Stories from the Trail

Nina Krauss: Why I Hike

Nina Krauss and Basia Kazimierczuk on the way down from Mount Greylock in Massachusetts.

I hike because when you travel across an entire state with everything you could possibly need strapped to your back, the world feels smaller, and I feel stronger. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I had always relied on my brother to help me plan shorter backpacking trips and peak bagging ventures, but I had never done anything longer than three nights. I set out with a trail partner, who had equal experience to me, hoping to make it, feel accomplished, and be inspired to try more things. What I got was completely different. Spending nine days in the woods far away from New York City allowed me to live in a way I had never experienced. For large swaths of time, I focused on nothing but the sounds of my poles and boots on the ground, the taste of clean, humid New England air, the sounds of birds, and the smell of… well, mostly bug spray and body odor, but sometimes pine needles. This type-A personality has always lived three steps ahead of herself, but, for once, I experienced everything as it was happening, and it was incredibly liberating.