For all Hikers, Backpackers, and Campers—by Ray Anderson

Why Hike?

Every year I get antsy. Something inside urges me to tramp a woodland trail, to climb a mountain, to experience nature. I know I’m not alone. Some can get their fix after a day in the forest, or a weekend in the mountains. Others yearn for a much longer hike. Why?

For me it’s the anticipation of adventure. Look at the picture above. Wouldn’t you like to go there? The picture is only a tease of the reality. I remember it being windy and chilly, but the Sierras were all around me, and the water in the valley sparkled when I got to it later. Some of the miles were long and tiring, but what an adventure!

I had never hiked out west before; everything was different, but still the same. Trees and plants stretched straight up to sun and sky. The dead silence was overwhelming and most welcome. I tented in the valley the night this picture was taken and remember being alone, wishing I could share the majesty and my awe with someone. It was unbelievable to realize I was hiking in an area that had been unchanged for centuries.

Laying in my tent, I wondered what I would see and experience next, and the anticipation of adventure built. It would for you too.

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