The April Challenge

Every year, usually around April or September, I set up some kind of challenge to push myself to do something that usually involves me hiking a lot more than I normally would. Usually, the challenge involves hiking 30 times in 30 days, which is a sure fire way to get on the trail more often.

Last year, I did the 30 hikes thing, and I set the rules that I couldn’t hike the same hike twice and that each hike had to be 3 miles or longer. I don’t think I can make the 30 hikes in 30 days challenge any more challenging, and so this year I’ve decided to go for a different goal involving distance.

Previously, the largest number of miles I’ve hiked in a year has been 152 (January, 2015). I originally wanted to try for 200, but that’s not realistic. However, 175 is realistic, especially considering I have a week off for Spring Break that I’ll spend largely on the trail. The parameters are simple: get to 175 miles in whichever way I can. I can repeat as many hikes as I need to, although I’ll still shoot for variety.

But enough about me. What can you do to challenge yourself? Are you the sort of hiker that has been looking to step out of some kind of comfort zone? Do you find yourself hiking the same trails and wanting to see something different? Do you always tell yourself you’ll get out but find other obligations getting in the way a bit too often? Have you wondered what it would feel like to hike 100 miles in a month? Is there a specific hike that you’ve always wanted to try but you need to work up to it?

I invite you to set a goal for the month to challenge yourself. It doesn’t have to be some insane mileage goal like what I’ve set. It can be anything from doubling the number of times you get out to a 30 hikes in 30 days challenge to a goal of hiking Mt. Baldy by the end of the month. Anything goes. The point is to deepen your hiking experience and to get out more often.

As I go, I’ll post regular updates on distance with each new post. 175 or bust!

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