Go Camping!

By on December 9, 2013

Our connection to the earth is an undeniable part of existence. Regardless of how technologically advanced civilization becomes, everything we have discovered is a direct result of our natural surroundings and resources. In order to thrive as an individual and a species on this planet, it is necessary to have a balance between the natural world and the way we have cultivated ourselves within this sphere.

Trail Camp

Trail Camp (Photo credit: analog_chainsaw)

To journey out into the wild lands is an intimidating prospect for many. We cover the dirt with pavement and neatly trimmed lawns. We exterminate the bugs and leash and cage the critters. We build our boxes and travel in our boxes and work in our boxes, while the wild grows outside the window. We seek successes and comfort, joy and financial security. We strive for enlightenment and sustainability, all the while, an incredible of amount of persons in the industrialized world have never even spent the night outside or gazed up at the night skies without the diluting prominence of our city lights.

Perspective for our place in this life, however, can be most prominent in the silence and majesty of the forest. If that centered tranquility is alluding you, consider a vision quest. Turn off the computer and the phone. Leave the comfort of your built up security and go camping! It isn’t as hard as you might think and the rewards are vast.

Camping doesn’t have to be uncomfortable and there are many ways and places to camp to serve the tastes of any individual or family. If you have never been, consider starting out slow and testing your comfort zone.National Parks are a great “civilized” way of experiencing outdoor life within a carefully studied, planned and regulated environment. This is not to say that the buffer is so great that the animals are tame and the terrain is urban, but should you need support, it will be there. Also, there are group activities and classes for both, adults and children to attend in most parks to help ease one into the environment.

English: Camping at Findhorn Tents at Findhorn...

English: Camping at Findhorn Tents at Findhorn Bay Caravan and Camping Park on a fine August morning. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

National parks offer drive in campgrounds for camping tents, as well as RV camping. For the more adventurous, back country campsites are available and only reached through hiking on foot, bicycle or horse. If these options are still too primitive, there are lovely, historic lodges in all the parks that allow for easy access to the great outdoors, while enjoying the comforts of luxury living. These lodges offer shopping boutiques and fine dining, as well.

RV camping is certainly a great option and can be very affordable. If you don’t own an RV, no problem. There are rental companies that can set you up in the perfect vehicle for your purpose and need. RV campsites are found throughout the country and offer power, water and usually, wi-fi for those in need of the creature comforts. Although, many RV’s and travel trailers come self sustained, meaning all the amenities are build right in to the camper. This allows for great freedom. Keep a look out for fishing access spots along your journey, as most are free to stay over night and allow for up to 2 weeks of parking. Also, they usually have bathrooms, too.

Camping is a great bonding experience for the whole family. The ability to achieve a hike together is a monumental memory that instills a sense of pride and confidence that cannot be matched. Sitting around the campfire at night watching the stars, singing songs and telling stories brings out an aspect of a person’s heart that cannot be duplicated in any other way. The sounds of the night woods will soar the imagination, even in silence. The smell and crackle of a campfire in the morning to rise and shine and put on the coffee is a comfort unparalleled. Simple things become important. The shape of a stone or the sound of a creek can captivate the imagination in a way that is lost when one is inundated by the our urban construct. These are the stuff of legend and memory.

Often, people don’t even realize how wound up they are until they can escape the pace. A few days in the wild will melt away the tension and stress and replace it with a perspective of our place in the universe and a sense of awe. That sense does not disappear, either. It permeates through out your life and affects the way to treat yourself and others for ever more.

Take a chance to get to know your earth. Walk bare toes. Wipe the sun sweat off your brow. Slip and slide down a snowy slope. Get lost on the movements of a hummingbird or a squirrel. Learn about the plants of the forest and how they have their place and importance in the ecosystem. Taste a wild mushroom, eat a wild onion. Go pick berries. Sleep without walls and locked doors and greet your neighbors. Find your place in this vast and inviting universe and know that you belong here. Go camping!

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