Francis Tapon: How did you learn about Hike Your Own Hike?
Kimberlie Dame: It was recommended to me by my primary support person for the Arizona Trail who had finished the Appalachian Trail. After asking around about it, turned out almost all of my hiker friends had read it and were just keeping me in the dark about it. So I gladly picked it up!
FT: What was your biggest takeaway of the book?
KD: My biggest takeaway was to learn how to apply the major lessons I was learning about trail walking to my life in general. Trail walking is an action-packed educational lab applicable to an earnest quest for happiness. The book guided me into thinking that way, and transposing the wisdom into every day!
FT: How has being on a long-distance trail affected you?
KD: Walking paces your mind like breathing paces survival. Often, “going for a walk” can diffuse an attack of temper, foster creative ideas, provide an opportunity for intimacy, or reset a frustrating day. For many of us, it is also the relating link to nature and to pure happiness.
Walking long enough, over a period of days, months, or as I’m about to attempt, years, removes it from the realm of an “activity” and places it into a central way of being, with your mind in continuous rhythm.
I didn’t know the real effects of this until I had walked the full 819 miles of the Arizona Trail in the spring of 2010. It was a choice that was the start of an entire new string of choices that were hiding behind it, the largest being the decision to do 3 years of continuous walking beginning in the spring of 2012.
What could possibly have happened on the Arizona Trail to bring me to such an enormous decision? I’d love to tell you.
28 Things That I Have Learned On The Trail So Far by Kimberlie Dame
Kimberlie is a walker and freelance writer who is setting off on an incredible three-year journey that includes the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and a gorgeous pieced together network of smaller trails in the United States. She is writing a book about it that will focus on the nomadic lifestyle and the effects of living outside of conventional society. You can participate by backing her on Kickstarter. She offers nice rewards for helping her out. Her blog is called The New Nomads. All photos in this article are hers.
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