Why I Hike

Backpacking / Ideas & Advice

Hiking is not just a form of exercise for me, but a passion. Many people ask why I hike and this is the most complete answer I can give.


For solitude:

When I feel like I’m part of nature, I reach an inner calm. Exposure to nature is important for me to restore balance. It is amazing how different you feel away from your day to day surroundings. I love hiking solo and am able to hike at any pace I wish, turn back when I want, or trek ahead if I please. There’s nothing like only hearing the sound of my footsteps, the wind, and my breath.


For a challenge.


One of the many steep sections of the Flume Slide Trail

I am always look to hike more challenging trails, add more mileage, pack less (or carrying a heavier pack), and be more efficient.


To reflect.

Like a runner’s high, I fall into this meditative state. It is an excellent time for self reflection and to push yourself.


Self reliance.

One day solo presidential traverse


There is nothing like leaving your car at the trailhead and being on your own with a map and whatever you can carry on your back. Whatever self-doubts and anxieties are you in life, once you are the on trail you rely on yourself, and it feels right to do so.


To focus on the small things that make the world so beautiful.

Being on the trail for hours at a time gives you an opportunity to appreciate the intricacies of nature and how small we really are.


To meet new people.

This kind of contradicts the previous statements, but when you want, you have an opportunity to talk with all sorts of people who share the same passion. On some hikes I’ve talked to people in passing. Other times I hike with people I meet on the trail.


For a good laugh.


Being goofy on Cannon

When you get caught in a sudden downpour, fall off a butt sled, or fall in a spruce trap hikers can’t help but laugh. On the trail you’ll find yourself breaking out in song in no time.


For the views.


Undercast seen from Carter Dome

I’d be lying if this wasn’t a top reason. I think you have to really work for the best views. Once you get the first glimpse of a mountain range in the distance, a coveted under-cast, or beautiful sunset it captures why hikers are so passionate in a single photo.


Why do you hike? Leave a comment below!

Allison Nadler

Allison is a passionate (or mildly obsessive) hiker who enjoys spending her free time in the White Mountains. In 2012 she hiked New Hampshire's 48 4000-foot peaks and isn't stopping there. Allison's biggest accomplishment so far has been a one day solo presidential traverse. You can see all her adventures at 4000-footers.blogspot.com.


  1. February 25, 2013, 12:27 am

    Hiking allows you to explore nature, set aside everyday stresses and stimulates the feel-good chemical hormones of adrenaline and endorphins to boost your mood and energy levels. Further, group hiking allows you to socialize and improve relationships with those around you.

  2. John Metcalf
    February 11, 2013, 8:51 pm

    Same as you even did the same to the binocs on Cannon but more importantly, to be with God!

  3. February 8, 2013, 5:31 pm

    Same here, all of the above. Nice post Allison.

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