Hiking – Journey or Destination

September 14th, 2017

Hiking is good for the mind and soul and takes you to awesome places. It has given me great experiences and has enabled me to take some amazing images. If I had hiked as if on a mission just to arrive at a destination I would have missed out on lots of photographic opportunities. Hiking for the joy of the journey leaves me at the back of the pack.

This has made me wonder about the motivation of hikers as they charge past me hiking at a speed of well over 3.5 miles an hour. That’s fast and doesn’t leave any time to take pictures. Ok, so you are getting a workout. You can go the gym and do that. Or just find a path somewhere and walk as fast as possible.

My suggestion is to set a slower pace and stop to enjoy your surroundings. First, you’re going to see more of what the hike offers and avoid getting burned out. You go further and see more. Another real benefit is that a more measured pace allows you to be surer of your footing and avoid accidental falls.

By embarking on a journey rather than a race, you will more likely know where you are going and avoid turns that could get you lost. A longer hike gives you more time on the trail and greater enjoyment. Besides, what’s the hurry. You’ll see more wildlife and have more opportunities to enjoy the trail or take photographs.

The trails where I most often see destination type hiking are usually very clearly defined. However, many of the locations where we hike require that you pay attention and utilize of skilled route finding. Even on defined trails, I still observe hikers blowing past turns and ending up some where they didn’t plan on and wonder how they got there.

A journey utilizing a measured pace allows you to check your compass, map, or GPS. I will continue to pursue the journey in the pursuit of great adventures and photographs plus more time to enjoy the scenery and the hike. Here’s to more enjoyable hikes and journeys!