10 Reasons Why I Hike

Why I hike is best summarised by a John Muir quote:

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

But in my own words, here’s 10 reasons why I hike.

1. Freedom

Walking solo is empowering but the sense of freedom I have when I know everything I need is on my back and I can go wherever I like is hard to beat.

2. Challenge

Thru-hiking and long-distance walking bring many challenges in the lead-up, whether it’s logistics, sourcing food and equipment, or just saving up for the trip. When I’m on trail the challenges don’t stop. I like being challenged and getting out of my comfort zone.

3. Endurance

Athletes endure pain and discomfort to hit their goals and thru-hiking isn’t any different. To hit long-distance trails and complete them, those miles are enjoyed but the discomfort is endured. I sort of enjoy that, knowing that not many people can do this.

4. Discover

What better way to travel than on foot? Discovery is one of the main reasons I love traveling. When I’m alone in the wild, sometimes it feels like I am the only person that has discovered that particular spot.

5. Achievement

Hiking is a great hobby, everyone I know that has completed a hiking goal, whether it’s a five-mile introduction or a 100-mile trek, we all share that feeling of achievement once it’s completed.

Getting uncomfortable in the snow at Glen Feshie, Scotland – my first wild camp in the snow.

6. Reward

Why do I love hiking in the rain in Scotland in October? Because I love how rewarding it is when the rain stops and the sun comes out. I cherish that rewarding moment even more because I’ve worked hard to get it.

7. Reset

Taking a hike to reset the mind is the best therapy around. And it’s free!

8. Perspective

Hiking in nature always puts my life into perspective. It’s easy to get sucked into life and forget how big and beautiful our world is. There is a world out there that is bigger than the mundane small things of life.

9. Health

Mental health or physical health, hiking benefits both. Walking is free therapy only if you can deal with where your thoughts take you when you are out there. I’ve also stopped going to the gym because hiking is all I need to stay in shape.

Whistman’s Woods, Dartmoor, UK.

10. Nature

Getting into the wild and being closer to nature feels wonderful. Learning about plants and animals has become more interesting than ever and adds a new dimension to a hike.

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