Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Why hike?

  1. #1
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    'Springtime' on the Carters (Somerville, MA)
    Posts
    1,926

    Why hike?

    I often invite people hiking and I generally find that half of people will say they are interested, and about half of those will actually come. For many people, the driving is too much (4+ hours RT), or their schedules are too booked (can't give up a whole day). But, for others, they don't see the appeal. It's hard for me to explain because, when you just describe it by the actions alone, it sounds silly (I drive 200 miles to walk 10, up a hill and back down).

    I know people hike for a variety of reasons, so I am curious what drives us most of the time.
    | 63.0% W48: 19/48
    Trail Adopter of the Guinea Pond Trail

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Worcester, MA
    Posts
    397
    Solitude and a sense of wilderness.

    I rarely go to the summits. I enjoy backpacking to an unestablished site, setting up a camp, and exploring the surrounding forest; especially any nearby rivers, streams, brooks.

    I bring a book to read, a p&s camera to take pictures, and a journal to write in.
    Last edited by Tom_Murphy; 08-19-2019 at 11:47 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    257
    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    ...drive 200 miles to walk 10, up a hill and back down
    No one with any common sense would do that. In that amount of driving time you could watch a baseball double header and drink a whole lot of beer. Or take a really nice long nap. Or binge watch half a season of The Gilmore Girls.

    Accept who you are. A strange person. If you're lucky enough to find another such wierdo every once in awhile to enjoy sharing a walk with you, count that as an unexpected surprise.

  4. #4
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Center Conway, NH
    Posts
    2,414
    I enjoy the ride. I’ve driven a lot farther than 200 miles to hike.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	B025780C-98E0-4D37-AF11-1EBA12E52D4B.jpg 
Views:	65 
Size:	94.5 KB 
ID:	6250
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  5. #5
    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    AHH....SKYLINE
    Posts
    501
    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    I enjoy the ride. I’ve driven a lot farther than 200 miles to hike.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	B025780C-98E0-4D37-AF11-1EBA12E52D4B.jpg 
Views:	65 
Size:	94.5 KB 
ID:	6250
    I don't like hiking with anyone but my wife and dog. Even family members. They all can be a PIA. There are many reasons hiking with others isn't fun from my perspective. I don't need the company with all the issues. So I stopped asking years ago. Same goes for snowmachining. I only like and ride with the wife. Or by myself sometimes.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga TN
    Posts
    423
    I find being in the forest comforting. I love the physical exertion of hiking which sure beats running on a treadmill in a sweaty gym. I still enjoy the peakbagging too but that's more of a hobby now. Mostly I just enjoy being out there amidst the greenery with the sights and sounds of running water and amidst the wildflowers and mushrooms and lichens and rocks. Here in The Whites, you might see a moose or an eagle but then again maybe just a chipmunk. It's always different and it's all good. When hiking alone, which is most of the time, being 100% self-reliant is also very satisfying.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

  7. #7
    Senior Member Puma concolor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North of Albany, NY
    Posts
    876
    I’m just doing what my DNA is telling me to do.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Medfield, MA & Otisfield, ME
    Posts
    132
    I enjoy the solitude, the views, the time off from day to day life and most of all, exploring new areas. We are fortunate to have a base camp in southern Oxford county Maine which really cuts down on the drive time. I am enjoying hiking much more this year as we are focusing on smaller hikes with smaller drives.

    Yesterday, our family (and dog) completed the NH 40 4000' list; together. This was a goal that we set back in 2010 and it has kept us hiking together as our kids have passed through college age and into their own lives. I am truly proud that we completed this goal together, and to me, is a great answer to "why hike"

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Ipswich, MA
    Posts
    375
    I just tell everyone it's terrible. The woods aren't getting any bigger and I'm on a real bad streak of sharing campsites.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brambor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Windham, ME
    Posts
    1,048
    If it is someone who is uninitiated in the mountains or camping or backpacking then it may be very difficult to sell the appeal. There are several factors that have to check off first:

    1) Love to be in the mountains, on the summits, in the woods ... these natural places that you can not experience from the comfort of your couch
    2) Be comfortable camping and backpacking and enjoying it
    3) Craving the benefits or unplugging from the modern world

    For me, watching a baseball or a football game on a couch with a beer in my hand on a free weekend day would be torture 99% of the time. My mom on the other hand never saw an appeal to go to the top of the mountain. Zero interest in traveling to nature. This does not mean everyone will end up that way but now in her late years she has no desire to even leave the comfort of her apartment. If she did not have dogs to walk she would be a complete homebody. We are all different.




    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    I often invite people hiking and I generally find that half of people will say they are interested, and about half of those will actually come. For many people, the driving is too much (4+ hours RT), or their schedules are too booked (can't give up a whole day). But, for others, they don't see the appeal. It's hard for me to explain because, when you just describe it by the actions alone, it sounds silly (I drive 200 miles to walk 10, up a hill and back down).

    I know people hike for a variety of reasons, so I am curious what drives us most of the time.
    Last edited by Brambor; 08-19-2019 at 08:28 AM.
    Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

  11. #11
    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ipswich, Ma.
    Posts
    460
    That is tough question for one to put in words because it is a mind and body experience that I think differs with each individual. In short, for me, without it I wither and die. And I do day trips to Acadia National Park. 9 hours of driving for 6 on average hiking. That's 500+ miles, for 10-12 hiking. Yup, can't live without it!
    Joe

  12. #12
    Senior Member WhiteMTHike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    RI
    Posts
    662
    Years ago there was a thread on this board that asked the same question. I'm glad to say that years later I have the same answer.... it's to get away from the so-called real world. When I'm on a hiking trail or at a summit, corporate America seems a world away.

    We don't have much good hiking here in RI but there are a few quality trails. I try to get to the Whites as often as possible to hike but that opportunity doesn't present itself as often as it used to. Plus I just can't drive to the Whites, do a day hike then drive back to RI because of the infamous Z Monster. He tends to creep up fast.

    As for getting others to hike with me, outside of my family I don't even bother trying. It's impossible to get someone who doesn't have an outdoors mentality to understand something like hiking. Plus I don't feel like hearing them if they don't like it. It's similar to getting people who don't have a workout mentality to go to the gym with me. I find that some activities are best done alone.
    "The laborers day ends with the going down of the sun, and he is then free to
    devote himself to his chosen pursuit, independent of his labor and his
    employer". Henry David Thoreau

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •