A Comparison of Cows and Hikers

Despite the obvious differences of how many legs we choose to walk on and the fact that hikers aren’t shot in the head when they get old and fat enough, we have a lot in common.  The similarities are numerous and we cross paths many times throughout the day.  

What did the hiker say to the cow??.. “Moooooove”

We walk the same land.  Wandering around in the hot sun all day, we both trot down the same dirt roads and often find ourselves on the same stretch of trail.  The cow paths are a spiderweb across the grass and can be useful when traveling cross country or to and fro water sources. 

We drink the same water.  Water in the desert is scarce and usually the source is a big tire or large tub constructed from steel or concrete.  The water comes from a well or, if we’re lucky, a piped spring from somewhere deep in the hills. 

Ended up not getting water here, bull started kicking his feet..

We shit on the same ground.  Granted, I do dig a cat hole every time and pack out my TP.  Meanwhile the cow pies bake in the sun, five times larger than any of the craps I’ve ever left behind in my lifetime.  Large, dry craps which I toss aside to clear space for a camp site in the evenings. 

We sleep on the same dirt.  Only having used my tent a handful of times, I spend the majority of my nights cowboy camping.  They call it “cowboy camping” because it’s how the cowboys sleep when out in the fields and under the stars; blanket on the ground, hat over the eyes.

And the stars at night are incredible

Some may say, “Hey Brian, aren’t you worried that a cow might step on you or that a snake might slither under your quilt in the middle of the night?”  Fair question, to which I say, “Can’t worry if you’re not awake!”

Many nights I have been gently mooed to sleep by the chorus of cows as they slowly step past in search of a quality sleeping spot themselves.  Although come to think of it, I have never witnessed a cow sleeping…

One last difference is that hikers can cross cattle guards and fit through fence stiles.  Onward!!

Don’t drop the phone, don’t drop the phone

About a week left in New Mexico and I expect to see more mountains than cows in Colorado.  The snow in the San Juan’s is slowly melting and should be pretty manageable by the time I get there.  Hiking without my brother has been different but I am enjoying the solitude and my body appreciates the slower week.  Thanks for reading!


“No complaints; nobody’s listening.”                —overheard from old guy at the diner this morning

Affiliate Disclosure

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.

What Do You Think?