Hiking As a form of restitution

I often get comments about spending a lot of time in nature and the mountains. A lot of people don’t really understand where I find the time, and they feel like I am always in nature in some way. From my end, I feel I am never out there enough. I prioritize the outdoors as much as I possibly can, but I never get enough of it. To most, my trips can seem exhausting. Many comment that one has to be fit and in shape to do all of this. Is this so? Do you really need to be to enjoy nature or climb mountains?

Words and photos by Alice Asplund

No way!

You don’t have to be a pro-athlete to go on hikes, climb mountains, camp outdoors or do things that give you peace of mind. When we’re outside, and move around, we get a lot of energy as well as the body creates endorphins that makes us feel energized, happy and strong. To be outside can also be a way for us to keep negative thoughts away. Just let your mind relax and recuperate.

“To feel the fresh air in my lungs, wind in my hair and the uneven terrain, the wild animals and the peace and quiet of nature. It’s quite amazing how quickly I get accustomed to the noise of everyday life, I hardly notice it. Except when I’m out in nature, then I really notice the contrast of those two worlds. It’s good for your body and your soul.”

To be in shape physically and mentally makes a good foundation for your everyday life.

On this photo, Alice wears the falketind alpha120 Zip Hood. Click here to see more.

You don’t always have to break a sweat

I personally combine my trips with multiple things. It’s not only about getting a nice workout. It does not need to be a physically demanding trip. I can do shorter hikes around the area where I live that also give me joy and energy. Longer and rougher trips, over several days, can be taxing on the body. But I know it will be all worth it later. I don’t always have to push beyond my abilities, but testing the limits of what my body can do is also fun. To conquer a mountain peak, to master the summit. The motivation you get for completing a trip is amazing. That type of motivation is one of the most satisfying accomplishments I can get as an adult. And the feeling is probably the closest I can resemble a childlike accomplishment. It’s important to still feel this way as a grown up.

Embracing the view

I live in Oslo, a capital city with the possibility for hikes in the forest, along the sea and smaller mountains. But there is something spectacular about getting away from the cities. I really love tall, majestic, mountains. They terrify me as much as they amaze me. I don’t necessarily need to climb them, but to gaze upon them while hiking, to imagine what it’s like to be on the peak of such a natural wonder, gives me a special type of tranquility.  If you like mountains, packed forests, hikes by the ocean, small lakes and all the things alike, it’s important to remember that just by embracing these views and landscapes, it will give you something extra.

If time is the challenge

The everyday can be taxing, stressful. A lot to be done. A lot of chores. To find some spare time in between it all, if only 30 minutes, I believe is extremely important for everyone. After a small hike, a moment away with clarity, if only in your neighborhood. You will more often than not, feel more energized. The trips that require a lot of time can be reserved for when you can fit them. I try as best as I can to plan ahead, and my goal is to get longer trips 2-3 times monthly. Sometimes I reach my goals, sometimes I don’t, but I believe these goals are important, something to strive for, to look forward to in a usually hectic and busy everyday life.

Sometimes solo

When I’m hiking I enjoy mixing it up, sometimes I travel alone, sometimes with family and friends. Sometimes traveling alone with my dog is the best way to recharge my batteries. It gives me so much joy to see my four legged friend happy, to see that she is enjoying the outdoors as much as I do. To be able to hike at your own pace, to the destination I’ve set my mind on can be extremely liberating. I don’t always like to have a lot of plans lined up after my trips, that way I can take in all the sensations when hiking, I don’t have to hurry to be somewhere. These activities, to me, are a form of restitution for body and mind. It is important to be able to relax after I hit my goals and my destination. That way I have the chance to process and enjoy my hikes a bit more.

Standing still or in motion 

Just to be outside, in nature, that is a way of restitution for me. An activity that re-energizes my stamina for chaotic, hectic and sometimes challenging days to come. I hope more people out there will take their time to enjoy nature, to appreciate the power it possesses to replenish energy. My hope is that others get the same feeling after a hike as I do.

About Alice

Alice is a Norwegian “outfluencer” whose main goal is to inspire others to get out into nature and try new activities to achieve better self-esteem. She does different activities, though her main sports are splitboarding, hiking with her dog-buddy Aria, climbing and trail biking. 

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