I turn the ripe ol' age of 27 today. As I often do on my birthday, I reflect about the years gone by and how they have shaped me into the person you see today. All those mistakes and successes, triumphs and failures - there have been too many to count and there will be many more to come.
As I reflect on another year whizzing through space on this giant blue marble, it got me thinking about how I could share some of what I learned in my short or long 27 years (depending on your age) and what I could share with the SaskHiker community.
That is why I decided to share 27 things I learned about hiking in 27 years. Here they are!
1) Don't be afraid to go alone. The rewards of experiencing nature for yourself can be tremendous.
2) It is always going to hurt. It doesn't matter how long or short a hike is, there always seems to be a point where you are tired and your body aches. This is what makes it worth it.
3) Nature will always surprise you if you are paying attention to it.
4) The smallest details can be just as amazing as the largest mountains.
5) Just because the weather is bad, doesn't mean you still can't be outside.
6) A day spent outside is never a day wasted
7) A campfire can solve a lot of problems
8) Just because you don't have what you need, doesn't mean you can't make what you want
9) The sounds of trees rustling in the wind is the world's most calming sound
10) The best meals of your life are earned after a full day of hiking with 50 pounds on your back
11) You can fit two people and two dogs into a two person back country tent
12) Encouraging others to hike and experience nature is a reward in itself
13) Watching your girlfriend summit her first mountain will be one of the proudest moments of your life
14) The more you hike, the less you realize the problems of the world don't matter in the long run
15) Chopping down a tree with an axe will melt away any stress you may have had
16) Sometimes it is worth it to carry a dozen beer to the end of the trail
17) If there are a lot of people on the trail, it usually means that you should find another one
18) Also go further, what is around the next bend is what you really came to see
19) Conversations on the trail are some of the deepest you will have in your life
20) Learning to tie a new knot is an achievement every single time
21) Your dog will always be down for a hike, even if you aren't
22) Squirrels are the true guardians of the forest
23) Stop and look back once in awhile, it's important to see how far you've come
24) Learn to read footprints, they will tell you stories you never knew existed
25) The sound of snow scrunching under your feet is the world's second most calming sound
26) Don't think about how far you have to go, think about how far you have come
27) The best we all can do is put the next foot in front of the other
These are just 27 things I have learned in my 27 years of hiking. What have you learned? Share it in the comments!