John Muir once said (a long time ago):
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”
What he said back then is more appropriate now than ever! People are flocking to backpacking like never before. And if you ask me, that’s a good thing. We have tough lives filled with work, family, friends, Facebook, more work, cities, bustle, crime, politics, more work and an endless bombardment of technology and advertising. Many of us are over-weight and over-worked. Some of us are overly fit but spend every possible moment in a gym, or a yoga studio, or a spin class, or in front of a workout video at home. We NEED the wilderness, just as much as the wilderness needs us!
Thankfully, our country is full of it. Whether you live in Maine or Arizona, there is wilderness somewhere near you! I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’ve already seen or read Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild”. Or you’ve seen Bill Bryson’s recent movie “A Walk in the Woods”. Those books and movies have made backpacking mainstream. Why? Because backpacking can be enjoyed by anyone. You could be nine or 90 and enjoy backpacking. And somewhere in us all resides an animalistic desire to get into the wilderness and just…be. It has a power unlike most other endeavors. It cures what ails you, both physically and mentally. It’s incredibly healthy. It fosters a sense of community. So welcome to this wonderful world you are about to enter! You will never regret it.