Philip Davis takes us back to the first night of his backpacking career, on the flank of Hermit Peak in Northern New Mexico, in this excerpt from “The Lessons of My First Backpack,” in the forthcoming 2020 issue of Deep Wild Journal:
That night, sitting cross-legged in the forest, I did my best to surrender to this new experience. Before nightfall, I had weighed the idea of building a campfire. However, with my headlamp at my side as needed, I was glad I didn’t. Sure, the fire would have offered me company and warmth until slumber. On the other hand, I knew from experience that a dome of campfire light would render invisible all that existed beyond it, and I concluded this might threaten my peace of mind. Thus, I chose to sit in the darkness like a furtive porcupine, warm in my sweatshirt and long pants and surprised at how much of my terrestrial surroundings I could still discern. As for a “campfire,” I had the millions of stars above.
Deep Wild Journal, the home for creative work inspired by journeys to places where there are no roads, is now in production for its Summer 2020 issue. Visit deepwildjournal.com to learn more about us, and to subscribe. Thanks.