Hiking Quotes

Quotes tagged as "hiking" Showing 1-30 of 167
John Muir
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity”
John Muir, Our National Parks

Cheryl Strayed
“It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B.

It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

“Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.”
Cindy Ross

Rebecca Solnit
“I love going out of my way, beyond what I know, and finding my way back a few extra miles, by another trail, with a compass that argues with the map…nights alone in motels in remote western towns where I know no one and no one I know knows where I am, nights with strange paintings and floral spreads and cable television that furnish a reprieve from my own biography, when in Benjamin’s terms, I have lost myself though I know where I am. Moments when I say to myself as feet or car clear a crest or round a bend, I have never seen this place before. Times when some architectural detail on vista that has escaped me these many years says to me that I never did know where I was, even when I was home.”
Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Ed Viesturs
“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”
Ed Viesturs, No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks

Bill Bryson
“What on earth would I do if four bears came into my camp? Why, I would die of course. Literally shit myself lifeless.”
Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

Jack Kerouac
“Jumping from boulder to boulder and never falling, with a heavy pack, is easier than it sounds; you just can't fall when you get into the rhythm of the dance.”
Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Frédéric Gros
“None of your knowledge, your reading, your connections will be of any use here: two legs suffice, and big eyes to see with. Walk alone, across mountains or through forests. You are nobody to the hills or the thick boughs heavy with greenery. You are no longer a role, or a status, not even an individual, but a body, a body that feels sharp stones on the paths, the caress of long grass and the freshness of the wind. When you walk, the world has neither present nor future: nothing but the cycle of mornings and evenings. Always the same thing to do all day: walk. But the walker who marvels while walking (the blue of the rocks in a July evening light, the silvery green of olive leaves at noon, the violet morning hills) has no past, no plans, no experience. He has within him the eternal child. While walking I am but a simple gaze.”
Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking

Edward Abbey
“A crude meal, no doubt, but the best of all sauces is hunger.”
Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

Amit Kalantri
“You need mountains, long staircases don't make good hikers.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

Cheryl Strayed
“How fabulous down was for those first minutes! Down, down, down I'd go until down too became impossible and punishing and so relentless that I'd pray for the trail to go back up. Going down, I realized was like taking hold of the loose strand of yarn on a sweater you'd just spent hours knitting and pulling it until the entire sweater unraveled into a pile of string. Hiking the PCT was the maddening effort of knitting that sweater and unraveling it over and over again. As if everything gained was inevitably lost.”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

M.J. Eberhart
“The long distance hiker, a breed set apart,
From the likes of the usual pack.
He’ll shoulder his gear, be hittin’ the trail;
Long gone, long ‘fore he’ll be back.”
M.J. Eberhart

“The old school of thought would have you believe that you'd be a fool to take on nature without arming yourself with every conceivable measure of safety and comfort under the sun. But that isn't what being in nature is all about. Rather, it's about feeling free, unbounded, shedding the distractions and barriers of our civilization—not bringing them with us.”
Ryel Kestenbaum, The Ultralight Backpacker: The Complete Guide to Simplicity and Comfort on the Trail

Edward Abbey
“Within minutes my 115-mile walk through the desert hills becomes a thing apart, a disjunct reality on the far side of a bottomless abyss, immediately beyond physical recollection.

But it’s all still there in my heart and soul. The walk, the hills, the sky, the solitary pain and pleasure—they will grow larger, sweeter, lovelier in the days to come, like a treasure found and then, voluntarily, surrendered. Returned to the mountains with my blessing. It leaves a golden glowing on the mind.”
Edward Abbey, Beyond the Wall: Essays from the Outside

Bill Bryson
“A significant fraction of thru-hikers reach Katahdin, then turn around and start back to Georgia. They just can't stop walking, which kind of makes you wonder.”
Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

“Do you know how fast you are walking? ... To get a close estimate, count the number of steps you take in a minute and divide by 30... :)”
Albina Fabiani

“what it is...is a place where I can return to myself. It's enough of a scramble to get to...that the energy expended is significant, and it translates into a change in my body chemistry and my psychological chemistry and my heart chemistry...”
Jay Salter

Jennifer Pharr Davis
“In Massachusetts and Vermont, there had been plenty of mosquitoes, but in New Hampshire, they had reinforcements.”
Jennifer Pharr Davis, Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

Lisa Kemmerer
“When pressed, hunters who claim that they just want “to be out in the wilderness,” will admit that the kill is essential—or at least the hope of a kill. As it turns out, there is no correlation between hunting and hiking, climbing, backpacking, kayaking, or any other outdoor activity. Hunters do not purposefully linger in the woods after a kill, but quickly begin the process of preparing to head home with the corpse. For hunters, the kill is the climax—the most important moment. They are not driving into the woods (or sometimes actually walking) for the sake of beauty, but in the hope of a kill.”
Lisa Kemmerer, Speaking Up for Animals: An Anthology of Women's Voices

“If you face the rest of your life with the spirit you show on the trail, it will have no choice but to yield the same kind of memories and dreams.”
Adrienne Hall, A Journey North: One Woman's Story of Hiking the Appalachian Trail

“There really is no correct way to hike the trail, and anyone who insists that there is ought not to worry so much about other people's experiences. Hikers need to hike the trail that's right for them...”
Adrienne Hall, A Journey North: One Woman's Story of Hiking the Appalachian Trail

“I want to set a record. Not just any record, but an athletic record. One that everyone will know me for. One that my dad will be proud of. I don't know what it will be, but I will do it. I have a lot of weaknesses, but I have two critical strengths. I am stubborn and I am smart.”
Heather "Anish" Anderson, Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home

“I refuse to let this suffering be for nothing. In fact, I refuse to suffer." I whispered to myself as I pushed each tent stake into the ground. "I can adapt. I am adapting." Another long day was done and I was forty-two miles closer to Canada.”
Heather "Anish" Anderson, Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home

“There were times when I cursed the trail and the weather for hours. But after you sulk and consider your options, you eventually realize that you can sit there and cry, or you can walk... It doesn't matter so much if you cry or walk -- I did a lot of both -- but if you turn on your partner, you'll never make it together.”
Adrienne Hall, A Journey North: One Woman's Story of Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Andrew Skurka
“After finding the migration trail of the Porcupine caribou, I began to cry uncontrollably, realizing that in this vast and untamed wilderness, I was like them: While being tortured by hellacious mosquitoes, soaked by torrential rains, and stalked by grizzlies and wolves, we were all trying to stay moving, and we slept and ate only to continue our forward progress.”
Andrew Skurka, The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide: Tools and Techniques to Hit the Trail

Lindy Hughes
“Hiking is the only slightly less ugly stepsister of running.”
Lindy Hughes, It Never Stays in Vegas

“There is nothing worse, after days of falling asleep by a babbling brook and waking up to a choir chirping birds, than to go inside a house with insulated walls and an obstructive roof. This torturous invention, a cage, a box, prevents you from seeing or hearing anything of natural importance. Make time to free yourself and find a bit of nature.”
Katherine Keith

Robert Macfarlane
“The brightest of all nightscapes is to be found when a full moon shines on winter mountains. Such a landscape offers the maximum reflection, being white, planar, tilted and polished. The only difficulty for the night-walker comes when you move into the moon-shadow of a big outcrop, or through a valley, where moon-shadow falls from all sides and the valley floor receives almost no light at all. The steep-sidedness of the valley is exaggerated: you have the sensation of being at the bottom of a deep gorge, and you long to reach the silver tideline of the moonlight again.”
Robert Macfarlane, The Wild Places

Robert Macfarlane
“Several small clouds drifted through the sky. When one of them passed before the moon, the world's filter changed. First my hands were silver and the ground was black. Then my hands were black and the ground silver. So we switched, as I walked, from negative to positive to negative, as the clouds passed before the moon.”
Robert Macfarlane, The Wild Places

Robert Macfarlane
“I had woken into a metal world. The smooth unflawed slopes of snow on the mountain across the valley were iron. The deeper moonshadows had a tinge of steel blue to them. Otherwise, there was no true colour. Everything was greys, black, sharp silver-white. Inclined sheets of ice gleamed like tin. The hailstones lay about like shot, millions of them, grouped up against each rock and clustered in snow hollows. The air smelt of minerals and frost.”
Robert Macfarlane, The Wild Places

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