This is part two of a three-part blog written by three backpackers (Dane, Rob and Lance) all answering the same question:
“How Do You Find Time To Go Backpacking?”
Finding Time To Unplug From All Things Needing A Plug
By Rob (Backpacking Adventures)
Find time to go backpacking? Time? You think I can find time?
I am a husband, and the father of two daughters ages thirteen and seventeen. My career requires about thirty weeks a year on the road. Then, there are my other hobbies of golf and playing music. There is no chance of me finding time to go backpacking…I have to MAKE time.
Actually, WE need to make time.
A number of years ago, one Saturday afternoon, I was having a glass of wine with my wife Angela, and our conversation ended up on backpacking. Her question was innocent and simple, “when was the last time you went backpacking?”
My answer was frustrating and now hard to imagine.
“I don’t think I have been on a trip since…wow, I think it was the first weekend in June!” I said in astonishment.
This realization wouldn’t have been so bad if we were having our conversation on July 27th, or August 27th or even September 27th. Instead, it was late November. The Saturday before Thanksgiving.
The enthusiasm that you see in my videos is genuine. I love the trail. The physical exertion, unplugging from all things needing a plug, and the sense of accomplishment all play a part in building my enthusiasm. I enjoy only having to focus on sleeping, walking, and eating. The trail is my happy place.
We are only on this great earth for but a short time, shouldn’t we be spending as much time as we can by doing what we enjoy?
Now, back to the conversation with my wife.
At some point that afternoon we agreed to the fact that when there is a goal, with a plan that makes it achievable, the goal is usually accomplished. We proved that point to ourselves by sharing examples of our own lives as well as that of our children, family, and friends. That is when it happened. Somewhere between talking about learning how to ride a bike and how to plant a garden is when my wife gave me a goal and a plan to make it happen.
“At least twelve nights a year in your hammock. There are 365 of them to choose from, pick twelve” Angela said.
I sat and listened.
“You will go on one backpacking trip each of the next twelve months.
It may only be a quick overnighter to Morgan Hill (our local State Forest) or it may be a multi-day trip in the Adirondacks, but you are going to go backpacking every month. We will not be sitting here a year from now having this same conversation” she stated.
How could I argue? Why would I argue? What should I say?
“I may not be great at math, but 12 nights out of 365 isn’t a big percentage,” I said with a smile.
We continued to talk about sacrifice, support, and doing what we enjoy. Together we even figured out (with the help of a calculator) that 12 nights is just 3% of all the nights in a year.
Could I commit 3% of my year to do something that I loved?
That’s how I find the time to go backpacking. My family made it a goal, a simple goal – make the time to do the things you love to do.
What % of your year are you willing to commit to doing something you love?
Please share your answer or how you find time for backpacking in a comment below.
I hope to see you on the trail,
Hi everybody, Rob here. I am a backpacking enthusiast who started documenting my trips via video in 2014 on my YouTube channel. This is when Backpacking Adventures was born. Since that time I have had the opportunity to interact with so many like minded people and the Backpacking Adventures community has become a very important part of my life. To learn about what we are trying to accomplish read more.