When you head out into the wilderness, safety is crucial. Whether it’s for a day hike or an extended backpacking trip, there are certain things that can always help make your time in the wild more comfortable and engaging.
Being outdoors and exploring the wilderness is a great way to improve our health and well-being. There are many benefits of being outside, such as increased blood flow, improved moods, and reduced stress levels. Read more in detail here: being outdoors also improves our.
image courtesy of martigras
Note from the editor: This is a guest post by Adam Cook. Mr. Cook is an avid climber, alpinist, and all-around outdoorsman.
It’s easy to forget that there are loads of possibilities to go outdoors and into the woods when we’re wrapped up in our blanket of electronics and apparently helpless against the draw of our warm man chair. People frequently yearn for a vacation to a large foreign city to see the landscape and experience something new, but they are often unaware of how beautiful and distinctive their own countryside can be. You can convert practically every weekend into a little vacation and save a lot of money by picking up an interest in the outdoors.
When you’re outside, you’re in direct touch with our amazing world. Artificially constructed small trees, a few squirrels, and a pigeon are common features of city wildness. Any other animal you come across will most likely flee as soon as it detects you. Most animals in the deep outdoors, on the other hand, have had very little human interaction and will approach you without hesitation. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to witness two big-horn sheep fight within 15 feet of you and not give a damn that you’re there.
Being outside will bring you face to face with your own mortality, which is both a gift and a burden. Being confined to a controlled environment for the bulk of one’s life will lead to thoughts of immortality, or at the very least an exaggerated sense of power and value. A bear raiding your camp at 3 a.m. or being trapped in a mountain storm may put you right back in your place while also teaching you a lot. In truth, most alpinists climb just to enjoy the sensation of being exposed to risk. It confirms your existence as a human being.
You can start becoming an outdoorsman yourself with a little know-how and a few tools. Here are five things to consider when you plan your trip to reconnect with nature.
1. Pick an activity that requires you to be outside.
This may seem self-evident, yet many men’s interests are what keep them shut up inside. Outdoor hobbies might be inexpensive, but they can also grow into a significant expense (see: alpine climbing). If you’re on a tight budget, choose for sports like hiking and general climbing, which don’t need a lot of pricey gear. These activities allow you to experience adventure and travel without breaking the bank. You can trek the Grand Canyon for less than the cost of petrol and the time it takes to dry a few meals from your own home if you have a pack, clothing, a tent, and a dehydrator. This works out to around 120 bucks for a week (if you live in Ohio like me). With little more than a few extra dollars and a bag, you can fly to the beaches of Thailand at a moments notice if you have a fast bivy tent.
2. Find at least one individual with whom you can discuss your experiences.
While hunting, fishing, packing, and bicycling alone might be enjoyable, it’s typically the company of others that keeps you going. It’s easy to say you don’t want to get up at 4 a.m. to put up your deer stand, but if you’re going with a buddy, that’s typically enough incentive. It also provides you something to speak about and helps to strengthen a bond, whether with a best friend or a significant other.
3. Accept your mortality
I know I said it before, but it bears repeating before you go on your journey into the unknown. There are a lot of things out there that can teach you this lesson, but it’s better if you understand it right now and prepare ahead of time. Here, knowledge is your ally. Know that a $50 Wal-Mart tent won’t hold up to the 80 mph winds of a mountain storm, and that a bear can smash through a vehicle door to get to a Snickers bar. In truth, there are two guidelines to following while you’re outside. 1) Put yourself in a position to be fortunate, and 2) don’t depend on luck. Consider this scenario: waking up early on a cloudy day to begin a trek puts you in a good position for the weather to clear and the day to be pleasant. If you only have two days and opt to remain in the tent and wait on the first day, you’ve placed yourself in a position to depend on luck for the weather on the second day.
4. Gather goods and learn where to buy them for a low price.
Every outdoor enthusiast need a few essential items. Rain gear and/or bivy gear (a big garbage bag might do), a small first-aid pack, a compact mountaineering stove with a few dried meals, a compass, a light, and a water purification device are all recommended. It’s simple to cram all of this into a backpack, and even on a strenuous day trek, it puts you in a position to be fortunate if things go wrong.
When it comes to finding low-cost outdoor clothing, I suggest a few websites. The Sierra Trading Post features great bargains on name brand goods and clothes, with prices ranging from 30% to 70% off. My favorite website, though, is Steep and Cheap. They only sell one heavily discounted item at a time and do so until it sells out. Obviously, with that type of setup, you’ll have to move quickly to get your hands on the items you desire. However, you may sign up for a number of notifications that will keep you up to date on what is presently being sold.
5. Be mindful of the natural world.
This should go without saying, but far too many people throw garbage outdoors without thinking. When I was bouldering at the local park the other day, I came upon a white garbage bag that had to be 10 minutes off the usual path. I’m not sure how it ended up there, but I took it and packed it out myself. Allowing the wilderness to have the same spirit-reviving impact on others as it does on you is part of respecting it. When you leave garbage behind or otherwise desecrate the wilderness, you create an eyesore that will draw people away from the contemplative experience they were hoping to have and back into the mundane, material world. You’re staring at a landscape of gigantic redwoods and experiencing a stirring in your spirit when-bam!-a McDonald’s bag appears, and your trance is disturbed. It’s reasonable if you feel the need to leave anything behind, but only once in my life has leaving garbage and food behind truly helped me survive, and I still feel horrible about it.
So go out there and prepare. Fall is arrived, and there’s no better time to be outdoors than now!
The “psychological benefits of being in nature” is a term that has been used since ancient times. It is often said that being surrounded by nature, helps the mind and body to relax. The wilderness can be an escape from modern day stresses and pressures.
Frequently Asked Questions
- mental health benefits of being outdoors
- reasons to go outside at night
- why going outside is good for you
- how does nature impact our wellbeing
- how does nature help mental health