A person in a blue backpack looking out at Mount Rainier National Park, USA

99 Backpacking and Hiking Quotes

Sometimes, when a climb seems too challenging, or it starts to rain during a hike, or you misplace your passport on a backpacking trip, it can be easy to think forget it and give up. But think about how much you would miss if you let that thought win! We know that sometimes you just need a little extra inspiration, so today we’ve put together a list of 99 – yes, 99! – of our favourite hiking and backpacking quotes. Which one is your favouite?


Travel on: A hiking tour


1. “A walk in nature walks the soul back home.” – Mary Davis

2. “Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it.” – Andy Rooney

3. “You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.” – Dr. Seuss

4. “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” – Gary Snyder

5. “For hiking is one of those things that you can only do when you have the determination in you.” – Unknown

6. “Deep down, at the molecular heart of life, the trees and we are essentially identical.” – Carl Sagan

7. “Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.” – Greg Child

8. “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs

9. “Between every two pines there is a doorway to a new world.” – John Muir

10. “I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than trees.” – Henry David Thoreau

A woman standing at a crosswalk in Times Square, New York City
“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than trees.” – Henry David Thoreau | © Anubhav Saxena/Unsplash

11. “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” – John Muir

12. “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary

13. “You need special shoes for hiking—and a bit of a special soul as well.” – Terri Guillemets

14. “If you think you’ve peaked, find a new mountain.” – Unknown

15. “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

16. “Each fresh peak ascended teaches something.” – Sir Martin Conway

17. “Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

18. “To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.” – Mary Davis

19. “The best view comes after the hardest climb.” – Unknown

20. “Carry as little as possible, but choose that little with care.” – Earl Shaffer

Three people standing on an observation deck in Mangunan, Indonesia
“Carry as little as possible, but choose that little with care.” – Earl Shaffer | © Aldino Hartan Putra/Unsplash

21. “After a day’s walk, everything has twice its usual value.” – G.M. Trevelyan

22. “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

23. “Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.” – Cindy Ross

24. “Walking: the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise.” – Carrie Latet

25. “Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.” – Frank Herbert

26. “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

27. “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.” – John Muir

28. “Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.” – Walt Whitma

29. “When everything feels like an uphill struggle, Just think of the view from the top.” – Anonymous

30. “Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence.” – Hermann Buhl

31. “In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” – Aristotle

32. “You won, this time. But you are as big as you are ever going to get. And I’m still growing.” – Sir Edmund Hillary

33. “The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir

34. “To travel, to experience and learn: that is to live.” – Tenzing Norgay

35. “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.” – Edward Abbey

36. “Anywhere is ‘within walking distance’.” – Unknown

37. “Great things are done when men and mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street.” – William Blake

38. “Walking is a man’s best medicine.” – Hippocrates

39. “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” – Frank A. Clark

40. “And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” – John Muir

41. “We don’t stop hiking because we grow old. We grow old because we stop hiking.” – Finis Mitchell

42. “For hiking is one of those things that you can only do when you have the determination in you.” – Unknown

43. “If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.” – Raymond Inmon

44. “The experienced mountain climber is not intimidated by a mountain but is inspired by it.” – William Artur Ward

People climbing Serra da Estrela, Portugal
“The experienced mountain climber is not intimidated by a mountain but is inspired by it.” – William Artur Ward | © Diogo Tavares/Unsplash

45. “Mountain hikes instilled in me a life-long urge to get to the top of any inviting summit or peak.” – Paul D. Boyer

46. “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” – Ed Viesturs

47. “Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature’s darlings.” – John Muir

48. “There are two kinds of climbers, those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” – Alex Lowe

49. “You never climb the same mountain twice, not even in memory. Memory rebuilds the mountain, changes the weather, retells the jokes, remakes all the moves.” – Lito Tejada-Flores

50. “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

51. “Hiking and happiness go hand in hand or foot in boot.” – Diane Spicer

52. “Hiking is not escapism; it’s realism. The people who choose to spend time outdoors are not running away from anything; we are returning to where we belong.” – Jennifer Pharr Davis

53. “That’s the difference between backpackers and holidaymakers. The former can’t help but invite hassle whilst the latter pay to escape it.” – Harry Whitewolf

54. “You might be poor on money, but rich on life” – Kasper Raunholst

55. “I love waking up in the morning not knowing what’s gonna happen or who I’m gonna meet, where I’m gonna wind up.” – Jack Dawson

56. “And then there is the most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” – Randy Komisar

A person standing on the top of a mountain
“You might be poor on money, but rich on life” – Kasper Raunholst | © Galen Crout/Unsplash

57. “The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.” – G.K. Chesterto

58. “Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow” – Anita Desai

59. “Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterwards.” – Tina Fey

60. “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

61. “Everything you own must be able to fit inside one suitcase; then your mind might be free.” – Charles Bukowski

62. “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries” – Aldous Huxley

63. “Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.” – Judith Thurman

64. “Part of us believes the new car is better because it lasts longer. But, in fact, that’s the worst thing about the new car. It will stay around to disappoint you, whereas a trip to Europe is over. It evaporates. It has the good sense to go away, and you are left with nothing but a wonderful memory.” – Daniel Gilber

65. “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” – Oprah Winfrey

66. “Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.” – Isabelle Eberhardt

67. “My favourite thing to do is to go where I’ve never been.” – Diane Arbus

68. “Leave home, leave the country, leave the familiar. Only then can routine experience—buying bread, eating vegetables, even saying hello—become new all over again.” – Anthony Doerr

69. “What I love most about this crazy life is the adventure of it.” – Juliette Binoche

70. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

71. “There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it.” – Charlotte Eriksson

72. “I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalia de Castr

73. “I’m in love. Again. How on earth do people pick a favorite travel spot?” – Jen Malone

74. “Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”― Michael Palin

75. “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”― Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 7: 1966-1974

78. “Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”― Anita Desai

79. “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”― Robert Louis Stevenson, Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes

80. “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson

81. “Travel brings power and love back into your life.”― Rumi

82. “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

83. “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” – St. Augustine

84. “Make voyages. Attempt them. There’s nothing else.”― Tennessee Williams

85. “See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream.”― Ray Bradbury

86. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

87. “One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.” — Edith Wharton

88. “If everyone in the world took care of each other the way folks do out on the trail, and if everyone approached each day with as much hope and optimism as hikers do, the world would be a better place.” – Jon Tullis

89. “You lift your head, you’re on your way, but really just to be walking, to be out of doors. That’s it, that’s all, and you’re there. Outdoors is our element: the exact sensation of living there.” – Frédéric Gros

A woman in a hat and a green backpack standing with her back to the camera in Oljato-Monument Valley, USA
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller | © Ivana Cajina/Unsplash

90. “I slow down when hiking. The rhythm of nature is more leisurely. The sun comes up, it moves across the sky, and you begin to synchronize to that rhythm.” – John Mackey

91. “There are a lot of stories out there, waiting for you to live them” – Unknown

92. “Screw the map – travel and get lost!” – Unknown

93. “The old school of thought would have you believe that you’d be a fool to take on nature without arming yourself with every conceivable measure of safety and comfort under the sun. But that isn’t what being in nature is all about. Rather, it’s about feeling free, unbounded, shedding the distractions and barriers of our civilization—not bringing them with us.” – Ryel Kestenbaum

94. “Wilderness areas are first of all a series of sanctuaries for the primitive arts of wilderness travel, especially canoeing and packing. I suppose some will wish to debate whether it is important to keep these primitive arts alive. I shall not debate it. Either you know it in your bones, or you are very, very old.” ― Aldo Leopold

95. “Why is it that I can’t be content to live a normal life? Why do I spiral into depression when I am away from the wilderness for too long?” ― Heather Anderson

96. “If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears.” — Glenn Clark

97. “Home is where the heart is, and my heart is wherever I am at the moment.” — Lily Leung

98. “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” — Jawaharal Nehru

99. “If at some point you don’t ask yourself, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ then you’re not doing it right.” — Roland Gau

Maggie is a life-long traveller who, after three years abroad, has returned home to Toronto, where she works as a Content Editor at TourRadar. When she's not reading, writing, or dreaming about her next trip, she can usually be found cooing over other people's dogs or hunting down Mexican food.

hands holding a small white and blue box which has a DNA sampling kit in it
Up Next:

Your Guide to DNA Tourism and Genealogy Travel

Your Guide to DNA Tourism and Genealogy Travel