The 9 Productivity Lessons From Hiking
We all are different kinds of hikers. Some of us like long slow walks, some like to keep it simple, and some believe in taking uncharted roads. Despite our differences, we all are connected through our mutual interest in hiking.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, hiking teaches you a plethora of lessons every time you veer off to new trails. Here are 9 such lessons that you may relate to and can brag about. Let’s get started.
Discarding the Non-Essentials
Essentials like food, water, fast-aid, and knives are critical for surviving the long trails. However, inexperienced hikers often weigh their bags down with non-essentials like an exorbitant amount of gadgets, hiking gear, and heavy tools—leaving them with an unfulfilling hiking trip.
Sooner than later, you’ll learn which tools and gadgets you seldom need and which one can be left at home. This will present an opportunity to apply it in your life even when you aren’t hiking. You’ll learn to let go of materialistic things or even emotions that don’t fulfill a purpose anymore.
Trekking in the Alps or any other high elevations requires daylight saving and various other time management skills. Depending on your pace and endurance, you need to manage your hiking time to successfully summit or even keep yourself prepared for the next day.
For instance, if the plan is to take a 19km hike the next day, you may need to wake up early and manage your breakfast accordingly. Which will evidently make you more aware of time and distance in everyday life. You’ll learn to effectively manage your work, family, and private time.
Enjoying the Journey
Hiking isn’t only about reaching the destination. A few years back, probably due to a lack of guidance, many used to be very keen to reach the top as soon as possible. Where the more experienced hikers in groups used to take photos and relish the moments of the Walker’s Haute Route, many used to rush.
But as years passed on, it became more evident that these people were missing the most existing part of the hike—the journey. Although the destinations were quite grand in their own sense, it was the journey that made them more special.
Hard times are inevitable in life. If you can’t enjoy the journey, you’ll soon be crumbled by the weight of it. Hiking teaches you to cherish the journey more than the achievements themselves.
The Sense of Achievement
Although the journey is an important part, it’s not the only part. As the peak is what you came for, you must focus on achieving it. The sense of achievement, the adrenaline rush, and the dopamine flux make hiking worthy of all the hardship.
For a hiker, the hunger for winning in academics, career, and life makes it more enticing to hike the Haute route without a guide. Despite the challenges a trail may offer, reaching the top gives you a sense of fulfillment that’s unparallel to anything materialistic.
If you’ve fought the snow in the Alps, climbed the peaks of the Dolomites, and pushed through the Walker’s Haute Route, you know how important it becomes for you to win in everyday life.
Whether you’re a solo hiker or prefer groups, you must’ve faced situations where you or your fellow hikers needed help either for simple matters like navigating the trails or for something like extracting an injured person. Whatever the reason is, the lessons you learned about teamwork from the hikes are rare.
Hiking prepares you for the extremes. If you hike with your loved ones, it’ll strengthen the bond between you and promote coordination in everyday life. Lighting a fire, putting up a tent, cooking, and doing everything together on a hike will make you and your loved ones realize the importance of co-existing and mutual respect.
Despite the influx of comfort offered by modern accommodations, hiking still is one of the most uncertain activities out there. Since you can’t guarantee how the weather may prevail or what disease you may develop, it’s critical to learn about rationing if you’re serious about hiking.
For one reason or the other, if you ever have to face situations where you need to ration your resources, these lessons will come in handy.
Although important, electronics have populated most of our lives with notifications and wasted time. Activities like hiking allow you to occupy your mind and hands to do something more productive than endlessly scrolling the feeds.
Most high elevations don’t receive adequate signal to even connect to your loved ones, let alone scrolling the Insta feed. If you have a satellite phone or GPS tracker, they are the only way to update your loved ones about your whereabouts.
Smartphones and other network-reliant gadgets are mostly useless while taking long trails. You’ll learn to live without your electronics and make more time for your family through hiking.
Not all hikes require extreme skills to survive the wilderness. But if you’re trekking the Alps or the Rocky Mountains, you need to be cautious about the weather and wildlife at every step of the journey. The always cautious approach should develop skills for surviving in every situation beyond the trips.
You’ll learn to understand the importance of keeping a defensive stance and staying within your capabilities at all times, which is a critical survival skill to sustain today’s fast-paced lifestyle.
“Hiking teaches you to enjoy the journey more than the achievements”
Taking Things Slow
Hiking will teach you about taking things slow in life. Although there are instances where you may need to pace yourself to get what you want, most of the time we rush things for the worse. We rush our careers; we rush our planning; we rush our moments.
Long hikes will teach you to move at a steady pace. Whether you’re moving up or going downhill, pacing yourself more than required is a formula for devastation.
The Bottom Line
The first thing hiking teaches is to bring only the essentials that don’t hold you back and contribute in an impactful way. The second is time management skills. To ensure a successful summit, you must manage your time effectively.
Moreover, hiking teaches you to enjoy the journey more than the achievements. It also gives you a lesson on achieving your dreams and the importance of teamwork. Additionally, by keeping you distant from the electronics, hiking makes sure that you give your family and yourself enough time to connect emotionally.