10 Surprisingly Difficult Adjustments to Life After the Trail
Adjusting to life on the trail is hard, but getting back to the real world can be even harder. Living on the trail for nearly half a year can rewire your brain in some weird ways. You know you spent too much time on the trail when…
1) You don’t shower unless you earn it … much to the dismay of your friends and family. Not to mention constantly forgetting to put on deodorant.
2) You actively avoid situations in which you can’t wear stretchy and comfortable clothes and shoes. Jeans and high heels were ridiculous inventions.
3) You still think about distances in terms of hiking 2 mph, even if you’re driving a car. What is now a 30 minute drive should take two days of hiking.
4) Every time you stay at a hotel, you wonder where the laundry facilities are and whether there will be a waffle maker in the morning.
5) You still go grocery shopping in terms of weight … and feel weird without your pack in your cart and confused stares from fellow shoppers. You also secretly feel a little sad when you pass the honey buns and ramen.
6) You’ve sworn off most of the food you ate on the trail for the sake of your digestive system (hence no longer buying honey buns), but still want to eat pounds of snickers.
7) You dream of turning your house into a hiker hostel and want travelers to come sleep on your couch. You’re also much less scared of picking up hitch hikers (even if you know they are not hikers).
8) You wake up to find yourself sleeping with your arms folded across your chest like you’re in a mummy sleeping bag. You also feel around for your headlamp if you wake up in the middle of the night.
9) You downsize your life and donate tons of belongings. Who really needs more than one pair of pants anyway?
10) You still associate acronyms like NOBO, SOBO, AT, PUDs, AMC and GAME with the trail and get confused when they mean something else. Or when people aren’t familiar with common hiker terms like zero and nero days, bear bags or—worst of all—Katahdin.
What post-Trail adjustments are you struggling with?
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.