Living simply in the wild

The Path Less Traveled

Since we’ve moved here to Washington we’ve changed our ‘hikes’. We used to search out all the wonderfully marked trails. If you live in a great wilderness state then you know there are an abundance of actual marked trailheads at your disposal. They wind upwards and onwards and, most of the time, tell you exactly where to go. I love to be told where to go just as much as the next, but sometimes you come to feel like little ants weaving through the trails with no real mind of your own. Traveling the same path as the one before you and the one before them and the ones before them.


Now there is something magical about trails and the people you meet on them. There is a sense of unity and community from the passerby’s that i enjoy very much. But sometimes we just need to take The path less traveled. The path NEVER traveled.


We have been on quite a few marked trails…and then we’ve made quite a few trails ourselves. Our unmarked hikes are more challenging and actually more dangerous, especially taking the Jr. Rangers with us. It tests our trust in each other and ourselves, and gives us this unity with nature we might not experience by following the marked paths.



We pass no one. We see no one. It is just us, on the mountain, at home.


We are forced to climb steep banks because there is no trail around them.


We are free to lay down our tarp and have a picnic whenever the mood strikes.

In life there is always someone paving the path in front of you…even if you think it’s one that has never been taken. Chances are someone has done what you’re planning on doing. No it may not be the popular choice, people might criticize you or think you are reckless and dangerous for doing so. But it’s your path, not theirs. So why not take the path less traveled?


Believe in the path you choose and connect with those who have gone before you. Learn from them, and above all trust yourself.


Imagine if we all choose the same path in life…that trail would be ugly. It would be crowded, worn out, it would be destroyed. Pave your way somewhere new, take the trail that works for you and leave those who criticize you behind.



And yes, i did just turn this ‘hiking post’ into a philosophical post…they literally can be one in the same.



Which do you prefer…the set trail in front of you or the path less traveled?


*Please do not take this as a prompt to go make your own path through the wilderness. Use common sense, take this post more figuratively then literally. There are many people who get lost hiking out there, even when they think they are staying on the trail. Don’t become the next search and rescue mission.







2 responses

  1. I do not hike off-trail. Washington has 9,000 miles of trails and if I want a trail with solitude, I can usually find it.

    It seems you all are very well-experienced and I’m sure you’ve got masterful navigational skills or you wouldn’t be going off trail, but I think some sort of safety information or a disclaimer would be appropriate on this post. People get lost in the Cascades every year, and it’s very easy to get lost if you go off-trail and don’t know what you’re doing.

    August 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    • Simply The Wildside

      Very true Lauren. On the bigger hikes, in the larger areas like the Cascades we do stay on the trails. When we are closer to home, hiking in the foothills in areas we know we tend to go off the trail more often. Thanks for your comment! There have been quite a few lost out there and we hope that everyone will use proper judgment and safety precautions when venturing out.

      August 24, 2013 at 8:42 am

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