10 Sort-Of Motivational Quotes to Get You Through Bad Days on the Trail

Everyone has bad days on the trail—some people more than others. Collectively, Rocky and I had around 600 miles of bad days between us. Unless you are immune to bugs, rain, heat, dehydration, and exhaustion (or you just unconditionally love hiking), there will probably be a few dozen days where you just want to go home. But as you’ll find out, wanting to quit is a far cry from actually quitting. Here are 10 realistic quotes to keep in mind during those crappy times. No sunsets/paragliders over the word COURAGE included.

**Smartphone-background-worthy designs by Dekotah, our awesome design intern.

1) It doesn’t always keep getting worse.

-Neil, my wise father

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2) This looks like a good spot to camp


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3) Roll with the sucky flow

-Your rain-immune hiking partner

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4) What goes up must eventually come down

-Common sense

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5) In a year from now, you’ll be warm and dry every night and you’ll be glad you finished.

Dayna, SOBO 2015

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6) It doesn’t have to be fun to be fun

-Neil, adapted from an ultra-running adage

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7) Town day tomorrow

-Every thru-hiker before a town stop

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8) You can cry every step to Katahdin and still be a thru-hiker.

Dayna, again

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9) This will eventually be funny

-Every thru-hiker ever

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10) Do not hike 1,000 miles to say you finished half of the trail

-AWOL, Spartacus, Rocky… lots of people at the halfway point

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Comments 6

  • Peach : Apr 4th

    I especially like the “it doesn’t have to be fun to be fun” quote. If you’ve ever read the book “A Fine and Pleasant Misery” by Patrick McManus, well, that quote about sums up the book.

  • Irvin Valle (coach) : Apr 5th

    Love these, I want to print them and post them in my office… thanks and keep on hiking.

  • Amber : Apr 6th

    These are great! I thought I was the only one that has bad days on the trail, glad to know I’m not alone!

  • Another Kevin : Apr 12th

    Hey, TwistWrist! Missed this one the first time around.

    On a tough climb (bushwhack up the Catskill Escarpment – lots of scrambles and brambles), one of my hiking buddies said, “Isn’t it great that the moment you get to the top, you totally forget how much this sucks?” For the rest of that hike, whenever the going got rough, someone would blurt out, “I’m totally going to forget this!” and we’d all laugh. It got us up that particular mountain.

  • Another Kevin : Apr 12th

    OOPS! Sorry, Maggie, there was a link on one of Clarity’s postings and I mistook your style for hers! Sorry about getting it wrong!


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