If you haven’t tried backpacking, I’d definitely recommend it! It can be life changing.Here are 8 ways backpacking will make you a better person:
1) You learn to simplify
When you have to carry everything you need to survive on your back, you learn pretty quickly what you do and don’t need. I always pack & unpack my backpack before a trip until I’m certain there’s no more excess clothes or gear to leave behind! This mindset tends to blend with your normal off-trail life, and before you know it you’ll be much more carefree about most everything. It’s all about getting rid of the excess!
2) You get plenty of time to sort out your priorities
When you spend countless hours hiking and exploring, your off-trail dramas tend to melt away. I can’t even tell you how many arguments I’ve avoided just by going hiking before bringing up a problem to someone! While on trail, you effortlessly discover what’s truly important to you and life becomes much easier. By the time you get back to your car at the trailhead, the last thing you’ll want to do is deal with things that don’t make you happy!
3) You learn to be thankful for pretty much everything
Not everyone gets to experience the indescribable feeling of that first bite of dinner once you’ve set up camp or the moment your head hits your stuff-sack full of clothes while you’re bundled in your warm sleeping bag after hiking however many miles into the wilderness. If you’ve got a sweet tooth like me, there’s nothing like the taste of the chocolate bar you’ve meticulously kept in tact for the last 1/2 mile of your hike.
4) The hikers you encounter on trail are the best people you’ll ever meet
You would be surprised at the connections you can make while hiking. I’ve met people from all over the world on-trail, and we still keep in touch! There’s something about meeting like-minded people in beautiful places that makes you feel really good about life.
5) You’ll have the best stories
When you’ve trekked across countless miles of wilderness, you acquire a lot of stories worth telling. Telling these stories won’t just make you a fun person to be around, but going through the events that make the stories will strengthen your character as well. If you haven’t seen the ‘Friends’ episode about the backpacking through Europe story, I highly recommend it.
6) Living outside is cool
Waking up to the morning sun & fresh air might be the most invigorating feeling ever (although falling sleep under the stars is a worthy competitor). Something about temporarily living outdoors awakens a part of your soul that you never knew existed, and you’ll notice the change immediately.
7) You learn things about yourself you never knew before
Backpacking will make you realize what you’re capable of, and it’s usually a lot more than you’d think! Carrying everything you need on your back and walking miles and miles will invoke a huge sense of independence which will ultimately make you more confident in your everyday life.
8) The healing silence of nature will fix everything
No matter what you’re going through, spending prolonged amounts of time in the wilderness will help. Once you get back to ‘real life,’ you’ll feel completely revitalized and refreshed. There is nothing that beautiful places and fresh air cannot heal.
Miranda Leconte is a THISWORLDEXISTS adventure ambassador
Find more of her adventures on Instagram @mirandaleconte