It’s a joke in the world of hiking: spending time with your partner on the road is a surefire way to make or break a relationship. Backpacking 101 author Heather Balogh Rochfort explains why you should do it.
I mean, it makes a little bit of sense. You are dirty; you are exhausted; you stink; and the behavior of your bathroom is likely to be the theme of the day. It doesn’t seem to set a romantic date, does it?
But here’s the problem; I would say that walking with your partner is one of the best ways to grow and nurture your relationship. Because?
1. Find some adventure
Nothing beats adrenaline to pull you closer as a couple. It doesn’t matter if you climbed a difficult peak or faced a new long distance record; you did it together. The emotion that comes from this performance is something that you can remember as a couple for years to come.
2. Taking care of each other
We all have our daily routines set up. You go to work, I go to work, one of us goes to the gym, the other prepares dinner and then we go to bed. As hard as we try, it can be difficult to fit moments of compassion into this tiring schedule. But on the way you only have each other, so it is important to take care of each other.
During one of our first backpacking trips, my husband suffered from altitude sickness. As we were eight miles inland, there was nothing I could do but do my best to make sure he was comfortable. I ran down the road to explore a camp, tried to carry his backpack, prepared dinner, made the bed and stuffed it at night to sleep. He woke up in the morning, feeling healthy, refreshed and in love with his then girlfriend, who looked after his well-being all night.
It is no joke to place your full trust in your partner; it is one of the biggest obstacles in any young relationship. However, you don’t have the luxury of that decision while you are away from home. When you are walking together, no one else is there to help you make decisions about safety decisions or to help set up the tent. You can only trust each other and there is a strong bond at that level of commitment.
4. Quality Time
In today’s modern day, we spend more time communicating via SMS and Snapchat than with our vocal cords. Our brains are constantly bombarded with various stimuli, ranging from television programs to social media platforms and YouTube channels. Much of our time is spent looking at a TV or phone; what happened to the real conversation?
While traveling with a backpack, there is nothing else to distract you. It’s you, your partner and the beauty that Mother Nature left behind. You will spend hours on the way, just put one foot in front of the other and talk about everything and nothing. This increase in communication may seem strange at first, but in the end I bet you both will love it as you learn more and more about each other.