Why Is Backpacking So Popular?

In recent years, backpacking has experienced a surge in popularity as more people have been inspired by the adventures captured in films like “Wild” and “Into The Wild.” Many people explore new locations as a way of breaking out of their routine or escaping the cycle of addiction to technology. If you’re curious about backpacking and what it offers, there are a few main reasons why it may be time to get your hiking boots on and fully immerse yourself in nature.

Physical Benefits

Some people spend time hiking as a way to stay active and find it to be more enjoyable than becoming a gym rat when they want to increase their physical fitness. Not only does hiking boost your circulation, but it can increase your muscle mass as you spend time carrying a 40-pound backpack. It will prove to be an effective way of building your calves and legs while working different muscles.

Spending time moving your legs will also burn excess fat and can allow you to manage your weight at any age. When you’re starting out with the activity, stick to trails that are easier to hike and travel fewer miles to avoid putting too much strain on your body.

Backpacking popularity has also increased in recent years because it pushes your physical limits and allows you to realize what you’re capable of while hiking. You can start to build new stamina and have an appreciation for your strength.

Explore Remote Locations

Whether you want to take a backpacking trip to Alaska or Yosemite, the options are endless with where you can explore. Many people begin backpacking without realizing it’ll turn into an activity they adopt into their lifestyle. Once they explore one location, they get the bug to find new places to explore in different parts of the world.

Although some locations are illegal to backpack, there are plenty of remote areas where you don’t have to worry about running into other people. There are plenty of parks and reserves where you can enjoy a bit of solitude in a lush setting.

Many different states have designated ares for backpacking and camping where you’re permitted to explore without any limitations. This brings a newfound sense of freedom that allows you to feel like a kid again. Few experiences are as memorable as coming across wildlife or swimming in a turquoise lagoon.

You can create your own schedule and avoid having a timeline with your travels. This makes it easy to slow down and travel at your own pace without feeling like you’re in a rush. For many people in society, it offers a break from busy schedules and routines.

There isn’t an itinerary in the wild, and you can have the freedom to take a detour or change your plans at any time, which can contribute to the excitement of the experience. The lack of predictability offers an enriching experience that causes more people to plan future backpacking trips and learn more about nature in raw and real settings that aren’t controlled.

Develop More Self-Reliance

Many people are surprised to discover how self-reliant they become after they start hiking. The activity requires a lot of responsibility as you pack items you need to survive while spending time in the great outdoors. You’ll have to become organized and detailed to ensure none of the necessities are accidentally left behind before you depart.

If you fail to pack your water canteen or fuel for your stove, it can put you in a life or death situation. Many people fail to be as prepared due to a lack of experience, which has resulted in increased rescue missions throughout the year as more hikers are spending time on trails. Once you learn the importance of surviving the outdoors, you’ll also become a better planner, which can carry into other areas of your life and help you to develop more discipline.

With limited resources available, you quickly learn how to adapt and find new ways to be innovative, whether you need to use the restroom or find a place to bathe. You’ll also quickly learn how to avoid squandering your resources and have more regard and value for the food, water, and products you pack. The limited amount of space available in your backpack will require taking advantage of everything you have and learning how to not waste anything.

Reduce Anxiety and Depression

The widespread use of technology and the recent pandemic have caused mental health issues to skyrocket in recent issues. One in five Americans live with a mental health condition in any given year, according to cdc.gov. Many people have found relief for anxiety and depression while spending time outdoors and tackling outdoor challenges that come with hiking.

Research conducted by Standford University has found that spending time on hiking trails causes less activity to be present in the brain where depression steps from. As the urban world continues to rapidly develop, it makes it more necessary for people to get outside and head to nature where they can be immersed in a peaceful and tranquil setting without any distractions.

In the coming decades, 70% of the population will likely live in an urban environment, which can significantly impact mental health and make it more challenging to feel joy and peace each day.

Find Yourself

The lack of distractions and chaos that is present in nature makes it easier to process your thoughts and emotions. Many people develop an addiction to hiking because it’s where they’ve been able to find themselves without having other people around. It provides them with the space to self-reflect and escapes the hustle and bustle of the city.

Spending time hiking means exploring a setting where you’re not judged or have to prove your abilities. It can allow you to put your walls down and discover a more relaxed version of yourself.

Exploring nature also provides you with plenty of opportunities to measure your strength and abilities, whether you’re starting a fire or are scaling steep inclines. The quiet places in nature are where we have the ability to foster inner growth and provide us with a place where we have the freedom to make mistakes and try new challenges. It also offers the chance to spend time alone without having to feel lonely or isolated, which is an excellent skill to develop and embrace.

Detoxification From Devices

As electronics have infiltrated most households, it’s caused many people to suffer from burnout and become desperate for a break from technology. Spending time in the outdoors where there isn’t access to wifi makes it possible to recharge and focus on your surroundings. Hiking has allowed many people to clear their minds and get a break from the social media frenzy.

Unplugging from s smartphone or tablet offers the chance to meet new people and have new perspectives without any filters present. It’s a good time to internalize without wondering how many people liked your latest post or who’s hanging out without you. Backpacking popularity has increased because it allows people to explore a setting where they’re not pressured to buy the latest tote or lipgloss and can feel more free and alive.

A Cost-Effective Way to Have Fun

Backpacking popularity has also increased because more people are looking for ways to have fun and spend time in new settings without shelling out hundreds of dollars on a hotel room. The opportunities are endless with backpacking, allowing you to explore all types of locations throughout the U.S. and even overseas when you’re looking to become familiar with new destinations.

Instead of spending time in stuffy settings, you can sleep with the stars over your head while listening to the sounds of birds and crickets in the distance. The experiences will prove to be life-changing and can allow you to feel connected with nature. You don’t have to spend much, if anything, to pitch a tent and have a place to lay your head.

Many backpackers also opt for staying in hostels, which are available at a fraction of the cost of hotels and offer basic accommodations. This is ideal if you need shelter at different times of the year if the weather conditions aren’t ideal for sleeping outdoors.

The low cost of backpacking makes it more accessible to all types of people. Although it may cost money to invest in gear, materials, and equipment for your next trip, the costs are relatively low after you obtain everything you need. The initial cost of investing in gear is $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the time of year when you plan to backpack.

The quality products can be used for many years, making it a much more affordable way of traveling without having to invest thousands of dollars every time you want to get away. The low cost of backpacking also makes it possible to take more hiking trips throughout the year compared to only traveling to a resort once a year.

The lack of planning involved is also much more convenient. You don’t have to book a hotel or airfare months in advance and find the best rates available. If you backback in a neighboring city or state, you can drive to the destination and have more flexibility with when you arrive. You can leave on a moment’s notice and enjoy more spontenatiey that comes with your travel plans throughout the year.

Gain Life Experiences

Backpacking is one of the best ways to gain new life experiences that you can’t always get while working or spending time in the city. When you face new challenges and have to survive on your own without a lot of resources, it pushes you to become more innovative and learn how to solve problems. It can help you to address concerns that have lingered for too long or face some of your fears that have been present since childhood.

Once you realize your strength and power, it can feel exhilarating to grow as an individual and learn what you’re capable of, which you can take home with you.

There are always plenty of stories to take home after backpacking, whether you get caught up in a rainstorm or find your way into a cave. You never know what type of adventure awaits, which can be thrilling and cause you to yearn for more time in the great outdoors.

As you build mental fortitude in the wild, it can help you to feel more equipped for everyday challenges that you face back home. Whether you’re not content with your career or have trouble in your relationships, the problems can feel a lot easier to tackle once you overcome challenges as you hike, cook food over a campfire, and try to find a clean source of water.

Many people claim to have a refreshed view on life while backpacking. It forces you to change your perspective on the world around you and what you rely on each day, which includes having quick and easy access to food, as well as quick and easy transportation.

Backpacking is one of the most popular outdoor activities that can have a positive impact on society as we become fully immersed in technology and hectic schedules. Taking time to explore the natural wonders of the world can become a form of luxury that we no longer take for granted and begin to fully embrace.