The Worst Are The Best

NOTICE: Certain links on this post may earn a commission for Western Hunter Magazine from Amazon or our other affiliate partners when you make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

The Worst Are The Best

More times than not, when I get out of the mountains at the end of a long hunt, I find myself in a diner getting some fresh coffee and a warm meal before I start the journey back home. As I sit in the stifling warmth of an indoor space, I listen to the stories that inevitably begin to fill the silence. The hunting stories that are shared in these spaces almost always have one thing in common. They share an element of discomfort or difficulty that at the time was unwelcomed but now, in the comfort and warmth of modern life, they are the things that we look back on with a smile. As steaming warm mugs of coffee warm our hands and fill our noses with that comforting aroma of routine, our minds drift back to the adventures where we struggled. The colder, the steeper and the more miserable the experience the more we love reliving it.

When we prepare for a hunt, we naturally plan ahead to avoid having anything go wrong and we make sure that we have what we might need if something out of our control happens. We plan for the perfect trip but those perfect trips are never the ones we reminisce about after the fact, it’s the trips where something went wrong and we had to step out of our comfort zone to continue on that stick with us. It is when we had to challenge ourselves to get out of a bind and push on through discomfort and adversity. These are the hunts we remember.

Adversity produces growth. We learn a lot about ourselves, our environment and what to do or not do in any given situation. It’s the same with life. When we go through struggles and adversity it sucks in the moment. We don’t want it to happen. After the fact though, we come out of it changed. There are some things that we cannot learn without going through something hard. In the heat of the moment, most of us would gladly take any way out of it but often, after all is said and done, we would not go back and undo the experience. We made it through and the lessons we learned in the process are more than worth the pain.

I have not yet met a bad experience that I would change if given the chance once I have made it to the other side. I do believe in life that those bad experiences exist but so far, even though some have been brutal to endure, I would never give up what I have gained from them. I have learned so much about myself and what I am capable of and it has opened my eyes to possibilities that my mind had placed limitations on before. When we get challenged and we come out on the other side successful, we suddenly gain the vision of a much more expansive horizon. The hardest thing you have ever done is the hardest thing you have ever done. I know that sounds ridiculous but the meaning of it is profound. There are levels to difficulty and your experience level with hard situations will dictate the level of difficulty you experience. The more you have traversed difficult things the less small problems impact you. What may seem easy to you after all you have been through will feel monumental for someone who has little experience with adversity.

Our lives revolve around all the ways we can keep ourselves comfortable. Heated seats in your car, minute rice, insoles etc. We have become experts at comfort but adversity is still inevitable and the more we can become comfortable with it the easier life truly is. I believe we were designed for challenges and we become restless when we are without them. We thrive when we are pushed to grow and this is why the best hunts are often the worst hunts. They meet us at our core where our souls are yearning for the next stepping stone. We want to enjoy comforts but those comforts are shallow when they cannot be weighed against adversity. Adversity gives comfort its power for only then can we truly understand its value.

Western Hunter Super Subscription. Over 35+ hours of hunting entertainment, education, and gear reviews. Subscribe here


Lindsay Persico

Lindsay is a backcountry hunter, survivalist, personal trainer, and so much more. She is a prime example of "the real deal." Having lived off-grid, Lindsay is a wealth of experience when it comes to maintaining a healthy body and mind in preparation for arduous adventures.

She was also the winner of the survival TV series Alone: The Beast during which she survived for 30 days with no tools.

Lindsay lives in Montana with her husband where they raise their four children in the woods. She also leads women's wilderness survival retreats and writes about her adventures in Western Hunter Magazine. Lindsay also has her own online blog at

Packs. Tripods. Optics. Gear Up
Copyright © 2024 Western Hunter & Western Hunter Magazine | As an Amazon Associate, Western Hunters earns from qualifying purchases.