Some people may think that hiking is simple and easy, it’s just putting one step in front of the other, right?
But if it was so easy, everyone would be doing it. Everyone’s not going out hiking because it is way easier to stay home, way easier to sit on the couch, way easier to take a nap, way easier to meet up with friends at a bar or coffee shop or restaurant.
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While the physical act of hiking is simple, it requires quite a bit of practice, conditioning, motivation, self-discipline and, of course, inspirational outdoor quotes.
I hope that as you’re sitting at your desk, or on the couch reading these outdoor quotes, they give you a little perspective of why hiking and spending time in the wilderness is so important and even offer a little nudge toward planning your next hiking trip.
10 Inspirational Outdoor Quotes To Get You Outside
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.
– Henry David Thoreau
“If the going is tough and the pressure is on; if reserves of strength have been drained and the summit is still not in sight; then the quality to see in a person is neither great strength nor quickness of hand, but rather a resolute mind firmly set on its purpose that refuses to let its body slacken or rest.”
– Sir Edmund Hillary
“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, scared to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
– E. E. Cummings
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes
“The elemental simplicities of wilderness travel were thrills not only because of their novelty, but because they represented complete freedom to make mistakes. The wilderness gave them their first taste of those rewards and penalties for wise and foolish acts which every woodsman faces daily, but against which civilization has built a thousand buffers.”
– Aldo Leopold
“There has been no time in human history when mountains and mountaineering have had so much to offer to men. We need to rediscover the vast, harmonious pattern of the natural world we are a part of – the infinite complexity and variety of its myriad of components, the miraculous simplicity of the whole. We need to learn again those essential qualities in our own selves which make us what we are; the energy of our bodies, the alertness of our minds; curiosity and the desire to satisfy it, fear and the will to conquer it. The mountain way may well be a way of escape – from cities and men, from the turmoil and doubt, from the complexities and uncertainties and sorrows that thread our lives. But in the truest and most profound sense, it is an escape not from but to reality.”
– James Ramsey Ullman
“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: what is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions when one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”
– Rene Dumal
“You can feel the muscle knots tightening in your legs and now and then you reach down to test the hard lumpiness. The passes get easier and finally you’re just laughing over them. Every step and every strain and hard breath and heart pump is an investment in tomorrow morning’s strength. You’re watching the change with your own eyes and feeling it under your own skin and through your own veins…. A miracle.”
“The truth is that part of the essence of mountain climbing is to push oneself to one’s limits. Inevitably this involves risk, otherwise they would not be one’s limits. This is not to say that you deliberately try something you know you can’t do. But you do deliberately try something which you are not sure you can do.”
– Woodrow Wilson Sayre
“Men go to the mountains because they need the mountains – because they find behind the ranges things that are hidden from them in the life of the plains. “Our present world,” the distinguished climber Frederic Harrison once said, “is a world of remarkable civilization, but it is not very natural and not very happy.”
– William O. Douglas
Let me know your favorite inspirational outdoor quotes in the comments below!
For more hiking inspiration, check out:
- How to handle hiking nay-sayers, as a solo hiker
- How to enjoy hiking with a partner, without wanting to strangle them
- Best Outdoor Podcasts for hikers and adventurers