For most of my hiking experience I hauled the required heavy load. I stoically endured the resulting muscular aches and pains. I managed their deepening intensity through mental vanquishment and too often supported this with the masking effects of anti-inflammatory drugs. I believed all this discomfort was part of the hiking challenge and would ultimately be overcome by improving my hiking fitness.
It took 38 days of walking the Australian Alpine Walking Track to shatter this perception of the hiking challenge. If ever I was to be ‘hiking fit’ this was it. A 12 days food drop ensured a 25kg plus pack and after only a few kilometres it was time to stop. Not surprisingly, the weight was simply too much. A day punctuated by many rest breaks ensued and was enough to stir an ongoing shift to a lighter weight perspective.
With all sorts of things in life we experience distinct moments when we make shifts in how we do things. The resulting changes are usually positive in outcome and sometimes they encourage and flow onto others. In gradually shifting to a lighter way of hiking I have optimised my experience. My idea of hiking as a challenge is now somewhat modified. It offers less discomfort and the opportunity to be far more present in my journeying.
This was one of the moments that inspired the creation of 50 Days. Our business actively encourages people to rethink how they journey in the outdoors. This is at the core of why we exist. I encourage you to walk on the light side.