Karla’s “You know you’ve been walking a long time when”


-You’ve given up putting your maps in plastic bags

– You feel naked without your trekking poles

– You give people a wide berth in public places

– Your trekking poles don’t adjust any more

– You know every item, and it’s precise location, in your pack

– Your days are divided into one hour periods

– The sun rises so much later than when you started

– Meal choices are dictated by what is the heaviest in your pack

– You have to keep adjusting the waistband of your bum bag and pack

– You have discussions about meals 2 days in the future

– You know every flavour of dried pasta and its precise weight

– You prefer sleeping outside rather than in the huts

– Blisters are no longer a problem and are replaced with great swathes of leathery skin

– Plastic cheese tastes ok

– You have a bag of plastic bags

– You give your pack a name (Karla’s is Erica, mine is “Bora the Explorer”)

– you start assessing the terrain in Km per hour

– You automatically convert walking distance into walking times

– Your shoes start falling apart

– several miscellaneous items start breaking

– You no longer ask your walking buddy how much water they are carrying

– You finally get used to making allowance for your pack height when ducking under low branches

– You start drooling over other peoples food wrappers

– You no longer worry about dirty shorts from sitting on the ground

– Wet boots provide the opportunity to wash your socks

– You become engrossed in 15 year old news articles you find in the huts

– Dogs make a beeline for your armpits and other smelly areas

– You no longer count the days since you last showered

– You no longer recognise yourself in photographs

– You prefer uphills to downhills

– You fully appreciate the manicured nature of mountain bike tracks

– You look forward to the day you can scoff all the remaining food before the resupply town

– You realise that lighter is better and having spare space in your pack really is ok

– When meeting family/friends you begin by saying ” I might smell a bit” and ” this really is my cleanest shirt”

– The birds wake you up

– When you downgrade your luxury full length air matress for a thinner half length one

– You fantasise about discarding items from your pack to make it even lighter

– When most of the days complaints are aimed directly at DOC

– You no longer bother to remove the Biddy Bids from your legs

– You can tolerate the endless cobwebs attached to your face

– Even 100m out of your way is too much

– You realise that there is nothing else you would rather be doing


Copyright – Karla Anderson 21 February 2014 Te Araroa

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