Regardless if you are a beginner hiker or you have been at it for several years, everyone has a reason as to why they venture into the outdoors on a regular basis.
Perhaps it’s an alternative form of exercise for you? Perhaps a friend dragged you along to a camping trip one weekend and you found that you absolutely loved it?
Maybe it’s something that you’ve done since you were little and have continued to do in your adult years?
Whatever the reason, everyone has a reason why.
For me, it was an alternative to exercise. To give you some background, I play Australian rules football on weekends. Towards the latter half of 2014, and as my study load began to increase, I felt I couldn’t commit to football in 2015 as I normally would and decided to take a break.
However, I recognised that having 12 months off without doing any exercise would be a poor decision, so I needed an alternative. So, I decided to find something I could do on weekends and not have to commit much time to during the week.
Using that as the criteria, I decided to take up hiking.
It was something that had always been relatively foreign to me. My younger sister has always had an interest in the outdoors and spent a large part of high school hiking and camping with her outdoor education class. But, for me, I had never really had any interest in it.
The first decision was to research somewhere to go and hike. The Dandenongs are pretty much my backyard, so I settled on doing the Sherbrooke Forest Circuit.
I filled up a couple of plastic water bottles, grabbed some random snacks, my Volcom backpack and various other bits and pieces, and made my way to the forest.
The trail had taken me just over two hours to complete, but I was hooked within the first 20 minutes.
I knew there and then that I had found something that not only was I going enjoy doing over the next 12 months whilst I studied, but something I would continue to do for many years to come.
And, naturally, as I continued to hike, the thought of camping entered the equation and I planned and organised my first overnight trip about 6 months later. Since then I have done many hiking and camping trips in Victoria and spent 10 days hiking and camping in New Zealand over the Xmas/New Year break.
Thus far, it’s been great and it’s going to get even better as there are still so many places in Victoria, Australia, and the world that I want to visit and explore.
What about you? Why did you take up hiking/camping? What was memorable about your first ever experience doing either or both?
Let me know in the comments section below.