View Full Version : Reasons for Hiking

07-15-2004, 15:26
Why do you hike? Just thought I'd try to generate reflection...
I find hiking is therapeutic with regard to dismal news, family soap operas, and other unpleasant or claustraphobic circumstances. When hiking, nature amplifies freedom and good health, allows dissipation of excess physical energy. I am reminded of Melville's introduction to Moby Dick and the reason he gave for "putting out to sea".(His homestead is not far off the A/T near Pittsfield). For those idealists like myself with hopes for a better world, but seemingly powerless to effect substantial change, hiking is a welcome recreational opportunity.

07-15-2004, 15:30
To the wilderness I go to dwell not as one
Who is hiding or fleeing the gun
But that I may realize at some mature age
A dream that in youth I had once

In the wildwood I'll find a cleanliness there
Health of body and mind I will wear
Unfettered, unindebted, the natural life
In peace I can live in its care

Blue Jay
07-15-2004, 16:46
To make sitting in a chair a wonderful experience.
To hear nothing but bird song and wind for hours.
To feel your body change back to what it evolved to be.
To get your hearing, sight, breath and SMELL back.
To get away from the multitude of Money Worshipers.
To feel the rain on your face and running down your back.
To wake up in a new place everyday.
To make food become an even more extreme pleasure.
To make being dry an extreme pleasure.
To take off the chains from your several ton piece of steel for maybe the first time in your life.

07-15-2004, 17:29
Well said Blue Jay,

It all kind of puts things back into perspective. I donít get nearly as stressed out on my job as I did 7-8 years ago before I really started hiking seriously. Now it is a great day if Iíve stayed dry and go to sleep with food in my belly.

I also hike a lot one on one with my wife and two teenage sons and it as added tremendously to the depth of our relationships. Something about the rhythm of the walking and the lack of distractions seems to really open up the communication channels that otherwise would be blocked by the normal hustle and bustle of our lives.


07-15-2004, 21:23
Thanks for the question. I think it has been asked before, but I don't really think I gave it the thought it needed before.

After careful consideration, my honest answer has to be:

I truely don't know :confused:

I like walking in the woods, but that isn't why I hike.
I love camping, , , , but that isn't why I hike.
Being on my own is great, but that isn't why I hike.
I don't relax, I'm still obsessive, I still push too hard, I still put in 14 hour days when on the trail, even on an "off" day, I am doing stuff from sun up to sun set.
Yet, when I get home, all I can think of is what a great time I had hiking.


Jersey Bob
07-16-2004, 12:51
at least 10 characters

The Will
07-16-2004, 14:33
"The best good, the deep healing, come when one, no longer a stranger, breaks away from his getting and spending, from his thinking with men and camps beneath the open sky, where he knows without thinking and worships without priest or chant or prayer."
--Dallas Lore Sharp

07-16-2004, 14:39
"Cold morning on Aztec Peak Fire Lookout. First, build fire in old stove. Second, start coffee. Then, heat up last night's pork chops and spinach for breakfast. Why not? And why the hell not?"


07-16-2004, 17:02
Some great posts! Keep up the positive hiking attitude!

leeki pole
07-16-2004, 18:02
"Remote for detatchment, narrow for chosen company, winding for leisure, lonely for contemplation, the Appalachian Trail beckons not merely north and south, but upward to the body, mind, and soul of man."

Harold Allen, 1936

Sums it up for me.

07-16-2004, 18:35
I hike because I can.

"Those who desire air and quick recovery should go to the hills, where the wind has a scent of sunbeams."

I meant to do my work today-
But a brown bird sang in the appletree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand -
So what could I do but laugh and go?

-The Lonely Dancer (Richard Le Gallienne)

07-16-2004, 19:52
Well said lilmountaingirl !! :)

07-16-2004, 21:36
I hike to live.

steve hiker
07-17-2004, 01:45
I like to be high on a ridge
In December and January
When the days are short and dark
And the sky drops snow everywhere
With nary a soul around
And everything is white, cold, and pure.

SGT Rock
07-17-2004, 10:59
I hike because I need to get away from phones, TVs, paperwork, phones, problem soldiers, phones, etc.

I hike because I love almost every view I see from the fog socked trail to the open balds, the tree lined narrow path to the rocky mountani scramble. It is all good.

I hike because 99% of the hiker I have met are cool people that would do anything for another hiker. I can't say that about the people I meet off the trail.

I hike because at the end of the day from work, I feel mentally worn out, but not always physically challenged. But at the end of the day of hiking I am physically worn out an mentally refreshed.

I hike because I can feel the rain, sleet, snow, and wind - and they are just a part of what is going on. When that happens at home it is something that can ruin your day and you stay inside.

I hike because I like the alone time, and I can get it when I need it.

I hike because when I take my children, I see it all new again throught their eyes.

I hike because

07-17-2004, 14:47
you're in contact with what REALLY matters.....God's Creation.

07-17-2004, 14:59
I hike to get away from the people (customers, employees, vendors, government) that always want something from me.Hiking is an escape those from those people. And what a great escape it is. No where else can I find so many givers and not takers.