my fully loaded pack and hike up a mountain, I am making the choice to move and use my body in a way that makes me feel like I can conquer the world. Knowing that I have everything I need to survive strapped to my back puts me firmly in charge of my own destiny and grants me not only physical power to get where I need to go, but also the mental fortitude to carry on in my weaker moments.
I’ve always been a “strong, independent woman” but backpacking has pushed me in new ways and shaped me into the stronger and smarter adult I always wanted to be. I’m more comfortable making decisions by myself, more self-sufficient in stressful situations, and more open-minded about other people’s advice and opinions. All of these changes apply to life both on and off the mountain, and I’m really proud of who I’ve become over the last two years. Maybe embracing these changes and allowing myself to grow in these ways is just a part of growing up, but I think that climbing literal mountains might have helped with some of that character building.
Friends and Family, UNITE!
Juggling schedules and weekend priorities only gets more difficult with age. Thank goodness we have outdoorsy friends who also happen to love playing cards and drinking whiskey on top of mountains! Getting out into the wilderness is a therapeutic respite from our hectic schedules, and allows us to break up the monotony of city living with some good old fashioned fresh air rowdyness. Fishing, climbing, river crossing, slingshot contests and round after round of Fluxx leaves our bodies tired but restores our tenacity for life, and reminds us that we work hard during the week so we can play harder on the weekends.
Of course, nobody gets excited about the great outdoors like our fur babies. From the second we start packing to the minute their paws touch that beautiful trail, our dogs are PUMPED. We prefer dog-off-leash trails so they have the freedom to run around, but even if they have to stay on a leash, their elation of being #backpackpups is contagious, and watching them explore new places brings us so much joy.
Nature, You So Pretty
I can’t write a love letter to backpacking without
a nod a round of applause a standing ovation jumping up and down running through a meadow barefoot surrounded by woodland creatures screaming “NATURE!” at the top of my lungs. No matter the ecosystem we’re in, natural landscapes leave me breathless. The diversity of plant-life, terrain and animals make every backpacking trip a new adventure, even if you’ve been on the trail a million times.
Backpacking is freedom
Getting out of town, relying on your body to get you somewhere and allowing your mind to wander along with your feet is such an amazing way to spend time. Being active is important (as my dad always says, if you don’t use it, you lose it!) but changing up routine is a vital part of living a full and healthy life. Exploring nature is a quintissential part of our ancestry, and getting back to the wilderness awakens something deep within our psyche.
It’s an exhausting feat to climb that mountain, and stressful to cross that river, and downright dangerous to scale that rock face with 40 lbs on your back, but dammit
the view from the top is always worth it.
Keep exploring friends, and love every second of the adventure. Happy Valentines Day!