Hiking in the mountains is more than just walking over the dusty trails, sleeping in a wrinkly tent, or doing your “business” in the bushes. It teaches you important lessons in life that will help you in the long run. Here are five simple things I learned from it.
1. Be ready for the challenge
Be prepared, both physically and mentally! Life is full of challenges, and so is hiking. You should always have the proper mindset when fighting through difficulties. Don’t freak out or panic. Keep an encouraging voice. Before a trip begins, you are probably told to pack up all of the necessary food, cooking utensils, and warm clothing. You don’t want to miss a thing! Make sure you listen carefully, because you’re going to need everything. Things happen unexpectedly all the time. Even on sunny days, there is still a slight chance of rain. Having the experience of setting up the tent in a foggy, dim, and rainy night, I am now well aware of the possibility of any kind of probable challenges.
2. Take one step at a time
Stay strong and keep going! No one can make it to the top in a instant. It takes time and perseverance. Remember to take one step at a time and try to walk at your own pace; you will make it eventually. You see this idea all the time in life. Doing things step by step is essential, especially when you’re setting up the tent (or even working on a math problem). I struggled on our way down the mountains because my knees were killing me! I slowed myself down and did one thing at a time. Step, inhale, exhale, step, inhale, exhale, step…. One step at a time.
3. Enjoy the moment
Don’t rush! Look around! There is always something for you to explore. People say that you can never step in the same river twice. Even though it’s mountains, the same idea still applies. Some of you may feel like days of continuous walking in the woods is super boring. If so, you are definitely missing out on a lot of stuff. Slow down and pay attention to the different things around you – the trees in front of you or the ups and downs of the valleys. Or even look into yourself. You will learn a lot more about nature and your inner self.
4. Work well with your team
Communicate and stay positive! Sometimes it may be tough to work with others, but teamwork is very crucial on a hiking trip. You are there for one another and you are there to watch out for each other. Throughout the trip, you are going to share the work with them, eat with them, and sleep in the same tent. Basically, you are doing everything together! Have a good relationship with one another by encouraging each other and working well together. Remember to discuss and plan well with your teammates; you probably don’t want unpleasantly looking chocolate oatmeal for breakfast or over cooked curry rice for dinner…
5. Keep a goal in mind
Plan ahead and go for it! Having a short-term, or even a long-term goal is important. Each night before lights out, leaders have meetings to go over the plans and objectives for the next day. When there is a destination ahead of you, the whole team is motivated and driven. Everyone will work hard and keep each other up to reach the goal. Even though things may not always go as planned, it is worth to try and do your best. And the goal does not always have to be about the destination. It can be as simple as carrying a backpack for others or singing a song to make everyone happy.
As you can see, there is so much more to hiking than the destinations, just like life. It is not always about where you end up with, but the process and the experiences you got from it. The scenery you see and the relationship you build can be more valuable than making up to the top of the mountain. Keep these things in mind next time you hike a mountain with your friends.
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