Though we would much rather hike the ridges of towering mountains and scramble steep trails of deep wildernesses; time and life often gets in the way. Luckily as backcountry athletes we are a resourceful bunch. We have the ability to adapt, overcome, and appreciate adventure wherever we are.
We’re known to hike miles upon miles for a view and more often for the pure challenge. When life doesn’t allow for a weekend trip away or even a day hike this challenge can be met in our own towns and cities. When was the last time you explored your urban area? Sure, we drive to work, the grocery, and various restaurants to meet with friends, but we rarely take the time to experience the places where we live.
Of course the views won’t be the same and there won’t be as much of an escape, but this alternative adventure is at least better than sitting and wishing, and an adventure none-the-less. There is also the added benefit of getting out and prepping for that next big trip into the backcountry. And again, this is only a replacement excursion when hitting a dirt trail isn’t an option.
Camping on an urban trek isn’t as much of an option, so the load you carry will be light and the distance is dependent on how far you can go in a day or part of a day. Pull out a map of your area and decide on an interesting out and back or a loop that travels through a cool local area. Some options to make a destination might be a local coffee shop or other shop you have yet to check out, a farmer’s market, a park, a historical neighborhood or even town center. Just make sure your route is safe to travel.
All you’ll need is what you would take on any usual day hike, yourself, and maybe a fellow adventurer. Pack your day pack with plenty of water, snacks to keep you going, rain gear for that ever-possible rain storm, and any other moral buster that will make your trek enjoyable. You may not be in the deep wilderness, but at least you’ll be outside even if it’s in a concrete jungle that starts at your doorstep.