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What's your real motivation for Backpack?

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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What's your real motivation for Backpack?

Postby maverick » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:26 pm

Besides the obvious superficial answer like "I love nature", what really is your
reason/motivation for backpacking?
1. Does it offer you an escape from the daily issues back in the world, like work or money
issue?
2. Does it offer you spiritual clarity, kind of like nature is your temple, you feel much
closer to your creator?
3. Do you need the distance to escape a bad relationship, and this is a convenient excuse?
4. Are you trying to loose weight or getting into shape, and the beauty of the sierra makes
you work out harder than any treadmill or stair climber ever could?
5. Is it the challenge of still getting out, and doing gnarly routes as you get older?
6. Are you an explorer(Muir like) who is addicted, and has to get your fix of the sierra
otherwise you feel cheated, depressed, or unhappy?
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: What's your real motivation for Backpack?

Postby copeg » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:43 pm

For me, all of the above (except for perhaps 3). Its one of those experiences that's hard to lay out in several bullet points, which makes it that much harder to describe to others. When I talk about backpacking to those that don't (and won't), try and convey to them the reasoning, I can't truly explain it...its like trying to explain what life feels like to a rock.
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Re: What's your real motivation for Backpack?

Postby rlown » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:40 pm

For me, fishing in remote places with great friends. That simple..
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Re: What's your real motivation for Backpack?

Postby Timberline » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:08 am

Interesting question, mav. . .

For me, being in high sierra back country is where I always felt the most alive. To sense the vibes of light, air and space at high altitude was a tangible feeling that stayed with me every moment. Who cannot be transfixed by the magic of alpenglow on crystalline granite peaks in that especially cosmic silence, as light fades? Having the freedom to indulge your imagination that you were the first one there, exploring the next ridge, or following that creek to its source, always lifted my spirits like no other experience ever has. Just looking at the distant sierra crest from the paved trail only minutes from my home place as I did again today, enjoying the view of snow covered peaks, brought back those same feelings.

It doesn't get any better, unless you can be up there, wandering and free. :thumbsup:
Let 'er Buck! Back in Oregon again!
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Re: What's your real motivation for Backpack?

Postby SSSdave » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:30 am

A person can drive up on roads in alot of places very similar to areas we all backpack to. For example SR120 across the Sierra through Yosemite, park one's car, and day hike quite a few miles out from roads. There are public campgrounds in some of those places so one can also get the overnight, dawn, sunrise, sunset, dusk experience that is similar to doing so in the backcountry in many ways. You say those roadside places were inspiring, awesome, had a great time camping huh?

Guess what? The roadside experience is just the tip of the iceberg a puny puny drop in the bucket. Our Sierra wilderness areas are vast. There is more, vastly more out there beyond roadsides and near roadsides and some of those places are very exciting places for those that can appreciate the immense variations of nature, especially that of high mountains. Many many mysteries of remote places, thousands of lakes, streams, peaks but little blue shapes and irregular bumps on topographic maps. The challenge to leave one's umbilical cord and venture out self contained and free opens up the possibility of great adventures. We of these modern generations are so lucky versus our ancestors just a few decades back when even traveling up into mountains was a major life expedition. Yet we just get off work on a Friday afternoon, spend a few hours of driving, and its all open to us. We are very lucky. So many in this world chase wealth and possession of riches and stuff while I see these experiences as just as valuable though available for the price of just modest effort even for a relative peon like me.

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Re: What's your real motivation for Backpack?

Postby balzaccom » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:19 am

I'll edit your list to give you an answer

1. It does offer me an escape from the daily issues back in the world, like work. I climb where the wild Blackberry doesn't sing!

2. It does help provide clarity, because the Sierra is a kind of temple of nature , and I feel closer to it there than anywhere else.

3. It's the single best activity my beloved wife of more than 30 years and I enjoying doing together the most.

4. We love the fact that we always come back in better shape, fitter and thinner, than when we left.

5. And we love exploring new areas...seeing what's there, and reveling in it.

6. Best of all--working hard together, working to get to a stunning location where we can breathe clean air, see the most beautiful garden in the world...and be at peace. Together. Sounds like Eden to me!
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: What's your real motivation for Backpack?

Postby oldranger » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:38 pm

The backcountry is where I feel most comfortable!

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: What's your real motivation for Backpack?

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:57 pm

I would guess variations on 1,2,5,6 with the fishing bug thrown in big time of course. The family aspect is huge, too. It began as family trips, then peak bagging with my dad, then really hit its zenith with trips with my wife (mostly fishing but some peak bagging), and now we are getting our kids into it. When I think of all the trips with my wife I recall that when I was a youth I would constantly daydream that I would someday meet that special girl that I would go to the mountains with. Dreams can come true.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: What's your real motivation for Backpack?

Postby Tom » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:24 pm

Remote, adventure fishing.
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Re: What's your real motivation for Backpack?

Postby LMBSGV » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:46 pm

For me, it's an ever-changing combination of 1, 2 (though I don't believe in a "creator"), and 6. To put it in a few words, it's where I feel the essence of life itself. It's where I find understanding, acceptance, and transcendence.
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Re: What's your real motivation for Backpack?

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:32 pm

I was actually thinking about this very topic as I was day hiking in the foothills on one of those amazing days we central Californians are treated to every February.

In short, backpacking into the high Sierra rekindles my wonder and amazement with this existence. Not that I am a spiritual person, but I call the yearly trips my "Sierra Soul Recharge."
Wonder is rock and water and the life that lives in-between.
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Re: What's your real motivation for Backpack?

Postby Bad Man From Bodie » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:49 pm

Fish, Rocks, Hunting!
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