Growing up & living on the Prairies creates a norm of flat land experience. Having the opportunity to backpack in remote wilderness emerges you into an unfamiliar type of experience. An experience of steep, uneven climbs, large wildlife, elevation limitations & no cell coverage to pacify ones mental state.
New skills are forced to be developed rather acutely. It is significant how quickly the human species can adapt to an environment when the willingness & openness to experience such an adventure exist.