A Simple Question
I’ve been asked, “What do you take with you when you go hiking?”. Seems like a simple question on the surface. They are usually asking what I take in my backpack, but it is what I do not physically carry that is important. To me it is what I mentally take that makes a hiking experience memorable.
With that said, the most important item I take is a sense of adventure. I am not just going for a hike at the Gardens of the Gods, but I am going there to explore. I want to experience different angles and views of these unique rock formations. I want to climb into a crevice and see where it goes. I want to feel the different textures and find out why these rocks are located in that particular area.
Another item I take is a camera. I think of this piece of equipment as an extension of my eye. It does not see the world exactly as I do, so it requires that I see my surroundings in light of its limitations. The photographs captured are at most a dim interpretations of reality, but it forces the mind to think in creative ways it attempt to create that “perfect shot”.
Of course there are items that I carry in my backpack that are essential if something would go wrong, but the everyday true essentials are your attitude and willingness to explore your surroundings. So go out there and explore your Southern Illinois natural areas.