Anyone who knows me knows.... I like to backpack. I like to get out in the wilderness, where few people tread, with little more than my wits and whatever I can carry on my back. I can't really put into words what drives me. Sometimes I feel it's healthy to get away from civilization, putting problems into perspective, and it will certainly give someone a new sense of appreciation of simple things most people take for granted—hot water, air-conditioning, refrigeration, and more.
There's also a sense of accomplishment, taking the worst that mother nature can throw at you and surviving anyhow. You'll meet characters on the trail who prove that often times, fact is stranger than fiction. And you'll see places and experience things that few people ever will. A time to admire breathtaking sunrises, curse the cobwebs across the trails, search for water sources, and sometimes depend on map and compass to find your route when the trail gets lost. (I never get lost, but the trail sometimes does.)
Trail food, as a whole, sucks—but 'real food' back in civilization never tasted so good. After sleeping on the cold, hard ground, even a living room floor seems like a 5-star resort. It's a time to reflect and dream and to disconnect from the rest of the world.
My first really long hike was thru-hiking the 2,076-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Some days were difficult, but they made me stronger. Some days were wonderful. But every day was a great adventure.
I've also blogged about my adventures on the Wonderland Trail, the Florida Trail (with a dash of Alabama and Georgia thrown in for some interesting times) and the Pacific Crest Trail.
The stove on the above is one of the infamous soda-can stoves that I once used to light my crotch on fire. (Not recommended, I might add, just in case you were getting ideas.) They're cheap, light-weight, and it's easy to make your own.
I also created a website about drinking backcountry water if you ever find yourself in need of water on the go. (And I often don't treat it—check out the website if you want to learn my reason why!)
I created this theme to put up whenever I'm off on the trails backpacking. Not, perhaps, the entire time I'm backpacking during a very long distance hike, but certainly for hikes of less than a week or two at a time.
Now days, I combine business with pleasure, taking hundreds or even thousands of photos along long-distance routes to add to Walking 4 Fun. That's another site I've created which allows people to track how much they walk each day, enter it into the website and it'll show you where you would be on a given trail if you took your steps there—including photos of all the places and people you would have passed along that section of trail. Feel like taking a virtual walk on the PCT? Or around Crater Lake? Along the Camino de Santiago. We've got it!