01-15-2013, 09:07 PM
As children many folks would crawl out of bed in the summer, jump on their crappy bike, and spend the day exploring the woods. They’d come home exhilarated, from having an all out day, awesome day in nature. That being said chances are they’d be hungry, maybe have a skinned elbow, and as the sun had started to set a bit chilly. Next time you go hiking, watch the kids and the dog. See how they behave on the trail. They don’t hike in a straight line like we often do. They are free in their experience of nature, zig zagging to and fro, while they run ahead. Sometimes they go backwards…because they can, because they saw a curious stick or rock. Its not an effort for them because they are young, full of energy, and they don’t have a heavy backpack.
I went hiking last summer with a few friends. One of them had a beautiful yellow lab. He put saddle bags on the dog, and although it wasn’t a lot of weight the dog was weight down, and pretty much walked in our crappy backpack conga line. The dog was walking along and misjudged the distance between two rocks. Pooch failed to take into account the added width of the saddle bags, and got wedged between the rocks. It wasn’t the dogs fault. Dogs aren’t programmed to take into consideration saddle bags. On the other hand they are programmed to run free and happy.
I think humans are programmed to run free and happy too. I just think that certain messages are programmed into our heads during our lives that eventually become second nature. One of these messages is “carry a lot of stuff in our backpacks”. Please don’t think that it’s always a smart idea to crawl out of bed and spend the day in woods without any preparation (sometimes it’s a great idea). As we get older we learn that maybe it’s a good idea to bring a snack, and a first aid kit to mend skinned elbows, or a bit of extra clothing in order to stay warm. It’s also important to remember why we are out there to begin with, and that’s one reason why I go light weight backpacking. Just because I’m a Canadian doesn’t mean that I can’t find my own “life, liberty and pursue happiness”.
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