Jul 5, 2014

An Analogy

Backpacking can teach life lessons. When you hike as a couple, you help each other. You divide tasks to accomplish a common goal. There is not necessarily a leader and a follower. But two independent minds becoming one by mutual specialization.

To prepare for a hike, one must plan out his load and organize it. He must optimize it in the same ways he must optimize his responsibilities in life. The load can not be overbearing. The arrangement can not be to top heavy, or too much weight on the sides.

He must also prepare a map. The map tells you where to go. It helps you out in tough spots. Often, when trials bar your path like trees, snow or rocks, the map and a handy gps can help you navigate back to the trail.

While on the trail, both body and mind must be prepared for the hike. Communication between the partners is essential. One must not go too fast or he will leave the other.

They must coordinate breaks for rest or for food. They must communicate supply levels of water and coordinate refilling.

It might sound tricky but it's not. At the end of the day of hiking, they rest, talking about the day and the days to come. This social interaction brings comfort and boosts moral. It provides entertainment and lifts the spirit.

Backpacking is hard. Like life, it takes a lot of physical and mental preparation. The reward is the journey: the challenge to body and mind, the spectacular views of nature that few will ever experience in person.

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