“Are you driven to answer the beckoning call of nature –to totally immerse yourself into it, forgoing the comforts of home just to walk on some long winding, rocky, and hilly trail somewhere? When you feel closer to nature and strip yourself of much of the material comforts and barriers to being in nature, do you feel an inner peace, even momentarily or for extended spells, that you are closer to the creator? Are you making simple useful items instead of buying them? Have wondrous thoughts on the trail but really cannot translate them into words or choose not to as the task of describing them is huge and the vision may not be correctly captured? Reading book after book about others’ experiences in nature? Letting household chores slide some so you can get on the trail or canoe or kayak to some remote spot? Enjoy sleeping out in your own backyard? … These are all serious symptoms of a major disorder.”
I came across these lines on the Internet years ago, when I was just starting my near-fanatical love of hiking and they still resonate with me today. If you’re curious about their source, they came from a website called Risk’s Ultralight Hiking, which was (it’s vanished) a treasure trove of backpacking trip reports, MYOG instructions, hammock resources, and hyperlinks.
Savor that first paragraph for a moment. Are you a risk?