It was a cloudless 50-degree late fall day, a day that was intended only for being outdoors. We dream of days like this, days when every minute of sunlight — and there were 607 and change on this particular day — should be spent outside. Alas, I was bushed: low biorhythms, iron-poor blood, ennui? I didn’t know and it didn’t matter, because I barely had 60 minutes in me., let alone 600. And if I could only get in a couple miles on a day meant for 10, what was the point. Which brings me to the point.
One reason you take a short hike: you don’t have time for a long one, which is especially true as we enter the hectic holiday season.
If you don’t have time for a long hike, you certainly don’t have time to deliberate over packing. For a short hike — an hour or less — you don’t need a big pack, anyway. Pass on the extra socks; you can live with cold or damp feet for 15 minutes. No need for a litany of layers; even if the temperature does drop, you can weather the difference for a few minutes. A big lunch? Eat when you get off the trail.