The Trail is there for Everyone at Every Stage of Life

If you're reading this blog, you've probably heard of the Appalachian Trail. And chances are you've read or watched the popular film and Bill Bryson book “A Walk in the Woods”. The first chapter ( or twenty minutes) of which chronicles every single bear attack known to the world, and especially those local to the 2,000 mile line of dirt that runs from Maine to Georgia.

 

We get a lot of questions at Blue Ridge Hiking Company about trail safety. We believe that the benefits of the trail outweigh the risks. And let me tell you why.

Frequently Asked Questions are most often about bears, snakes, mountain lions, and the risk of violence from other people.

 

But while we worry about the things that go bump in the night or the things that hide from us in the woods, Heart Disease, Cancer, COPD - these three causes of death represent three main causes of death in the United States.

 

Still, no one lies awake in their tent at night mistaking every snap of a twig for heart disease coming for them.

 

Bears, snakes, even the woods in the darkness are fears that are as inherent as our humanness. How ironic it is that the very act of walking in the woods, which is so beneficial to our health and reduces our risk for the things that ACTUALLY kill us, is the thing that scares people the most.

 

Everything in life is a calculated risk. Every time you walk out your door, and certainly every time you get in a car. At Blue Ridge Hiking Company, we believe the risks we take when we recreate in the outdoors are dwarfed by the benefits we receive by our interactions with the wilderness. The quiet in our minds and the benefits to our bodies.

It is easy to make these statements. But it is a more difficult process to overcome these fears which are so close to our hearts. I've taken a lot of steps on a lot of trails in my life, and I've got to say that the most difficult one I've ever taken was the first one.

 

We truly believe that the trail is there for everyone at every phase of life. Get out there.