Why You Should Start a Hiking Journal Today

How do you keep track of all of your adventures? Do you scrapbook or print photo books? Do you upload everything to social media or keep a traditional photo album? Or, do you keep a journal or notebook of all of your adventures? Journaling can be fun and not only has benefits but can really change how you remember your adventure. A few summers ago, when I was backpacking with the kids, we came upon this woman who was furiously writing away, and so enthralled with what she was doing, that she didn’t even notice us. That image inspired me to start journaling on all of our adventures, and now I take a hiking journal with me while hiking, camping, or backpacking. Besides adventure journaling, there is also hiking journaling, travel journaling, and nature writing.

Why Should You Start an Adventure Journal

Journaling is a wonderful way to document and preserve memories of all of your adventures. Nature and adventure writing goes back centuries and even today, we are able to experience those writing from authors such as John Muir and Henry David Thoreau. Hiking journals and backpacking journals are becoming very popular. There are several reasons why you should journal or write about your adventures:

  • It provides a different perspective than just pictures.
  • Journaling is becoming a lost art form.
  • Writing documents thought, feelings, and emotions.
  • Journaling can be therapeutic.
  • Journaling can be a way to become more mindful and self-aware.
  • It is a great way to self-reflect.
  • You are able to record any adventure quickly and easily.
  • You can journal about any adventure such as a trip, a hike, a camping trip, or any other adventure.
  • A journal is tangible.

What Should You Write About in an Adventure Journal

You can write anything and everything in an adventure journal. Your creativity can be limitless. There is no right or wrong way. You can write a sentence or multiple pages. You are the one who decides what you write about, how much, and how often, and how you write. Even picking an inspirational quote about something in nature, like quotes about sunshine, can jump-start your journaling.

What Do You Need to Start an Adventure Journal

All you need is something to write with and something to write in. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a notebook. It can be the notes app on your phone or you can write it on your computer and notebook. I personally prefer a notebook. A notebook doesn’t have to be fancy, but I like pretty ones so that whatever writing I do, can become a keepsake or family heirloom. My mother has years of journaling, all in beautiful notebooks, that I now appreciate and enjoy.

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Writing Prompts for Adventure and Hiking Journaling

When adventure journaling, you can write about anything and everything or even do little sketches. Sometimes, it’s nice to you use prompts or suggestions for what to write about. Again, you don’t have to be an expert writer. You can write about anything and everything, but sometimes having an idea before you start writing is healthful and can even spark the imagination. Here is some great writing prompts for adventure journaling or even any type of journaling or writing.

  1. Set limits – Choose a time limit or a certain number of words or sentences or pages. This can make you more focused and to the point.
  2. Squint – If you are writing outside, squint at your surroundings. This gives a different perspective and you may see things you have never noticed.
  3. Word – Choose any word, such as an emotion or description.
  4. Phrase or Sentence
  5. Flip It Over – Look at the world upside down. Or, take the first few sentences and rewrite them using opposites.
  6. Smell – Can you smell anything? Is there a particular smell you noticed or memory that came up because of the smell?
  7. Taste – Did you eat something particularly delicious or eat anything interesting? Did it taste good or bad?
  8. Hear – Can you hear anything? Do you hear the silence? Can you hear the birds and the wind and the waves?
  9. Write a Poem – This can be short like a haiku, or several sentences that rhyme. There are a lot of different types of poems and you can get more information here on 15 different kinds of poems.
  10. Goal Setting – Did you reach a particular goal during this trip or adventure? Were you inspired to set a new goal?
  11. Find the Music – Is there a partial song that was in your head during your adventure? Did you hear a unique song that got stuck in your head or inspired you?
  12. Make a List – Make a list of the things that you saw or what you can see. It can be the animals you saw, the types of trees you saw, the foods you ate, etc.
  13. Color – What colors do you see? Are they vibrant or muted? Is the scenery around you vibrant or drab? Use descriptive words.
  14. Slow Down – Take a moment to meditate before you start writing. Think for 1-2 minutes between sentences.
  15. Write a Story – Write the story of your adventure in your own words, or even make one up. Imagine what your favorite person would do or enjoy about the adventure.
  16. Zoom In – Pick one area to focus on and write about that, like you are a camera zooming in on a shot.
  17. Look From a Different Angle – Look upside down or sideways. Go to the highest spot you can or the lowest spot. Lay down on the ground.
  18. Pick an Element – Choose one of the five elements you observed: wind, fire, earth, water, or spirit.
  19. Describe – Describe the area around you using very descriptive words, as if describing it to a blind person.
  20. What Did You Forget – Did you forget something at home that you needed on your adventure? Did it ruin your adventure or make it better? Did you come up with a creative solution?
  21. Landmarks and Natural Features – What unique landmarks or natural features did you see? Was there a beautiful waterfall or a cool museum?
  22. Patterns – Are there any particular patterns that you noticed, such as the shadows of the trees or the patterns left by waves? Were there unique clouds?
  23. Talk Out Loud – While writing, talk out loud. Don’t be afraid of looking silly. Sometimes hearing yourself sparks new ideas.
  24. Have a Conversation – Pretend your journal is a person and have a genuine conversation. Talk about your journey and adventure as if you were talking about it with a person.
  25. Start With One of the Following Prompts
    1. I see with my little eye…
    2. I feel like…
    3. This place reminds me of…
    4. My favorite memory of this place…
    5. If I could live here forever…
    6. When I come back here again, I will…
    7. What inspires me most about this place is…
    8. This place makes me…
    9. The person that I want here the most is…
    10. If I could pick one thing that I loved the most, it would be…

Journaling is for you. It should be something you enjoy doing. You are the writer, so it can be whatever you want it to be. Do you have any ideas for writing prompts? Do you keep any type of adventure journal? If You need more inspiration, try reading about other adventures and check out this outdoor adventure and nature booklist here. Be sure to comment below with your thoughts or ideas.

1 Comment

  • Annette

    10 months agoReply

    Great ideas to share about an adventure and writing about it. Interestingly, we would not know about history if people didn’t take time to journal about their adventure.

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