I am an Aspie hiker. I hiked the entire Appalachian Trail twice, the Pacific Crest Trail twice, and to and from the bottom of the Grand Canyon over 260 times. During one five-year period, I hiked over 14,000 trail miles.
What does hiking do for me? The life of a hiker offers a simple, regimented, regular routine that is the same day in and day out. Every hiker has a different routine, but the bottom line is that one walks. A lot. Close to every day. My hiking routine helps me stay focused and organized.
Most of my social connections come from hiking. The major hiking trails offer a vibrant and unusual social life. One thing that worlds very well for me is that I can choose how much time I want to spend talking with other hikers or hiking alone. I am free from the social demands of urban life and get to socialize on my own terms. Plus, we all share a common interest: hiking.
Hiking also allows me to set and achieve measurable goals. I get a significant sense of accomplishment from finishing a long trail. Hiking a trail and carrying my own (limited) supplies forces me to get up and going every day, whether or not I feel motivated.
For me, hiking long trails for months at a time (also called "thru hiking") is actually more affordable than paying for an apartment in the city. I don't even buy special hiking boots because I find that ordinary running shoes work best.
Please share your own hiking experiences and suggestions in the comments section. We'd love to hear from you!