“Nature is always hinting at us.
It hints over and over again.
And suddenly we take the hint.”
Robert Frost (1874-1963)
Walking in the wilderness. Everything you need in the world on your back. A master class in the joys of living simply. The teacher for this lesson is none other than Mother Nature. Occasionally harsh, though always guileless, she is the wisest of mentors. The lesson takes place in the world’s most beautiful classroom. No prerequisites needed, although preparedness, enthusiasm and an open mind are all recommended. The class begins with your first step.
The Hiking Life is a compilation of tips and advice on trip planning, lightweight backpacking techniques and improving your wilderness skill set. It contains photos and trekking notes from more than 120 of the world’s great hikes, all of which I have had the good fortune of walking since 1994.
My hopes for the website are twofold. One, that it can act as a quick reference tool for novices and experienced hikers alike, and two; that by browsing through some of the photo galleries and hike reports, at least a few people out there may be encouraged to put on a pair of shoes, grab a pack and go for a walk. Hope to see you on the trail!
- Cam Honan
12 Long Walks: Epilogue
On December 28, 2012, I completed the Appalachian Trail, the final installment of the 12 Long Walks (see slideshow below). Totalling some 14,300 miles and taking a little under eighteen months, it was an incredible journey on multiple levels. A confirmation more than a revelation, it reaffirmed and heightened the lifelong bond I have felt towards the natural world. However, it was more than simply a series of extended wanderings through the wilderness. The serendipitous encounters, the people I met along the way, confirmed what two decades of exploring remote corners of this extraordinary planet had already taught me – nature brings out the best in people. It brings out the best in me. Thank you, North America!
Swami (a.k.a. The long distance hiker occasionally still known as “Cam”)
Revolving photos in order (top of page): 1. Kaskawulsh Glacier, Yukon, Canada, 1998; 2. Naltar Lake, Pakistan, 2008; 3. Annapurna Sanctuary sunrise, Nepal, 2008; 4. Mt.Rainier / Goat Rocks Wilderness, Washington, USA, 2007; 5. Gobi Desert sunset, Mongolia, 2009.