I make this claim a lot. I’m yet to be successfully counter-argued because, in all honesty, any counter-argument is flawed by nature. Hiking really is the best. The problem with hiking, and it in no way takes away from the fact that it is awesome, is that sometimes it is required to be a group activity due to risk. That in itself is not much of an issue because I’m still only barely reaching my mid twenties and have an immortal complex but even I accept that some long hikes in hostile environments are not to be tackled solo. Here lies the problem: I often struggle to find hiking buddies to do potentially risky hikes with me because so many people don’t know that hiking is the best thing ever. D’mitry certainly doesn’t lack enthusiasm but if it came down to saving my life I’m not so sure about his competency. Let’s be realistic. Tiny, stumpy T-rex arms can only get you so far. His forte is starring in adventure photos.
On an abstractly related matter, volunteering is awesome. You get to do interesting things AND feel good about it. Consider for a moment what would happen if you combined the greatness of hiking and volunteering. Mind blown. You’ll have to excuse me if I’m still picking up fragments of my brain after this mind explosion, because that’s exactly the combination I experienced over the Easter week. The world’s greatest opportunity presented itself whereby D’mitry and I got to hike around the mountains for six days and talk to people. That was it. Just do awesome hiking in an awesome environment and make friends. Not only that, but a hiking buddy was provided. No violent protests from my mother about doing dangerous things on my own!
Here is a brief outline of the super Easter week adventure:
Day 1: Camping next to a river. It was awesome.
Day 2: Camping next to a river and sharing it with loud people. That was unfortunate. They also had beers and I wish they’d shared.
Day 3: Super scenic hiking along a steep mountain ridge with a 20kg pack that felt fine because I’m a powerhouse.
Day 4: Climbing to the top of mountains because we can. Also mint views.
Day 5: Climbing down mountains just so we can climb back up them because, as mentioned, I’m a powerhouse.
Day 6: The only day that involved no uphill, just a knee-shakingly large amount of down.
We also came across millions of lizards, some creepy birds, the world’s seventh stinkiest toilet (that says a lot. I’ve been to countless stinky toilet countries) and six snakes. One of them was a baby and he was pretty cute. Also, have you ever seen a snake try to run (or rapidly slither) away early in the morning before it’s had a chance to heat its cold blood with a little sun bathing? It’s hilarious. They kind of flop sideways and panic.
For those of us who are not D’mitry and have legs that are actually useful, here is one conclusion you can draw from six days in the mountains: every day is leg day.