Does Politics belong in Backpacking?

I don’t want to start a war with anyone on this.  So lets keep it civil.  I am writing this to be more thought provoking than anything else.


Good question.  Not sure I want to, maybe it will be cathartic.  As far as my “political” beliefs go, I usually don’t share them with the public.  In my review which I mentioned that a tent was manufactured in China and I wish it wasn’t” I wish it was made the USA, but its not, enough said”.  I got bashed for having politics in my blog.  Now I did not write it with the intent of putting politics in my blog.  Just maybe this person needed to unload on someone.  I hope they feel better.  That’s fine I can take deal with it.  As a matter of fact it inspired me to think about it more deeply.  I simply meant to convey given the choice between two products that have similar features, one made in the United States and one in China, I would pick the one with the made in USA tag.  I don’t want to get into the specifics on why I make that choice, that is not what this post is about.

Isn’t it already there?

The very nature of our chosen activity is politically charged.  Unless of course you just like to walk very far distances with a lot of stuff on your back and don’t care what you are looking at.  Protecting our parks, our trails, and our planet is never going to go away.  Lets face it, if you actively make the effort to think about it or not, you are still participating.  Most of the companies that we buy gear from are very active in supporting initiatives that one could call political.  I think one of the best examples I can come up with is Patagonia.  Now I know there are plenty of others that are really active, this is just an example that came to mind.  They are very conscientious about how and where there products are made and manufactured.  I am a member of the PCTA, does this make me political too?

Where to go from here?

Now you can bury your head and the sand and not care at all, more power to ya, but you are still participating at a level, anytime you buy a product.  So why not actively participate is something you can be proud of and reap the benefits of?  I don’t advocate getting on social medi and posting political garbage all the time.   I hate that as a matter of fact.  There is a time and place for all of that.  Like with your good friends and family face to face, because after all is your opinion really going to change by some random person attacking you on the internet.

Exercise your power how you want.

I choose to pay attention to where my gear comes from. This is not my only consideration I don’t obsess about it.  Does this make me political?  If you think I am mixing politics then don’t listen to me, exercise your power.  If you don’t want to mix our sport with politics then don’t respond, if you do you are participating at some level.  My point is everyone has power, what you choose to do with it and how you wield it is up to you.  My hope is that you use your power in a way that makes the world a better place, to make informed decisions in everyday life.  I don’t think that makes you political, I think that makes you practical, so you can keep enjoying the things that you love.  So if you think that makes me too political, I don’t apologize.




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Comments 3

  • Vince Piquet : Mar 11th

    Tolerance is dying art. If more of us concentrated on the positive side of the ledger, and less on the negative… Well you get the picture. Heading SOBO on the A/T in June after an abortive start last year with a tendon issue. Good luck on your journey. Fair winds and following seas.

  • Miles : Mar 11th

    I say leave your politics at home. People go hiking to enjoy this earth, to take on a challenge and share the comaraderie with others on the trail. We all get bombarded daily with ‘news from the political front’ and frankly I have no problem being out of the loop when I am on the trail. I certainly have my views and opinions but I have no interest in politicking on the trail. As the prior post stated tolerance is a dying art. Best wishes on your hike.


  • Dan : Mar 15th

    ‘Leave your politics at home’ said the white person who has never tried hitching while black in areas where the KKK is still active.


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