The Balance Between Type 2 Fun and Type 3
We have all experienced Type 2 Fun on trail; some hikers love it, others despise it. As my experience in the mountains grows, and as I hear more and more stories about even the most prepared hikers being caught in dangerous situations, I have been confronted with where the lines lies between Type 2 Fun and the decision to bail on an adventure.
Photo of @sonricker by @ryancaptureslife on Instagram
I think a common misconception is that Type 2 Fun is purely a factor of the physical environment, but the mindset of an individual can easily put them in a Type 2 day despite the weather matching the definition of ideal conditions. As we get stronger mentally and physically it is easier to convince ourselves to push on in deteriorating conditions, or as I have seen more frequently, push ourselves to get out there when we just aren't in the mood. Recently I was set to climb Huntington Ravine with a group of friends, a trek which I have been craving for over a year. The eve of the hike came, and I couldn't place why I was dreading the next day so much. I knew I was strong enough, and I knew I wanted to do this trail, yet for some reason the idea of driving north and throwing on my pack the next morning made me nauseous. Part of me just wanted to push past it and get out there, but then I remembered a day the previous year when I did exactly that and put myself in a dangerous situation.
In the summer of 2021 I was on a tunnel-visioned path to finish the NH48, taking every free moment I had to drive north and check off another peak. One Friday in May I had the day off from work so I set out that morning to hike Whiteface & Passaconaway via Blueberry Ledges. From the time I awoke to the time I pulled up to the trailhead I wasn't in the mood to hike, but I had a list to finish and I figured I would just muscle through the day and check off two more peaks. Long story short, in my desire to get the hike over with I went as fast as I could, not stopping to hydrate or refuel, because I just wanted out of the woods. The entire hike I asked myself why I was even out there, and with each passing mile I picked up the pace to try and get back to my car sooner. 4.5 hours later I stumbled out of the woods with blurry vision and a foggy head, my blood sugar tanking due to a lack of fuel and dehydration banging on the inside of my skull like a jackhammer. I sat at my car for at least an hour trying to recover enough to drive home, feeling terrible both mentally and physically, but grateful it had been a short enough hike to not make things more serious.
Remembering this experience, I ended up bailing on Huntington Ravine, and to my surprise it made my next hike a few days later one of my most satisfying ones yet. I am a self-proclaimed connoisseur of Type 2 Fun, but even I recognize that it's important to listen to your body and honor your mind to keep a situation from crossing into the Type 3 Fun category.