Monday, July 13, 2015

Getting Along with Family While Long Distance Hiking

This is some good advice when hiking with family  - taken from the Orr Family Journal as they hike the Appalachian Trail this year (2015). I met them as they hiked through Shenandoah National Park and was impressed with how they worked together to accomplish their dream of a thru hike.  

"Several people have told us if they traveled with their family they would kill each other. So I thought I'd mention 3 things we use to keep family harmony.

1. Forgiveness: Irritations come up and get larger when you have plenty of time to think about them while hiking. If there is an issue we try to ask forgiveness quickly and always before the sun goes down.

2. Selfishness: we succeed or fail together. If someone needs precious food or water that you have carried many miles, give it to them without conditions.

3. Spend money when Morale is low: I try to save money but things such as sore shoulders or feet, falls, rain, and steep trails tend to lower morale. That is the time to pay for a hotel, eat at a nice restaurant,or replace some equipment.

The biggest threat to an extended family trip are unresolved accumulated irritations with low morale. I already had to ask forgiveness for my attitude this morning and we are eating at a restaurant, improving morale, drying out, watching the rain today."

On our thru hike in 2007

The above makes some good points about planning ahead of time when long distance hiking with family members. Keep your goals fluid and not set in stone, or it adds to the stress of the hike. Have the finances available so if you need a morale booster, like a warm bed or a good meal, you have the money to do that. Realize that some in the family might be having a bad day, so go with the flow and adapt to it, whether mileage or otherwise. I've hiked the whole trail with my son and as a family unit on sections. Above all, patience is the key. Take it one day at a time. And allow the experience to mold and shape you all into better people that can relate better to each other and the world around you.


HappinessSavouredHot (Julie Saint-Mleux) said...

Our family rule is that no one should be "the most annoying of the group" for more than a couple hours at a time. We take turns, haha. Seriously, I have found that hiking (and camping) as a family is THE way to keep ties solid and healthy.

Piggyback Rider said...

Inspiring blog! . Thanks for sharing.

Piggyback Rider

Alexis Kim said...


What an inspiring blog!

An avid hiker myself, I have been looking for ways to bond with my family without having to do something "boring" or something that made everyone feel like they were forced to spend time together.

Your post on how you took your family hiking for the day inspired me to do the same. And guess what - it was amazing! It was definitely a great way to get everyone to focus on working on their patience with each other and to have everyone work together as a team. Not only that, but it was also a great excuse to wear my new hiking boots that I just got from Workboot-Express.

Keep up the awesome posts, I can't wait to see what you share next!