For many people, hiking is just a pastime: something they do at the weekend or in the summer when the weather finally improves.
But for some people, it goes well beyond this. Hiking almost becomes a way of life or reason for being.
Does that sound like you? Well, you’re about to find out. We take a look at some of the signs hiking has become your life (not that that’s a bad thing!)
Your Bucket List Keeping Growing
Most people’s bucket list is pretty short. The number of things they are trying to achieve is relatively small compared to the time they have left.
But when your bucket list keeps growing, it’s a sure sign you’re a hiker. People with an adventurous spirit constantly want to explore new places and have new experiences. They want to experience what it feels like to master the Andes and trek through the lonely deserts of Namibia. For these people, the world is an endless horizon.
You Navigate By Landmarks
Another sign that hiking has become your life is that you navigate by landmarks. Instead of using GPS or relying on someone else to tell you where you’re going, you use your eyes to triangulate your position or carry a compass with you the whole time.
Your Friends Are All In The Trail Community
Hiking has also likely taken over your life if all your friends are in the hiking community. You want nothing more than to spend time with like-minded people who enjoy the same activities as you. You want to trek together and experience the wonder of the world on your terms with people who feel similarly to you.
The hiking community is like no other. You tend to find the most adventurous people here: individuals who just want to connect to nature. Sharing experiences with them makes you feel part of something big.
You Have A Minimalist Mindset
Another sign hiking has overtaken your life is your new minimalist mindset. Hikers want to travel as lightly as possible, regardless of where they go. And this tends to apply to their everyday lives, too.
If you’re really into hiking, you probably consider the weight of the work items you carry in your briefcase. You might also reduce the number of items you keep in your kitchen or cook over a camping stove in your backyard on a Friday evening if you’re not heading to the mountains that weekend because of poor weather.
You Are A Gear Enthusiast
People whose lives have become dominated by hiking are also often gear enthusiasts. They want the driest tends, the strongest Dyneema backpacks, and the warmest thermal socks. When it comes to hiking equipment, they don’t spare any expenses.
Spending $300 on a tent, for instance, is pretty normal. But dropping $1,200 certainly isn’t. If you’re spending that kind of money, you’re in deep.
You Have An Endless List Of Trail Tales
Another sign that you’ve let hiking become your life is your ever-growing repertoire of trail tales. Being able to spend hours talking to other people about stories of your adventures is a sign that you think about nothing else but strolling through mountain passes and beating your way through forest glades.
The degree of emotion you feel while retelling accounts of your adventures also shows you how connected you feel to the activity. If you can sense yourself welling up or feeling nostalgic, it’s another sign you’re in deep.
You Keep Camera Chronicles Of Everywhere You Go
You might also have made camping your life by keeping pictorial chronicles of all your adventures. Having albums for each expedition means you cherish the memories every time you step out of the door. You’re desperate to explore and then revisit your time spent outdoors at a later date.
You Love Rising Early In The Morning
Another sign you might have let hiking take over your life is your willingness to get up early, even when you’re at home in your cozy bed. People who spend a lot of time outdoors camping often wake up early because there is so much to do in the morning. You need to cook food, pack up your tent, and consult the map to tell you where you need to go next.
Rising early when hiking is also the ideal way to get the best views. Relatively few people are awake in the early hours to see a beautiful sunrise or to witness the fog lifting off the mountains.