Why Do You Go Backpacking?

Dogwood Flowers

I'm actually quite serious. What is it that drives you to get outside and go backpacking? I'm asking because a recent email submission from Joe B. got me thinking about the real reason why I got started with backpacking in the first place. Quite simply, it was because I like being outdoors.

I like the solitude of backpacking alone and I like hiking with my loved ones and friends. I enjoy looking at nature, taking in the views, studying the myriad of plants and flowers. I feel relaxed and recharged when I'm out on the trail. For all of these reasons, and more, I started backpacking.

Twisting vines

Backpacking was the mechanism that enabled me to go outside. It got me where I wanted to go and to the places I wanted to see. It was a means to an end. Lately however, I've felt that I've lost sight of the original reason why I started backpacking and that I need to focus far less on the gear that I carry with me, and think more about what it is that I want to do when I get to where I want to be. Joe summed it up perfectly in his email; "I'm not enjoying the walk if I'm thinking about my pack list spreadsheet".

Is this a result of spending too much time obsessing about reducing the weight of my pack and shaving ounces off my gear? When is enough, enough? Have you experienced anything like this yourself?

Please leave a comment below.

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