Backpacking is a great way to get away from lifes hustle and bustle and to go offline and be one with nature. Unfortunately, memories of your backpacking experiences can fade with time. The ideal way to prevent this is to maintain a backpacking journal documenting your adventures.
Take a moment to recall details of your most recent backcountry experience. What jumps out in your mind? Now, consider the very first time you ever backpacked. Undoubtedly, you remember a couple of things. Perhaps the scenery, the people you went with, specific paths and spectacular views. The experiences you’ve forgotten are lost to time and, most likely gone forever. If you had kept a journal, the most memorable aspects of your trips would have been preserved.
There are popular stories of people keeping journals that documented their journeys. The journals of John Muir, which he used many years later to write several books is the most relevant. In his journals ,Muir kept notes and sketches of the many years he spent traveling the world and the wilderness. While your backpacking experiences may not be as expansive, maintaining a journal will allow you remember them as the years pass.
An excellent backpacking journal must have a few important features. Initially, it should be compact and easily accessible. Second, it should have something to protect it from rain, spills and so forth. Third, the journal should contain empty areas to compose your notes and drawings. Fourth, the journal ought to include hints to guide you on what things you should write about. Hints might include:
1. Who you went backpacking with,
2. Where you backpacked and how much you enjoyed it,
3. What activities did you do? Fishing?, Dayhikes etc….
4. The geography and weather condition conditions,
5. Paths you traveled on and just how far you hiked, and
6. Any special events that occurred while you backpacked.
7. What photos or videos you took and where they were taken.
At the end of the journey, you should be able to use your journal to help you recall the following:
1. Who you packed with and how to contact them
2. Enough information to advise others who may be going to on the same hike
3. Memories to contemplate years later, and
4. Something to hand down to your friends, children and grandchildren.
To get the most out of your backpacking journal, you must write in it regularly during your hike. Make notes during rest breaks and, my favorite thing is writing in it while waiting for the sun to hit your tent in the morning. Every trip is unique, even if you just go out for a weekend.
Backpacking is an excellent means to get in touch with nature. Keep a journal to document the experience.