Happiness is: Backpacking Bliss

Jacob Parker

It wasn’t that long ago that humans lived, survived and sustained themselves in the most basic and natural habitat. Perhaps it’s ingrained as an instinct. Maybe peaceful quiet serves as a pleasant contrast to the grind of daily life. The role of nature today is that of a cathartic escape.

The idea of going without modern amenities to appreciate the earth is somewhat of a novelty. Some choose to journey to different places in lavish RVs. They make sure central heating is present while viewing mountains from the wrong side of a window. There are others who arm themselves only with a backpack, a tent and a Swiss Army knife before trekking off into the woods barefoot.

In the coming change of seasons, it’s a refreshing getaway to grab some friends, a guitar and a sleeping bag for a weekend of roughing it in the woods.

Happiness can be found simply by getting lost in the wilderness with new experiences.

Happiness is making connections with friends you hadn’t met yet just by being stranded with no distractions. Well, maybe a little beer. 

Happiness is the feeling of weightlessness that accompanies being in the middle of nowhere and not knowing what time it is. 

Happiness is enjoying the silence of the world without technology.

Happiness is starting a raging fire and keeping it going for more than six hours. 

Happiness is having the common sense to realize you were about to pitch a tent on top of poison ivy. 

Happiness is seeing the finished product of a successfully put together campsite. 

Happiness is exchanging foot rubs by the miraculous, marvelous and meticulously-maintained flames. 

Happiness is avoiding spiders.

Happiness is taking turns reading lines from the Dao De Jing in between playing guitar and singing forgotten lyrics.

Happiness is having friends who literally pick you up when you fall down. 

Happiness is having the strength of character it takes to make it through a whole night stranded in the boonies with a freshly sprained ankle.

Happiness is not letting an injury distract from a fun night stranded in the boonies. 

Happiness is finding the perfectly gnarled tree root to use as a pillow. 

Happiness is when your phone turns back on after not having service for a weekend.

Happiness is waking up to the acrid smell of burnt wood, a hammock swaying gently in the chilly morning breeze and the deep, throaty snores emanating from fellow campers still wandering through their dreams.