There is wonder and beauty in the wilderness. Where ever you choose to go backpacking, I am sure you will have those moments where you stand in awe. It may be the jagged peaks of a mountain range, trees towering like sentinels along a trail, rushing waters of a river, or the simple calm of wildflowers blowing in the wind. I am sure you will find something. As John Muir once said,
All the wild world is beautiful, and it matters but little where we go, to highlands or lowlands, woods or plains, on the sea or land or down among the crystals of waves or high in a balloon in the sky; through all the climates, hot or cold, storms and calms, everywhere and always we are in God’s eternal beauty and love. So universally true is this, the spot where we chance to be always seems the best. – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir
When backpacking into the wilderness, make sure to stop, enjoy the views and, most importantly have fun. Don’t focus so much on the destination. Instead lift your head up and look around. Take plenty of short breaks if you need them. The journey to your destination is part of the fun.
If you need a little help in making the journey to your destination more enjoyable, consider doing one or more of these activities along the way. These activities will help you remember a lot more about the trip and can make it easier to share with family/friends upon you return. The list is short as I am sure there are plenty of ways to enjoy a trip, but here are some common ones.
- Take a camera with you and document your trip with photos of not just the landscape, but your journey along the trail.
- Write notes down in a small journal about what you see, where you are along the trail, how you are feeling.
- Bring an identification book for your area and see what you can find.
- Talk while you walk with others.
- Take small breaks to force you to stop, drink, eat a snack, and/or look around you.
- Research the history for the area prior to arriving at the trailhead
Enjoy your trip. May you find it rewarding each day you are out there on the trail discovering secrets so many others will never experience. See you on the trail.
I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir