Oct 292015



Walking alone in the wilderness is one of the most instigating-of-inspirational-thought activities a person could do. I’m positive. But that same solitude and rhythm that inspires creative thought can also create a little too much room for predatory loops of thinking you’d probably rather not entertain. But they’re easy enough to identify in their very beginnings. If you “hear” yourself thinking any of the seemingly harmless thought seeds listed below when you’re out hiking in the wilderness for long periods of time, STOP.

Dangerous Thoughts to Entertain When Walking Alone in the Wilderness

“Is this real?”

“What if the apocalypse happened and I’m the only one left?”

“Can my body handle this?”

“Where are my keys?”

“Someone could do whatever they wanted to with me out here.”

“Is that an anvil cloud?”

“I wonder how long it’d take them to find my body here.”

“I wonder what my ex-husband would say about me at my funeral.”

“Why am I talking to myself as if I were four different people?”

“Am I a good person?”

“What am I doing with my life?”

“I bet this forest was clear-cut once.”

“Is it lay-down or fight-back with black bears?”

“What if one of my shoes falls apart?”

“Is this the trail?”

“I feel old.”

“If I could have anything I wanted to eat right now it would be…”

“Did I say something wrong? Is <insert person important to you> mad at me?”

“What if that ‘spring’ water was on the surface once?”

“<insert bad pop song>”

“I can’t.”

“I wonder if <insert current physical complaint> is a symptom of cancer?”

“How many miles to camp?”

“How am I ever going to go back to my life?”

“Did I pack up my tent stakes?”

“Why am I doing this?”

“It’s not broken.”

“What’s that noise?”

“Maybe I could live out here.”

“Would I cut off my arm to free myself from a boulder?”

“<insert any story of hiker demise>”

“Do I look scary?”

“I’m at the summit. This climb is over.”

“It’s just snow.”

“I wonder what my mother/spouse/child is going through because of me.”

“Is that MY smell?”

“It’s hunting hour for mountain lions.”

“Am I hiking fast enough?”

“I wonder how many nights of sleep deprivation it takes for a person to go technically insane.”

“How can she/he love me if she/he <insert words/behaviors of romantic partner>?”


I’m sure there’s a million more, unique to your own life and constitution. But these are the ones that span across all generations, cultures, and socioeconomic statuses. Stay vigilant, friends.

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