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Anyone battle fear on the trail?

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Anyone battle fear on the trail?

Postby Hikingfamily » Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:48 pm

walking our 215 miles with our kids on the trail and the thread of my own fears, as a mom, outside of cell phone service, has surfaced a lot.

I really believe that fear keeps a lot of families home. Sure there are now technologies (we carry a SPOT) that will call the cavalry if an emergency happens, but it's not like the ER room is around the next bend.

If not actual fear, what are some internal struggles you might have to work through to get on the trail, or once in the backcountry?

I had a near death experience in one of my first backpacking trips that ended in a life flight thanks to rangers that happened by, just in time, with a Hamm radio. I realized this summer that the fear of that happening again was robbing me of enjoying.


Julie
Last edited by Hikingfamily on Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:59 am, edited 3 times in total.



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Re: Anyone battle fear on the trail?

Postby rlown » Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:27 pm

I fear that you don't understand what this forum is about.. It's about sharing experience and not just quoting others. And it's definitely NOT about self-promotion.
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Re: Anyone battle fear on the trail?

Postby Hikingfamily » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:25 am

I am not self-promoting. I put some quotes in my posts from my personal journal from this last summer to start conversations about things moms or really any individual might face.

I wasn't intending on putting a link to my blog on my posts but in reading others posts, I noticed that a lot of others do that...I thought it's just another connecting point between users. There is nothing on my blog that brings me money or promotes anything. It's just a personal place where I put my reflections - I have over 30 posts on there about our last summer on the JMT.

People have links from their signature that take you to their personal websites that sell photography or link to their blog. Are all these users breaking your rules?

I am happy to oblige by your rules, not aware that I was breaking them as I am just enjoying conversations with like minded people. I have nothing to promote.

Julie
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Re: Anyone battle fear on the trail?

Postby austex » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:35 am

I too thought these posts were odd. While I'm relatively new to this forum; it just seems out of place. It's like a topic for a real time chat room?
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Re: Anyone battle fear on the trail?

Postby rlown » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:04 pm

Julie,

Nothing wrong with your post content-wise. It was just kind of oddly formatted with pointers to your website at the top. As you correctly point out, lots have those in there Sig file and that is where they belong.

Welcome to HST!
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Re: Anyone battle fear on the trail?

Postby Troutdog 59 » Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:41 pm

I saw nothing wrong with the post at all and didn't see it as self promoting. They have a blog promoting family hiking. How does that differ with any of the many blogs others have listed in their posts? In fact, I found it no different than asking what kind of pack one prefers, or what type of stove to purchase. Ive seen posts asking about haunted camps and backpacking barefoot (OK, maybe the last ones not a good example cuz he was flat out ridiculed by some here). Why not a post asking about fears on the trail? While it may seem odd to those of us who have packed for years, it (fear) is a big reason some never venture out. A young (16) foreign exchange student stayed with us this summer. She loved the outdoors and the day hikes we went on, but I could not convince her she was not in harms way sleeping in a tent without hard walls protecting her from things like bears.
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

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Re: Anyone battle fear on the trail?

Postby Hikingfamily » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:18 pm

The backstory is that 16 years ago, when hiking in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, I nearly died and had to be life flown out. I LOVE backpacking but unfortunately, that near death experience has created a barrier for me. I haven't missed many summers (despite being pregnant or having toddlers) on the trail...but I am always battling a thread of anxiety....cougars aside, I have struggled to trust my body! And I am a strong, long distance running athlete...but it failed me once so the battle has waged.

Now that we bring our kids out and do these extensive summers with them on the trail, I have had to really face those fears...and I do it because being out is amazing and it's amazing for kids.

I figure that there are other moms/parents/individuals who might have their own personal battles...and I thought this would be a great place to share how you have overcome them.

I have overcome my struggles by realizing that none of us are guaranteed another day, and I best get on with just letting go of that scary day 16 years ago and enjoying what I have today. And as John Muir pointed out on Fear: in his July 20, 1860 journal entry, “No pain here, no dull empty hours, no fear of the past, no fear of the future. These blessed mountains are so compactly filled with God's beauty, no petty personal hope or experience has room to be. Drinking this champagne water is pure pleasure, so is breathing the living air, and every movement of limbs is pleasure, while the whole body seems to feel beauty when exposed to it as it feels the camp-fire or sunshine, entering not by the eyes alone, but equally through all one's flesh like radiant heat, making a passionate ecstatic pleasure glow not explainable. One's body then seems homogeneous throughout, sound as a crystal.’

As fear began to minimize, I was becoming freed to marvel, as John Muir marveled. The beauty of our surroundings was so complete that all other past fears finally had no room to be.



Summer Journal Excerpt from our 215 miles in the High Sierras:
Sometimes in life we have a turning point, a tangible moment in time that permanently changes us. Such a moment happened for me on a day hike out of Sandpiper Lake up to the upper reaches of the basin. It was here, as I sat down on the granite slab feeling the slight burn in my lungs and warmth of the air that I realized, once and for all, that I need not fear my body any longer. As I sipped some refreshingly cold glacier water and listened to our kids as they explored the shoreline, I felt myself, for the first time, completely show up to the scene. I was at high altitudes and I was conscious! I was beyond conscious: I was vibrantly alive.

If the moment in the Eagle Cap Wilderness some years earlier redefined me as a girl with an unpredictable flaw that could rear up at any moment, then this moment redefined me as a girl who decided to no longer let that define her. As I sat there, totally consumed with both the beauty of what was a gorgeous high mountain lake and the awareness that I was actually there taking it in, a simple, but profound thought flashed in my mind: this is stunning and I am here.

Fear of not living to see the next day was robbing me of enjoying the day I had. I felt a 16-year tyranny on my life lift as I experienced the beauty of Sandpiper Lake because for the first time, the joy in that moment was not sharing the platform with fear. It was standing there alone.

All because, I chose to hike: scared. Courage, after all, is not the absence of fear. It’s marching forward with fear.

Anne’s wisdom in the ever cherished novel, Anne of Green Gables, summarizes it the best: “It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” I was realizing, every day, that I have to intentionally choose to not let fear rob me of enjoying each day, or it will.

As I watch our kids climbing over boulders and balancing on exposed trail with a backpack hanging off their shoulders, I recognize a 4th fear: my kids could get hurt out here. But with quick resolve, I make up my mind firmly to not let this fear take root.

Yes, I am sure that fear is one of the barriers that keeps individuals from exploring the wilderness. It threatened, very loudly, to keep me on the city side of a trailhead. The unknown seems unsafe, but pressing into these fears can bring forth victory, freedom, and healing.
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Re: Anyone battle fear on the trail?

Postby whrdafamI? » Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:23 pm

I don't get it Russ. I read and re-read her post over and over and still can't find a single reason for you to have been critical of what she wrote. But then not everyone is as perfect as you are we????
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Re: Anyone battle fear on the trail?

Postby rlown » Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:28 pm

That's because the message was since edited. Besides, It's water under the bridge now.

Now back to fear on the trail..
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Re: Anyone battle fear on the trail?

Postby k9mark » Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:49 pm

I don't know why, but every time I'm out in the wilderness I have this worry in the back of my mind about mountain lions. I've never seen one, heard one, or let alone known anyone attacked by one. Yet it's always there. Maybe its just plan old caution.
God created Police Officers so Firemen would have heroes
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Re: Anyone battle fear on the trail?

Postby Ska-T » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:14 pm

To answer your question . . . not me.

Concern for an approaching storm. Regret about not carrying the proper equipment for snow/ice travel. Hyper awareness of "hidden" rattlesnakes. Apprehension that a class 4 route will become 5.10. Curiosity at mountain lion scat near my campsite. But not fear, at least not long enough to engage a battle.


(Note: Yeah, the unedited threads seemed odd.)
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Re: Anyone battle fear on the trail?

Postby rlown » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:09 pm

And now on topic. I'm in Ska-T's camp. There is no fear out there; just puzzles to solve.

My biggest fear is getting there from here. I've almost met two 18 wheelers head on on 120, and 99 is just a nightmare. It's never fun to see a big rig slide his rears around a corner and head at you.

Once at the trail-head, I relax. what happens next is what happens next. That's kind of the draw.. It's not fear so much as adventure.

Julie, glad you got out safely from Eagle Cap.
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