Question: Do you get bored?

The answer: I don’t get bored on the trail, but there are times when my head, my heart, or my body needs distraction or engagement. When this happens, I turn to reading, music and food.

I find that reading before bed and during my breaks lets me take mental pauses from the demands of long-distance hiking. When I put down my Kindle and return to the trail, I’m often able to see it with brighter eyes. If I’m facing a big climb, or feeling low while hiking, I listen to music or podcasts. My favorite podcasts are This American Life, Planet Money, Fresh Air, and the New Yorker Fiction Podcast. Finally, eating the right snack–a handful of nuts or a piece of chocolate–is usually enough to lift my mood and allow me to keep hiking.

When all of these fail, and they sometimes do, I sit down under a tree and give up. Or at least give up for a few moments. Then, I pick myself back up, and continue to walk.