Adventure · Faith · Honey Dude

Confessions of a fair-weather backpacker

It’s pouring rain outside, and the first thing I think: Cancel our backpacking trip. It’s true. I’m nothing short of a wimp when it comes to “inclement weather.” I don’t want anything to do with it. Running in the rain is fine; hiking in the rain is doable. But backpacking in the rain? Nuh-uh. Count me out.

The thing is: I’ve done it before. Twice now, two otherwise lovely adventures were made rotten by cold, sloppy, soaking wet weekends. The first one involved 4,000 vertical feet in four miles, a dangerous, near-twilight descent to our destination and a nightmarish midnight bear encounter, not to mention tears. The second one resulted in a break-up. Needless to say, I’m not that excited about rain country.

But oh do I love to backpack.

Day five: exiting the Ptarmigan Tunnel
Out with the girls on a sunny day five, exiting the Ptarmigan Tunnel in Glacier National Park

My first backpacking experience with Honey Dude was so perfect that it led me to believe this sort of thing could really take off in our marriage. It was a winter trip, and we were prepared for all types of weather. What we got: a pretty, 3-inch dusting of snow followed by blue skies. Perfection. Not to mention: we actually hiked to a fire lookout, where a four-poster queen and wood burning stove awaited us. If only a fire lookout awaited us on this wet weekend journey… but no, fire lookouts book out months in advance (as I said more than once in my article on renting a fire lookout, published this month in Women’s Adventure Magazine).

Making tea building fire
Destination: Cozy

What if trip #2 turned us for the worse, ruining any chance of ever backpacking together again? There was too much at stake, including my comfort. Above all, my comfort. But if I never did anything uncomfortable, I would have missed out on a lot of really great things. Adventures, hobbies, ministry, marriage. Hopefully someday I can add kids to that list. Talk about uncomfortable!

I’m trying to pump myself up here, if you haven’t noticed. Comfort is good. But hurdling over and beyond that comfort is even better! Because it involves risk and trust and reliance on God.

As Honey Dude and I think about doing something crazy uncomfortable, for the sake of the Gospel, we have to remember the God we serve. His love is steadfast. And our hope is secure in Him! We can trust that the God of the universe will be with us, even when it doesn’t just rain but it snows and blows and closes roads. It might be uncomfortable… and slightly miserable (like being wet all weekend long), but the end result isn’t a break-up with this one. It’s growth. Dependence on Him. Love revealed. Lies diminished. Victory in Christ!

When you look at all that… what’s a soggy sneaker, in the end?

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2 thoughts on “Confessions of a fair-weather backpacker

  1. I’m with you on this one. Although those wet hikes are miserable, I’ve found they make great stories to share. Did I tell you about the time……….

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