Essential #4: Love Your Gear

Light blue tarp on a lawn
This shelter works!

July 12, 2019

Getting ready for a walk is tedious, especially when I haven’t done it for a while! I’m really glad this isn’t my first time going out backpacking, though! Looking back to my first walks on the Appalachian Trail, reminds me of the constant learning, trying new gear, and becoming familiar with the trail lifestyle! Some of it takes time and practice! Some aspects of hiking, however, can be taught and used on one’s first hike! Not everything has to be learned by trial and error!

Over my 18 years and 10,000+ miles of backpacking after the age of 50, I’ve discerned five aspects of planning and fulfilling a walk that help me succeed. I’ve also realized that there’s a difference between “accomplishing” a walk and “fulfilling” a walk! An accomplished walk is measured only by the physical achievement of walking from a beginning to an end. A fulfilling walk adds one’s heart experience. Fulfillment might highlight an inner transformation, a change in self-perception, a renewed or healed Spirit, even a new definition of success!

Today, while checking one of my absolute favorite pieces of gear, I was reminded that loving my gear really does make a difference in the fulfillment of my walk. I do love my RayWay tarp! I’ve seen only a handful of other hikers with one, and am so grateful for having heard of it myself. The tarp I have now has kept me sheltered for hundreds of nights and is still good (patched, indeed!). I love my RayWay tarp!

What are the five essentials?

  • Know your trail
  • Consider your timing
  • Cultivate support
  • Love your Gear
  • Methodically transform challenges

Read my complementary report to delve into all five. Get started on your fulfilling walk – your radiantly fulfilling walk!

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