No Bad Days on the Mountain

“I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance. Never settle for the path of least resistance.” – Lee Ann Womack

So friends, you’ve probably already noticed that we’ve been posting a lot of beautiful photos taken on previous trips, which I must admit, is the easy part.

Anyone who has hiked or backpacked with me has heard my refrain that “There are no bad days on the mountain”. And although I truly believe that, it’s not to say that there are not challenging days, or uncomfortable days on the mountain. Being wet, and cold, or experiencing discomfort (or even actual pain) make the most beautiful days seem less “good”.

For me hiking and backpacking are like a lot of things we do as first responders. Mostly rewarding, but definitely not without their own trials. You don’t get to do a job that most of the world could not, or would not, do without experiencing things that cause discomfort, or even actual pain.

So just like on the job, this project is about mitigating some of those things. By acquiring good gear for folks to use, we will help reduce some of those uncomfortable moments. You may still get wet, but hopefully not to the point where you’re chafed and freezing. And if you do, hopefully a warm meal, some camaraderie, and a toasty sleeping bag will help.

Beyond the physical things like providing gear, we’re also here to help guide you through the challenges. The lucky among us have had special people on the job who have committed to helping us through, training officers, bosses, and many other leaders who don’t carry a specific title. I know I have, and I have tried to be that person for others as well. Being that person for the folks we bring on the trail is also part of our goal.

With these trips, I promise, we’re not just going to load a 35 pound bag on your back, point up a mountain and say “figure it out”. We will make sure you have what you need, both in physical gear as well as motivation, support, and guidance. We’re going to tackle the obstacles as a team, and make sure no one is left behind. You will be pushed, possibly past your comfort zone. You might be cold and wet, but you might also be impressed to learn just what you are capable of, and how you can bring that new found resilience back to your everyday existence on and off the job.