Pushing My Boundaries

by Tracy Goyette

As we approach the final days leading up to my first ever backcountry camping trip, I find myself faced with a near overwhelming load of self-doubt and fears about the upcoming 2020 hiking trip. Don’t get me wrong, I’m immensely excited and eager for our trip to Mounts Tom and Field, but I’m pushing my boundaries with this trip.

Tracy and Randy at Lakes of the Clouds

I am, generally, an open person – except when it comes to admitting weaknesses and fears. I probably would have continued on, worrying in silence, except that I got a fantastic note from someone who shared her life situation with me – including what a positive effect our story has had on her. That note made me think that perhaps by sharing my own fears and hopefully later my success, I might inspire another person to try something they’ve been afraid of in the past.

So, without further ado, this trip scares me because of the following:

• I’ve never camped in the back woods before.
• There is bear activity in the area.
• I wonder if I can handle carrying the extra weight needed.
• I fear I’ll be the slowest hiker because I’ve lost a bit of fitness these past few months.
• What if I can’t sleep on the ground and I’m too sore the second day?
• What if we run out of water?

Setting these fears down on paper and sharing them makes me feel a bit silly, yet they express how I’ve been feeling this past week. I know that the group I’m climbing with is extremely supportive, and ultimately everything will be ok. However, I expect that knowledge won’t do much to allay my fears. So, I’m going to follow Randy’s example and just dive right in. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

So, what do you guys out there think? Anyone ever have any of these fears? How did your first backcountry trip turn out?


2 thoughts on “Pushing My Boundaries

  1. I think fears are natural in the backcountry at least for me, especially when hiking solo. It needs to be something that does overwhelm you and take away from the fun. I have a fear of moose (after several encounters with them on the trails). Black bears will generally run away at the sight of humans though.

  2. Cooperhill,
    I think it is wise to have a healthy appreciation for all wild animals. I don’t suppose there is much you can do with an angry moose. Yikes!


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