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How Did Backpacking Change My Life?

Years ago when I was in college there was a yearning I had to try and do something more in my life that challenged me beyond my comfort zone. So when the opportunity came my way to try and go camping/backpacking, I jumped at the idea.  Of course back then my backpack was pretty big and I knew nothing about trusting the trail. In fact, my first experience was full of rain, flood, and a bear scavenging through our food.

My desire to push myself in the outdoors was still very prevalent. So by sheer luck, I started hanging around a crowed who loved rock climbing. I was immediately obsessed with the challenge of climbing a rock face and the feeling of Adrenalin when reaching the top. In fact, it was very rewarding and filled my soul with self-esteem and confidence.

Years of scaling rock faces (and some epic ice climbs) also brought one day a blown knee. I blew out my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on a ice climb in Michigan and was never to climb again. That really sucked.

So back to backpacking. Since I couldn’t climb I wasn’t going to be denied my dose of Mother Nature. So after I was given a green light to hike, I started backpacking and trying to remember what I had learned on that rainy night. More and more I went on overnights and trekked through some pretty amazing wilderness areas. Every time I hit the trail it seemed like a brand new experience and gave me such pure joy. It renewed my sould like nothing else ever. I could go anytime I wanted and could go at it alone, by myself to have that time just for me.

It really did change my life.

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