Much like you get used to a certain level of stress, I think I might be getting used to a certain level of activity, which makes me feel like I’m not doing as much. But when I get to pat donkeys, goats, and alpacas, go to a bar with 46 beers on tap, and try disc golfing for the first time all in one weekend, I’ll consider that a win.
And now I am in New Hampshire hiking the White Mountains near Carter’s Dome for three days! I try to get out to the Mountains of New Hampshire at least once a year, and it is amazing how relaxing a strenuous hike up a mountain can be. To see the views from the top, smell the air, rise above the tree line, and take in a different world is exhilarating.
So what I’ll be doing, probably as you read this, is packing up my frame backpack with freeze dried meals—which are delicious…at least after hiking up a mountain—a little gas stove, plenty of water and a filter, some snacks, a tent, sleeping bag, and as much beer as we can carry up the mountain: just the necessities. Again, 2 beers after draining yourself of energy and calories all day on rugged rocky terrain is plenty—especially a nice hoppy IPA—and helps you sleep well for the next day of hiking.
What I love about hiking and real camping is the “reset” quality. You kind of get out there in the wilderness, in the middle of the mountains, with just what you can carry, and you’re alone with your group. You are miles from any rescuers, and miles from a road. I leave my phone in the car and have no access to technology for a couple days. This feels like resetting myself to the natural state of being a human.
Sure I know I’ll have modern things with me, but there is still something rewarding about the difficulty of camping—not that it is particularly difficult, just that every little thing become more complex. Like when it inevitably starts pouring rain, and we have to scramble to get the tarp up if we didn’t see it coming, or layer the fire with leafs in shingle form to protect it from the weather.
Then you have got to enjoy the company of those around you, instead of relying on technology to fill the gap. It makes me feel like a hunter gatherer… with freeze dried meals. It brings me back to simpler times, closer to our roots… while enjoying a polyester tent.
Hey its not perfect, but its better than getting wrapped up in our modern, “advanced” world and forgetting where we came from.