Morale is a fragile thing on the trail, particularly if the pack is a bit heavier than you expected, there are a few more ascents than you had really planned for, or you are carrying ten or eleven days of food on your back as you climb out of Muir Trail Ranch. It’s worth any effort to keep your mind right; don’t let a little discomfort mess with your head.
Here’s a self-test I like to use when I’m on the trail. I look up, find an airliner (there ALWAYS seems to be an airliner above you, somewhere, especially at night), and imagine someone sitting in first class with a stiff drink in his or her hand. Now, ask yourself this: would you trade places?
Happily, I can report that nine times out of ten my answer is, “No way!”
If you aren’t so sure, try to reconnect with what drove you to take on the trail in the first place, and recommit to finishing. If you do, and you succeed, you will have an experience far more memorable than any first class flight.
Good hiking, Ray