I’m so glad Chris posted about being an influential follower. I’ve had a post percolating for a couple weeks about why I hate bush bashing, and it seems like a good time to share it.
Two weeks ago on an over-night hike near Kiandra, we were picking our way down a really steep slope. Mary was in the lead, navigating by dead reckoning and the help of a compass. I was wondering how she managed to watch her feet and the direction at the same time, when I snagged my boot lace on a stick and nearly went splat. I was very happy there was no-one behind to watch.
So I’d like to share my list of reasons to follow someone else:
- The leader walks into all the spider webs, and scares away most of the snakes. Usually by accident.
- Navigating is a thankless task. Everyone second guesses you, and when you get it wrong there’s always words.
- It’s really nice to be able to watch your feet and the scenery instead of the bearing you’re on.
- If you stay a few metres behind the leader, you can watch how they climb over and around obstacles and maybe spy out a better path.
- A few metres further back again, and you don’t have to hike so far up the hill when they realise you’re in the wrong gully.
- There’s no-one behind you to watch you go splat.
I’m sure there’s a lot of satisfaction in leading a hike, and more in being the first to the top of the hill. But I still got there, minutes behind, and enjoyed the same pleasure in the view.