Learning Curve: Learning to Suffer

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Learning Curve: Learning to Suffer

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    Harry Loong Walker
    BPL Member


    For me, walking several days is not to survive suffering. For me, it is to enjoy nature, leave the society for a few day and see/feel that I can survive with few means.

    That doesn’t mean I never had pain and had to suffer but then we have to collaborate, carry some of each other’s weight and learn how to avoid this problem in the future.

    Once a nephew had twisted one foot a few days before the six day walk ion the mountain. He halted and problem to get support the leg. He insisted to come along. I put on bandage and gave him a pain killer. The next two days I gave him pain killer in the evening and during the day he had bandage. The last three days the suffer was over and he was demoted from being the pacers in the front and he got back some of the load.

    Accidents happens that result in suffering, but that is an opportunity to learn how to avoid the accident.

    For me, it sounds like you have not figured out what causes the pain.  Is it to heavy load? Is it not suitable shoes for your feet? Maybe you should use long patches of sports tape instead of band-aid? Should you reduce the stress on your feet by using walking sticks? Do you walk to long distances per day? May be you need to put in more resting days and so the body get some time to recover?
    You should not need to have pain like this on every trekking.

    Chris K
    BPL Member


    I appreciate what Maggie wrote and also the wisdom in a lot of the comments. Backpacking seems to occupy the most interesting middle ground in the world of foot-based outdoor activities. On one end you have endurance sports like trail running, ultra-running, and so on, where experiencing discomfort or pain seems to be accepted, if not almost cherished at certain times, by these communities. On the other end are less physically demanding activities like fishing, or photography, or birdwatching/wildlife viewing, during which there may be little need to tolerate much discomfort or pain while out enjoying a natural environment. Personally, I enjoy how backpacking can incorporate both ends of this wide range of experience depending on where you are in life.

    Michael Shearer
    BPL Member


    Thank you for this. The thread is pretty far down the rabbit hole at this point.

    Michael Shearer
    BPL Member


    Thanking Kattt.

    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    One thing I have learnt over the years: I will NOT wear shoes which are too small or too narrow. Not ever. Neither will my wife.

    For the rest of it – we do not ‘suffer’, we just adapt to the conditions.

    But that does hide a few details. My wife and I have enough experience (that’s what you get from surviving not having enough experience!), and we support each other ALL the time. We do not go solo. And we take good reliable gear we can trust. Your tent is lighter? Fine. Your mat is lighter? Fine. Your stove is lighter? Fine.


    John S.
    BPL Member


    It seems some don’t like the word choice of “suffer”, but Maggie used it just right. She’s gotta figure out the foot problems to have more fun.

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