Balancing Urban Life with wilderness Solitude


Mar 18, 2021
Hello BCP! I am from Chicago, living dangerously on the south side and working from home on a permanent basis. I was a Boy Scout and fell in love with the outdoors as a young man; but the abuse and bullying from fellow scouts chased me away. And in that move away, I left the backcountry.

Seventeen years later, and a Ken Burns marathon of The National Parks, my fire was reignited. Maybe I've dealt with the trauma of the scouts, maybe not. But I learned that Mother Nature was not a party to that, my exposure to her healed my wounds and centered me.

City life is dense and fast; and I long for the balance created by extended periods in nature.

I thought I would hike in many of the National Parks, but in 2020, I hiked in Yellowstone and immediately wanted to spend every minute exploring the backcountry.

So, while Yellowstone is on the mind, so is section-hiking the AT, and figuring out how to tell my boss I'm taking six weeks off to do the Camino.
Welcome, Flip! You'll find lots of encouragement here. Sounds like you are in the right frame of mind. I have two pieces of advice for you--worth every penny you paid for them, And neither of them has to do with gear or destinations.

1. Plan ahead. You have some lovely dreams there. Go ahead and get some of them on the calendar. You might not get them all done, but if you don't plan for the time it takes to do them, you won't get any of them done..

2. Start with some manageable chunks. The best way to get started is in your own backyard, or in a park nearby, where you can bail if stuff doesn't work. Try out your gear, get used to setting it up, and practice putting it up and down before you tackle a long through-hike.

Meanwhile, the Camino is an urban hike, both in terms of numbers of people and accommodations. The AT is less so, but you will still have plenty of company on the trail.

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