5 Ways the Backcountry is Good For You

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Backcountry Goodness!

There is always a moment when I first set out on a trail that will lead me winding and twisting for days back into the backcountry. It’s like all the stress of the hustle and bustle of life releases in one giant cleansing breath. I feel lighter. Free. Back to my roots. Backpacking has become a huge hobby of mine and not just for the break from work and the city. Here are five ways that being out in the backcountry, away from society and all creature comforts is GOOD for you!

1. Clear your mind. Get away from the chaos and constant over-stimulation and just be, bra.

2. Breathe in the fresh, clean, pure air of the wild. It’s good for your mind, body, and soul.

3. It makes you have to rough it a bit. In this day and age of everything being readily available and easy to obtain, having to work for your food, shelter, and – to an extent – your very survival is a GOOD thing. Get your hands dirty! You wont regret it.

4. Backcountry adventurin’ is great exercise! Carrying a huge backpack full of gear on your back for 12 miles a day is a workout like no other. AND you are usually  in some of the most stunning landscapes out there so that’s a bonus: amazing view while working out. I’d take that over the gym any day.

5. In the backcountry, you have to step outside of your comfort zone. You might find yourself in some less than ideal situations: a rain storm, a ripped tent, an encounter with a bear… it is GOOD to face your fears and to tackle whatever the wild might throw your way. It gives you the opportunity to surprise even yourself and to do something that you did not even know you were capable of.

So get outside! Breathe in the fresh air! Surprise yourself! The backcountry awaits you!

With My Little Dog By My Side

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The most loyal of adventure buddies.

It’s a fact of life: dogs get into your heart in a way that most other things can’t. They can be the very best of companions and the epitome of loyalty.  My little dog, Gunner, has followed my husband and I on hikes that left his poor paws worn raw (much to our shame and dismay – and much to Gunner’s chagrin as we are now considering getting him some hiking booties). He truly would go anywhere with us. That is the definition of man’s best friend.

To be up in the mountain wilderness and to watch your dog run free like the wild being that he is at heart is a spellbinding experience. Your sweet, household pet is transformed before you into a wild creature in his natural element. It’s beautiful. It’s frightening. The bliss in his face is apparent and melt-worthy.

When the adventure of the day is through, and you collapse onto your bed with your little pal, each of you wiped from a day of exploration, and getting back in touch with your primal roots, there is nothing like the undying love and devotion seen in your dog’s eyes.  What is an adventurous life without a dog to share it with?

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Bliss at the end of an adventurous day!

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Wild hearts can’t be broken.

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What’s an adventure without a dog by your side?