If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my love of reading, it’s really hard to find a good book about hiking. Now I’m not talking about books like where the best places to hike are and how to books. I’m talking about the first hand experience ones or stories written about other hikers, like some of John Krakauer’s great works Into the Wild and Into Thin Air. Krakauer just has a journalistic way of capturing the moment in ways that no one can.
My current adventure read right now is Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed and her journey on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). It reminded me a lot about Krakauer’s Into the Wild, but this is a first hand experience, not a re-account on someone’s life. Also, I like it, because it talks about the PCT, where I live in the U.S. the big hiking hype is the Appalachian Trail (AT).
The big thing I really enjoy about this book so far is that this is a first hand experience, you can get a look inside Strayed’s head and see what she’s feeling when she’s hiking the PCT. She also seems really relatable too, the story doesn’t just focus on the hiking aspect of things, but the personal story too.
Strayed shows that you don’t need to be some expert to hike the PCT, I mean before you do it you’ll obviously want to do some research, but she was just some ordinary girl who was inspired by a book in a store. She also gets real about the struggles she’s endured during her life, I don’t know if anyone reading this has read the book, but it really hit home with me. Maybe, because I relate to her in the aspect of losing a mother to cancer.
She reminds us that we have our own demons to fight and we aren’t alone in this world. Everyone has a way of healing themselves, for some hiking, backpacking, and camping is their escape.
Away from the depressing things now, she also has the mouth of a sailor in her writing, which goes back to the staying real aspect. Strayed also shows readers that it’s OK to make mistakes when hiking or backpacking, everyone even the experts make mistakes. She makes me feel better about backpacking, that you don’t need to be an expert to do something as crazy as hiking the PCT. I wouldn’t call this a self help book, but a book to show you aren’t alone.
Cheryl Strayed shows us that mistakes are a part of life, things happen, sometimes they’re shitty, but life goes on, and things can get wild, maybe you’ll lose yourself, but you’ll always find yourself eventually.
P.S. this book was also made into a movie
P.S.S. you can get a copy of it here.