Take a Hike, Buddy

hiking-shoes-pilgrimage-travel-make_121-92501Has someone ever told you to “take a hike”? You probably didn’t handle it well. You were maybe struck with a combination of heart-wrenching grief at the severity of those unkind words and a sense of bewilderment as to why someone would use such a dated insult. But really, taking a hike is a good thing. There are plenty of reasons why you should take that insult in stride.

Hiking is good for your physical health. Hiking, especially backpacking, gets your heart rate up, it’s a good cardiovascular workout, and it burns a ton of calories. It’s also good for your mental health. Hiking can be meditative in a way. It gives you an opportunity for deep contemplation or it can offer an escape from the stress and distractions in your life.

You get to see some truly amazing things out on a hike. It seems like the harder it is to get to a place, the prettier it is. Whether that’s because it’s more pristine or if it’s just more rewarding because of the effort you made, going the distance on a hike can lead to some pretty fulfilling views.

Hiking can put things in perspective. We’re living in an age where we can click a mouse or a few buttons and a pizza will be on our doorstop in half an hour. We have lights, and warmth, and water all available to us with little more than the flip of a switch. It can be easy to take all that for granted.

There’s nothing like a week-long backpacking trip to make you appreciate everything that you have. Even if you’re trotting along with the latest and greatest in backpacking technology, comfy sleeping pads, efficient stoves, and ultralight hammocks, you still have a better sense of how great you have it back home.

There are plenty of other reasons why hiking is awesome. Next time somebody tells you to take a hike, do it and find out for yourself!

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