#hikerchat: Why I Get Outside…

We all have a very personal reason to get outside. Yet, sometimes we lose sight of that reason, that motivation. With everything else going on in our lives + the world around us it is easy to forget exactly why we get outside. We spent the past week sharing stories on the Adventure Blog about why people get outside.

Meg refuels her soul. | Gina is in love. | Heidi recharges for reality. | Tanya runs.

We also reached out to the #hikerchat community for insight on why they all get outside. Here’s what they told us…maybe their stories can trigger some memories for you or dig up a bit of motivation to get you out the door when your own reasons aren’t enough.

“Sometimes you reach a point in adulthood when you miss that sense of wonder you had as a child. I remember my happiest times as a kid were outdoors—playing in the river, walking to and from school (uphill and through deep snow of course), ice skating, etc. But these joys soon fell away as responsibilities grew and being outside took second or even backstage. But as I got older, I felt like something was missing. What had I once loved? That fresh crisp air, the feel of diving into a cool lake, seeing the beauty of the sun and the moon and the trees. So in my thirties I made a change. I started Exploration Project—a blog that would document my efforts to get outside and explore what nature had to offer. My blog motivated me to get outside and this I did. And I fell in love, or rather re-discovered an old love. And now? Now I crave the outdoors. It offers me beauty, peace, healing, adventure and quells my insatiable curiosity. Wonder is back in my life.” — Exploration Project

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“In order to get away from the hustle and bustle of life, unwind as well as de-stree.” — Bill Szabo

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“I have always been surrounded by opportunities and encouragement to get outside and get active. I grew up in a small community in northern Ontario, which was home to more horses than people, an ideal stomping ground for an energetic and outdoorsy kid. I knew instinctively from a really young age that getting outdoors and being surrounded by nature was where I felt happiest and most peaceful. Yet as I got older, and life got busier I started making less time to foster that connection with nature.

Fast forward through school and work and trying to fugue out life a little way and stop in 2010; introducing my daughter Abigale. Becoming a mother transformed me, and made me acutely aware of the need to stay connected to the things that made me healthy and happy. I needed to do this because I wanted to teach her to follow her passions, to dream big, and to be fiercely engaged in whatever it was that made her happy. I had also come to know that the best teachers teach by example.

So I started getting back to my happy place, on the trails, kayaking, canoeing and camping. I even discovered some new activities to be passionate about like yoga and Rock climbing! I luckily have a great group of active and outdoorsy people in my life who are always up for a new adventure. But over time I’ve learnt to also appreciate the incredible experience it is to get outdoors and do these things solo.

I now make it a priority, regardless of how busy life gets, to make time to get outdoors and connect… because I need this in my life. But I’ve saved the best part for last. I now have two beautiful children, who both follow their passions, dream big, and who aren’t afraid to be fiercely engaged in all the things that make their little hearts happy… and best of all, they think camping and hiking and playing outside with their mom is cool! Mom win! Happy trails!” — Ashley Campeau

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“I love being outdoors, period. And, so many reasons why, it’s hard to boil down. The beauty of the nature is inspiring, relaxing, and fascinating. It’s a form of therapy that resets my mind and mood, and makes me feel connected to the real world.” — Harold R. Stinnette

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“There’s a sense of freedom when I am hiking in the woods. Clarity is found, ideas are formed and nature feels like home. I can be myself without the worries of a deadine. Strangers are friendlier and most people hiking, are there for the same reasons. Hikers love adventure and peace. Every hike is majestic and memorable. I personally learn or discover something new about myself or my surroundings on each hike. There’s no place I had rather be.” — Amanda White

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“To recharge.” — Erin @ Inn Town Campground

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“I was originally introduced to the fun of being outside by the Girl Scout Program. I ended up staying in that program well into college just so I could get outside. Eventually I took the leap to backpacking and got hooked. There was something pretty fantastic about getting away from the road, and enjoying views that only a handful of people could get to.

It’s now been over 15 years since that first backpacking trip, and my reasons for getting outside have evolved. Now, getting outside is therapy. I have been fighting major depression and anxiety for over two years. Daily walks at my local parks and beaches help me to return to the present. Weekly hikes in the mountains remind me that I am physically strong and that I can be mentally chill. And week-long backpacking trips remind me of how simple life can be, and how independent and capable I really am.” — Lisa Pulsifer

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“It is a time to relax, unwind, and get away from the stresses of everyday life, while exploring the beauty of the world around me, and growing in my appreciation of all the amazing places in God’s great creation!” — Todd the Hiker


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“To relieve stress and anxiety. To explore this large earth. To snowboard.” — Kaitlyn O’Malley

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“The other day I found myself in a conversation with a colleague who asked; “Why did you suddenly pick up hiking?” For which I replied kindly; “You must not know me well enough, I didn’t ‘suddenly’ pick up hiking.”

When school started again in September I found myself, along with my brother joining a local Boy Scout Troop. What made it even cooler was my dad also signed up and became one of our troops scout masters. Each week we’d attend our scout troop meetings. I understood we needed to have those meeting, it’s what prepared us for everything we were learning to “be prepared” like tying knots and earning our merit badges, but meetings weren’t my thing.

Funny thing is, now I know why meetings were my least favorite thing while I was in youth ministry. I didn’t like them as a kid and I don’t like them now. Yes, they are essential, but sometimes we can spend more time discussing what we want to do or need to do instead of actually doing it. I don’t know about you, but I have found myself staring out the window more then once during a meeting that seems to be going nowhere because no one can agree. But let’s move on…

It was November, cold, a light snow was on the ground and it was our first Boy Scout Camporee. I was loving every minute of it. At night with flashlights in hand we ran, crawled and stealth-fully crept through the woods playing capture the flag. When I went to bed I took a rock from the fire ring wrapped in a damp old towel and laid it at the foot of my sleeping bag. Needless to say, I was warm and toasty. I still remember dinner that night. I thought it was the best meal I had ever eaten, chilli and rice cooked over a fire while sitting on a snow covered log.

Living so close to the Jersey shore most of my friends spent their summers at the beach, not me. Our family vacations since the time I was a toddler consisted of camping. Even later as a teen when my parents bought a simple pop-up trailer I preferred to sleep in my little one man dome tent.

The question from my colleague caused me to reflect back on my childhood and bring back fond memories of being outside and no matter what or where we were going it was always an adventure. Being outdoors is where I belong.” — HBF Outdoors

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“I get outside because it helps to keep me fit and satisfy my curious need for adventure. I enjoy travelling on foot, exploring wherever I am and discovering new places. The fresh air wakes me up and gets me going to start and end the day too (I do a reverse commute as I work from home) it also helps build connection with the people who live in my local area.” — Sarah Irving

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So, now it’s your turn…why do you get outside?!

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