Hiking and backpacking: The adventure within the adventure

Hiking and backpacking can lead to other adventures

Most people go hiking and backpacking to commune with nature at its backcountry best.  The solitude of that first cup of coffee in the morning is something that any parent will appreciate!

For years, I’ve seen hiking and backpacking as the goal of my outdoor adventure.  I set out on a day hike to experience the trail, to take in all that it had to offer.  It’s the rhythm with the trail that seems to pull me away from my daily minutiae.

Hiking and backpackingI regularly hit the trail with a group of buddies, all who are fathers to young children, with the goal of backpacking for a night close to home.  We leave on Friday around noon and are back wearing the daddy hats by noon on Saturday.  Backpacking for that one night is the goal.

But lots of people use hiking and backpacking to fuel other adventures.  The hike in and the gear that you carry are preambles to the real adventure.  Often, the hiking and backpacking are part of a larger story line.

Hiking and backpacking get you where you want to go

In 2006, I floated the Yellowstone River with some of my flyfishing buddies.  We camped at a few different spots as we floated our way downstream over the course of 3 days.

Hiking and backpacking on the YellowstoneSome of my fondest memories from that trip are the meals, the stories told, and the cocktails on the banks of the river after a hard day of fishing.  The camp experience didn’t define the trip but it certainly helped to frame some of the stories told years later.

My friend Brian has been hiking and backpacking for years as a way to get to the best climbing walls and bouldering problems.  He often shares stories on our outings about past climbing adventures.  Many of those stories describe the things that happen on the hike or in camp.  His climbing memories are more than just footholds, nearly impossible routes, or rock quality.

Many times, his climbing stories are about the adventure to get to a backcountry wall or the shenanigans that make a night in camp something to remember.

Sometimes hiking and backpacking are how you get to your intended adventure.  It’s the adventure within the adventure.

What’s the adventure within your adventure?

I want to create more adventures within my adventures.  Though I love hiking and backpacking for what they are, I’m eager to tie in some of my other loves.

There are countless trails in Colorado that afford fly fisherman a chance to find epic adventure in the backcountry.  I’d love to do a 3-4 day backpacking trip to a series of alpine lakes where I could put some lightweight flyfishing gear or a tenkara setup to the test.

I’d also really like to hike into Havasu Falls and extend the trip all the way down to the Colorado River.  Floating the river from there would be a killer way to spend a week.  White water is something I’ve never challenged and I think it would perfectly compliment the hiking and backpacking effort to get there.

So what’s your adventure within an adventure?  Where would you like hiking and backpacking to take you in 2013?


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