5 Reasons to Keep a Hiking Journal
When you’re on a thru-hike, the days can easily blend together. This is where a hiking journal can come in handy! Pack a notebook to document every detail of the journey—it’ll be worth its weight in gold one day.
If you’re on the fence about lugging around a few extra ounces of paper, here are some reasons why you shouldn’t leave home without a journal.
Track your progress
Whether you’ve been hiking for years or are setting out on your first adventure, a journal will help to track your progress. Charting your time and distance on the trails will help remind you of all the good you’re doing for your body and mind and of your continuing self-improvement.
Connect with nature
An afternoon trekking through the wilderness is a great way to connect with nature. Why not take a few moments to jot down your reactions to the scenery? The sprawling beauty of a good hiking trail can inspire in unexpected ways, and a journal is an ideal way to hold onto those moments of awe.
Studies have shown that exercise is a great way to relieve stress—that part is no secret. Hiking is a fun way to get moving. But did you also know that studies have proven the stress-relieving effects of journaling? “Free writing”—a stream-of-consciousness writing exercise with no rules and no expectations—is one of the easiest and best ways to process what is happening in your life. The combination of hiking and writing will work wonders for your mental health.
Hiking is an opportunity to let your mind roam. After all that mental wandering, take a break from the physical wandering and write down whatever it is that you’re thinking about. Journaling is a great way to connect with your thoughts and feelings. You can learn more about yourself than you could ever expect or imagine through journaling. Take the time, and get to know yourself.
Chronicle your story
Five, ten, or fifty years from now you’ll be thanking your past self for keeping a journal. Like a time capsule, a journal can take you back to who and where you have been in life. You can relive all the amazing moments you’ve experienced and adventures you’ve gone on. Chronicle the moment, you’ll thank yourself later.