Wednesday, February 2, 2011

90% mental, 10% physical.

Whether your on a day long jaunt on the trail or lost and low on food, its 90% mental and 10% physical. It truly is amazing how much our body can endure when needed and I'm a firm believer in the idea that you won't know what you can do until you need to do it. Obviously there are conditions that will break you and every one of us has a breaking point, but I feel as long as your body is still functioning then you can go on. It will hurt, you can injure yourself if things take a turn for the worst, and I'd only recommend pushing yourself that hard if you had to, but it could be done. If you believe you can keep going, you'll keep going.

Even in a casual situation I've seen typical seeming girls from my outdoors group out-perform some friends I've taken on other trips who think of themselves as "tough." The girls went in knowing that all they had to do was keep walking and perform certain camp tasks when we arrived to our site. That with an understanding that, no matter how experienced, you are out of your element and must be aware of your limits and surroundings made for a backpacking trip enjoyed by everyone.

Other groups of guys I've gone with seem to have had the idea that they were in complete control and were in no danger. Needless to say as a result it ended with frequent breaks due to the fact that they were trying to move to fast and did not expect the terrain, one of them falling due to moving to fast, cutting the whole next day out because they were exhausted from being up until midnight (I was up as well, but knew I'd be fine the next morning and I was), and other campsite mistakes such as not hanging a bear bag because they believed it was not necessary and that I was worrying too much.(Worrying too much is an ironic accusation because when a strange noise puzzled us in the middle of the night one of the guys got scared and set up a tent in the lean to...) One even chose not to bring a sleeping pad and then chose not to at least sleep on a bed of leaves. He regretted it. Later that morning the garbage bag began to stink and leak. I suggested we switch off carrying it out, they replied saying they rather leave it in the woods and that I was the only one who cared about Leave No Trace. I had to carry that stinking mess out the whole time. The whole trip for me sucked since I was used to being with people who know what they're doing. By the end of the trip we were all annoyed with each other and communication really was not at its best. Did I mention we only covered 5 miles TOTAL? It really was not Lewis and Clark's expedition here...

It's the mind set. The second trip I mentioned with the guys failed because they had the wrong ideas and I didn't speak up enough to correct them. They went in thinking it'd be a leisurely camp out, by their standards it was not, and that bothered them. Frustration mixed with carelessness were the two main problems. Both could have been fixed in the beginning if we all took a minute to stop and gather our thoughts.

Since then one of the guys on the failed trip and I hike together quite often. Now I would love to backpack with him because he has a decent amount of experience, has the mindset, and is a very good friend of mine. Come warmer weather we definitely will and I'm confident it will be a great time.

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