How Long-Distance Hiking Can Change Character

How Long-Distance Hiking Can Change Character

Hiking has become extremely popular as a recreational activity; more and more people seek active lifestyle in the nature and choose to go on week-long expeditions or a weekend’s trip to the mountains. However, there are also those who set aside several months of their life and decide to hike some of the longest trails in the world. For some, that seems like a fanatic experience – how could anyone possibly live for so long without a proper kitchen or a possibility to shower at least once a day? And while these modern-day commodities are truly important, having to spend some time away from everything the modern world has to offer can certainly bring about noticeable benefits.

Long-distance hiking is irreplaceable when building determination and perseverance. Just think about it – what kind of will power is necessary if a person is to finish a trail that spans for thousands of kilometers and is completely detached from the everyday life we know and are very used to? Or simply to abandon their regular life for a couple of weeks and sleep in a tent instead of their comfy bed? The answer is enormous, and so naturally, when they finish, there are very few things in life that can stand in their way as substantial obstacles. In that way, long distance hiking really helps people change their character for the better.

There is more to it though. Regardless of whether a person is hiking alone or has company, a big portion of the time is spent in silence. This allows people to reflect upon their decisions, character traits, and in general creates space for a person to be alone with their thoughts. These kinds of experiences are truly meaningful in helping people understand who they want to be and how they want to lead their lives.

A very important aspect that cannot be overlooked is the physical toll such commitment has on a person. No matter how much time was spent in preparation for a long distance hike, which probably included exhausting gym sessions and a dietary plan to get used to the limited food portions and calories that will be available while hiking, when the time comes, the challenges are bigger than expected and after some time, the person will start feeling pain and discomfort. The muscles will start to ache, especially because the distances people cover every day are pretty long, the shoes and the clothing might cause inconveniences, and in general the body will start feeling weak. Managing to go through all of that will require immense psychological strength many professional sportsmen and sportswomen are well familiar with. Overcoming that is where strong character will really shine through.

Overall, long-distance hiking is an incredibly tiring and challenging experience, but also one that rewards greatly. People who manage to finish the set goal will come out of this trail stronger, more resilient to the hardships of life and a lot more perseverant when it comes to achieving their goals.