What’s the Best Thing About Backpacking?

adventure journal poll best thing about backpacking

My first backpacking trip came with the Boy Scouts, and I thought it was just plain stupid. We were dropped off on a dirt road, directed to walk about a mile, then turn down a grassy double track and camp on the edge of the woods. My father’s Ford LTD station wagon could have brought us to the campsite without complaint, and if a car could get there I didn’t see the point of walking.

The second trip, though, was a different story, a weeklong excursion into the West Virginia woods, where the only things I saw or heard were natural and the sense of unplugging from society was very, very real. It wasn’t just being immersed in nature that I loved, though that was part of it, it was the de-immersion from things unnatural.

Camping isn’t just camping. It matters where you sleep, how you got there, and what’s around you. It matters whether you carried your room and board on your back. It matters that you can’t get a cell signal. It matters that you have entered one place and removed yourself from another with only your feet. And for all this, the rewards are great.

Ack, sorry, forgot to say…pick as many as you like!

[polldaddy poll=8142078]


products_2320_58_158_enlargeThis week, one poll participant will receive a pair of Smith Optics Cornice sunglasses from Smith’s Archive collection. We’ll pick the winner via random number generator (and announce it here) – all you have to do to enter is vote and leave a comment so we have your email to contact you. Must have a U.S. or Canadian address. Contest ends Sunday, June 29, at midnight PST.

Congratulations to Alex Specht, who wins the Smiths this week!

Photo by Joe Ross/Flickr

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