June is here, the weather is getting warmer, and that means it’s time to go backpacking again. Now for some people, they go backpacking year round. But the idea of camping in the snow just ain’t my bag. Now that is backpacking season, I thought I would share three reasons why I love backpacking so much.
1. Getting Outdoors (and Exercise)
The first is the outdoors. I love getting outdoors, and studies have shown that getting outdoors is really good for your mental health. Spiritual leaders know that it getting outdoors is really good for your spiritual health, too. In the Bible, God had a habit of calling people into the wilderness to reconnect with Him. When I go backpacking, it gives me a chance to breathe differently, take in scenery, and overall just be less stressed. Plus I am exercising, which is really good too.
2. Time Away (Disconnecting)
I actually like hiking more than I like backpacking. Hiking gets me outdoors, is scenic, and only lasts a day. Backpacking is painful! You have to carry everything on your back, and that can be quite a load to bear (it teaches you to live with less). But the reason I love backpacking is that it is so disconnected from normal life. My cell phone will not work. I can’t sit and watch TV all day. There are no meetings. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see less than five people a day when I am backpacking. There’s a sense of disconnection that allows me to reconnect with myself and with God. Or, if I am with people, we can connect to each other without distractions, which is powerful.
3. Experiencing God
While backpacking, I’ve had some of my best conversations with the Lord. The sunrise and the sunset, the times of exhaustion, being refreshed by cold river water, thinking about life next to a campfire – these are times that God has really spoken to me, in powerful ways, and I bring these experiences back with me when I come down the mountain. I love backpacking because it helps me remember what is really important in my life, in my whole existence. I’m not here just to get work done, and I’m not here just to help people, as important as those are. I’m here to know my Creator and be known by Him. Backpacking reminds me of this most important relationship.
As the weather is warming up, I hope you get a chance to get outdoors a little bit more. Maybe you can go for a hike or a walk – or maybe even backpacking. Happy trails.