If you’ve ever spent any time in a wilderness, you know there are good and bad sides of the experience. All of it makes for some fun stories, fond memories and more than a few laughs.
I just got back from a short backpacking trip in the San Juan Range of Colorado. Aside from not being used to the backpacking thing (it’s been awhile since I’ve truly been “backpacking”), there are a lot of little things that stand out to me. So what follows is a list of pros and cons to leaving home and heading out into the bush for awhile…
Pro: Leaving behind all the bad news you get inundated with via TV, websites and social media. For four days, I didn’t hear a word about war, Obamacare, shootings, the tea party or any of that other crap that drives people a little crazy. My biggest debate was whether or not I would dare to leave my tent and go out in the rain to go pee or just hold it awhile longer.
Con: Coming back to civilization and being run over by war, crime, Obamacare, the tea party and all of the other crap that drives people crazy.
Pro: Not really having to worry about what you look like or smell like for several days.
Con: Smelling yourself in your clothes and sleeping bag, and then seeing what you look like when you come back into civilization. Nothing quite as unsexy as the underbeard, otherwise known as the neck beard.
Pro: Being overjoyed by the little things, like the taste of summer sausage your campmate shared, the sound of a nearby creek, and nailing it when it comes to taking the perfect poop (don’t judge until you’ve done it).
Con: Having to poop in the woods. Eww.
Pro: Seeing wildlife, like mountain goats, marmots, deer and other critters you otherwise might see outside of a zoo.
Con: Putting up with their behavior in camp, whether it be marmots stealing food/clothes (they do that) or mountain goats ravaging that bush you peed on just for a taste of salt. Again, eww.
Pro: Summit views. No explanation needed.
Con: The physical thrashing it takes to earn that summit view. Nothing quite like being out of breath for three hours straight. Note to self: Next time, run more and run more hills. Sheesh!
Pro: Having awesome gear that keeps you warm and dry during an alpine downpour.
Con: Being stuck in a dry but cramped tent for 12 hours during an alpine downpour.
There are many, many more. So I invite you to share your list. What are your pros and cons to backpacking? Share ’em!