Blistered feet, heavy backpack, sore legs, dirty clothes, constant hunger. Oh, the joys of backpacking. If that list didn't sell you, this one will:
Bye, bye technology.
Freedom, sweet freedom! What greater liberation is there than to break away from the screen? Think of the joy you get from a few hours with no nagging texts, phone calls from mom, or emails from the boss. Now imagine that pause from the digital bombardment lasting for several days. When's the last time you had that much peace of mind? Unplug, unplug and feel like a bird soaring out of the nest!
When you use those two moving things beneath your hips to get from point A to point B, you gain a true appreciation of distance. We are so accustomed to knocking out hundreds of miles in mere hours speeding down the freeway, or flying to distant countries in a day; and we even complain about travel time. When you realize it takes almost a week to cover 100 miles on foot, you gain perspective on how truly big our world is.
Nobody's gonna backpack for you. When you are on the trail, you are self-reliant. Only your own two legs will move you forward, only the food you carry on your back will feed you, only your own wits and judgment will keep you alive. Yes, you can backpack with friends and trail buddies can help you along, but ultimately it's all up to you. The freedom, sense of accomplishment, and most of all, the empowerment you feel from backpacking strengthens the soul.
The goals of backpacking are simple: sustain yourself, walk from one place to another, and enjoy yourself and your surroundings. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. If you stay alive, put one foot in front of the other, and smile, you win the game of backpacking. It's a sport where everyone wins; no one is a "better" backpacker than anyone else. The simplicity of backpacking reminds us that we can experience true happiness and serenity by treating life like a journey to be enjoyed rather than a rat race to be won.
Become one with nature.
During that moment where you're grabbing onto a rock for dear life, trying not to fall back into the pile of your own droppings and you look over to see a squirrel doing the same thing, it feels damn good. Man and squirrel, in total harmony. That's how you feel during every moment on a backpacking trip. When it rains, you get wet. When the sun sets, you go to sleep. When the sun rises, you wake up. This bona fide, unaltered experience of nature is the craving that draws many of us to the trail.
Go. Forth. &. Explore.
"The simplicity of backpacking reminds us that we can experience true happiness and serenity by treating life like a journey to be enjoyed rather than a rat race to be won."