By: Amanda Kiefer
So you’ve heard people raving about hikes they went on. You know someone who has traveledall over, hiked every mountain, followed every trail, and you are wondering just what is so great about this activity? Why did Ansell Adams find such inspiration when he was hiking in the mountains? What is it about going outside and enjoying the wilderness that makes people fall in love with it? We will explore just a few reasons why people enjoy getting out and hiking.
Appreciate the quiet. Once you get into the wilderness a bit, you first realize just how silent it is out there. There is no sound of traffic, no one yelling at the car in front of them. There are no fire truck sounds or car alarms. There are no heaters or air conditioners making all sorts of noise. The quiet you find in the wilderness is so peaceful and relaxing. You start to notice the conversations of birds, and the rustle of leaves in the wind. These simple experiences help you recognize the beauty and majesty of life. Erich Fromm described this phenomenon as biophelia or a love for life and all things living. He argued that somewhere in our genetic code, we are programmed to want to see nature, and observe living systems.
Escape the daily routine. John Muir wrote “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness”. This quote shows the value and clarity offered by time spent outside. The wilderness offers an out from the stress of life. It is a fun break from the daily routine; it frees you from the grasp of the city and the constancy of artificial stimuli that is modern living. Being in the wilderness is the best opportunity for quiet thinking and introspection.
Show yourself that you can. Going into nature, outside the view of others, allows you to test yourself. Bringing nothing with you but your North Face Backpack and some water and experiencing the woods with your own two eyes teaches you just what you are made of. When you notice that nature is utterly unphased to your presence, you notice that the only thing keeping you going is your persistence. This experience teaches you that you can do anything.
Great exercise. Hiking is excellent exercise, and it is relatively easy on the body. Getting out each day and going for a hike makes a huge difference in keeping a healthy body weight and fighting off things like diabetes and cancer.
Connect with friends. Going out into the wilderness puts you and your friends in a unique environment which will help you to bond and make your friendships grow stronger. The friendships that are forged over experiences in the woods will help you feel that you all can work together and achieve difficult things.
Hiking offers these perks and more. Spending time outdoors and appreciating nature is assured to bring you fun memories. Happiness and health, what more could someone ask for? So get out there and enjoy the wilderness. John Muir said it best when he said, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you…while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”
About the Author
Brian is a lover of the outdoors and has great experience hiking, camping and more. He also loves http://www.moosejaw.com/
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