Hiking by Lists

There are many hiking lists that people try to complete, such as the 48 NH 4,000 footers, The Catskill 3,500 footers, Adirondack 46ers, the New Hampshire Grid, state high points, etc.  Many times, upon completion of these lists, individuals are given a number in a database and certificate of proof of completion.

Typically, I have never been into the idea of hiking by lists.  I felt like recognition was the motivation for completing such lists, rather than pure joy of hiking.  I felt like choosing a hike should be determined by one’s mood, environment, energy, etc, not by a list stating which ones have not yet been completed.  

However, I have lately been seeing more value in these hiking lists.  Being a goal oriented person, I place a lot of value in long term goals.  I take a lot of pride in setting a goal and having the determination to see it through.  One accomplishment I believe to be a noble goal in the realm of hiking is completing a thru-hike of a long distance hiking trail.  However, most of us will never complete a thru-hike, let alone attempt one.

Hiking by lists allows us to have long term hiking goals that can be completed and continually worked on over the course of a fairly long time.  Just like a thru-hike is a commitment, so is undertaking a hiking list.  Thankfully, to complete a hiking list, you don’t have to abandon all of your other life responsibilities for six months.

May your lists be long, encouraging a lifetime of hiking.

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