So often we talk about disconnecting when it comes to getting outside. Disconnecting from technology, work and the everyday routine. Those are all good reasons, but I think if we’re not careful we can end up disconnecting too much. We need to have a healthy balance of disconnecting and connecting with what is good.
When I get out on the trail my wife will tell you, I prefer to be solo. There is definitely a benefit to hiking alone. For one, I don’t need to worry about keeping up with anyone or them keeping up with me. I can hike as slow or as fast as I’d like. How many times I choose to stop to enjoy a view and how long I linger at one spot is not being interrupted by someone who might want to “get up and go.” When I’m solo I can truly hike my own hike.
There are also benefits to connecting on the trail with others. We are created to be a part of a community, have relationships, and not go through life alone. Hiking with others can open up opportunities for deeper friendship. When we disconnect from technology and daily routine something weird happens. Something we don’t experience often enough. We begin to talk.
There is a community of hikers, backpackers and adventurers on social media I have connected with digitally, and communicate on a daily basis via the tapping of our keyboards. But if given the chance to connect with them in person and head out for an adventure on the trail I’d probably be on the first plane out. Why? It’s because deep down I desire community, we all do. We all want to be part of a group, a clan, a tribe that is like minded. For me, it’s the ones who share the same passions and ideas I have about the outdoors and adventure.
By connecting with others in the outdoor community it gives me the opportunity to learn from them and maybe they can learn something from me. Remember a moment ago when I said something weird happens when we connect? Talking leads to knowing and knowing leads to community. I’ve learned more about a person while on a trail hiking then I have from reading their Facebook page. Those conversations have led to deeper friendships and doing life together off the trail.
At Hike By Faith it’s our goal and passion to connect people to the outdoors and to each other. To build community through authentic connections versus digital connections, and to bring people together who desire to #giveback.
So while it is good to disconnect for some much needed solo time on a trail, don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect in community with others who love to #getoutdoors. There is much we can learn from each other. And besides, connecting in person and building authentic relationships and community is much better then being alone.
I’m already looking forward to my next adventure with friends as well as future adventures with new friends.
Here is a way to connect with others who share your passion for the outdoors. Check out Teton Sports #hikerchat Friday’s at noon EST.