For y’all that have done some backpacking trips long or short, you know that hiker hunger is a REAL struggle. Backpackers will eat just about anything; and it’s justified, we work hard, walking all those miles with our lives on our backs.
This week, I’ll be heading out to begin my AT nobo thru-hike, and I’ll let you in on a secret, I’m already starving. Food isn’t what I’m craving though.
I’m ready to disconnect from society. To wake up each morning in a tent, wearing the same clothes day after day and bathing once, maybe twice a week. My cravings consist of meals out of a bag, plain-bland rice with little to no seasoning, and endless spoonfuls of peanut butter. I yearn for sweat dripping down my face as I climb various peaks, for sore muscles, aches and pains from a hard day of hiking. My cravings are for the trek itself, pushing myself to limits unknown, surviving with little as possible.
A fellow nature lover, Thoreau, once commented on how quickly we satisfy the hunger of our bodies and how slow we are to satisfy the hunger of our souls. I think Thoreau has it right. A lot of people go through life not feeling satisfied. Instead of fueling our souls we do ourselves a great injustice; purchasing expensive materials, eating junk, smoking and drinking our lives away. I like to think that Thoreau and I are on the same page, we have the same taste palette, one that feeds the soul.
As I spend time with friends and family before heading out, I receive so many comments along the lines of, ‘I could never do that!’ or, ‘You’re gonna live in the woods for HOW long?’ With these comments I smile to myself and the calmness sets in. I think the calming sense I feel is my soul telling me that I’m heading in the right direction, even if it is one that most people will never take.
Some days will be harder than others; there will be tears, scrapes, bruises and frustration. However, I am sure that the majority of this hike will have me feeling as though I’ve just devoured a quality burrito; satisfied and wanting more.
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