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8 April 2015

The Post-Hike Burger

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We’re huge fans of hiking and camping. In the six years we’ve been together, we’ve hiked and camped in Big Bend National Park twice, the Grand Canyon, and the Smokey Mountains. That’s not bad overall, considering we live a day’s drive, at minimum, from any of these places.

Spending extended periods of time in nature hiking and camping can be quite rewarding, but it’s also quite physically demanding. Frankly, it’s often hard. The comforts and conveniences of home are stripped away, and what we’re left with are ourselves, our packs, and our skills. We get sweaty, dirty, and tired. Maintaining proper motivation is key for making it through a multi-day hike. Our prime source of motivation? The post-hike burger.

Jeremy hiking in Big Bend National Park

The post-hike burger is a tradition Jeremy started even before we met. It was after a hike on Mount Whitney when he first got the idea to motivate himself to finish a grueling hike with a mouth-watering, delicious burger. Of course, after we starting hiking and camping together, we kept the tradition alive and well. It’s amazing that even after only two days away from civilization and cushy living, the body starts craving something familiar. While the standard hiking fare of peanut butter sandwiches, trail mix, and beef jerky sustains life and provides ample energy, the taste buds quickly long for the well-known flavors of home.

The Colorado River in the Grand Canyon

We start thinking about our post-hike burger on the way out on the trail. We use it as motivation to get to our destination. Of course, when we’re up on the mountain we don’t talk too much about it as we dedicate our time and thinking to being present and communing with nature. However, when we start our ascent back home, burger talk is on. This is the part where motivation is most needed. We’re typically fairly tired from sleeping on the ground for a few nights and walking more than we’re accustomed to. Savoring the thought of the post-hike burger is the motivation we need to get us back to civilization.

Addie hiking in the Grand Canyon

The satisfaction I derive from my post-hike burgers is unparalleled. Completing a significant task like a multi-day hiking and camping trip deserves to be rewarded with a big, juicy burger. There’s really nothing quite like it. Trust me.