Camping has a way of simply bringing us back in time. It’s a chance for us to remember that things didn’t used to be so complicated and time wasn’t always moving so fast. Each chance we have to step into the woods, even if for only a brief time, gives us the opportunity to refocus on our lives and on the world around us.
Simply put, every break we get to take from our normal routine is a break from the many things that weigh us down. These moments are our chance to slow down, take a deep breath, and do something truly good for ourselves.
For many of us, camping is not an everyday activity. A large portion of us are busy in our daily lives commuting to and from an office, grocery shopping, and running to the gym when we have the time. This routine leaves us very little opportunity to explore new things in life.
When we break from our daily routine and head off into the woods, we allow ourselves the chance to do some new things. We get the chance to do some unusual things that are completely new to us. We try new things totally unaware of what we are doing. This is important because we are walking in with the expectation that the new things we are attempting won’t go well and we accept that we may fail.
This removal of fear relating to trying new things and allowing ourselves to fail can help us to remember a crucial piece to the puzzle of life. Life is full of trial and error and every error we make is a chance for us to learn and improve.
The entire reason we are pushing ourselves to try these new things, what we are actually doing is reconnecting with how things used to be done. Long before there was a gas stove in every home, people had to use other means. That means they had to scavenge for suitable firewood, know how to build a fire, and have the knowledge of how a fire behaves in order to effectively cook over it.
When we make it our mission to revisit these old skills, we are bridging a gap to our past. We are giving ourselves the chance to see how our ancestors used to live. This can lead us to a whole new appreciation for how our lives are today and for how easy we have things.
One of the biggest things we learn as we try to do things in the old ways is that everything requires patience and time. A fire takes time to start. You need time to gather wood. Food requires more time to cook. All of these activities are things we forget to appreciate in our daily existence as we microwave our leftovers from lunch for a quick dinner.
Since all of these activities require us to have patience and take our time, it gives us the opportunity to appreciate the world around us. It is often the belief that the woods are a silent place, and in some ways that is correct. This is correct in as far as the woods are absent of the sounds of the city. What the woods are full of is the sounds of nature.
Stand out in a quiet spot with your phone off and no one talking around you. You also need to turn your own internal voice off for a moment and just listen. Soon you will begin to notice the sounds of the wind as it pushes the branches above your head back and forth. Birds will erupt in a cacophony of noise as they call from one to the next. Small streams and lakes will begin talking to you as waters move along on their way. Remember to appreciate the natural music that surrounds you.
The pull to let go and unplug is difficult. It can be hard to break ourselves away from the things that consume our daily lives, but this is a needed step if we are looking to truly recharge. Doing so can also have some surprising benefits that can last far beyond our time in the woods.The soul is healed in a number of ways. When life is slowed down and simplified, we begin to take notice of what our body truly needs. Ever recognize how much better you sleep when the air around you is fresh and cool? The expensive mattress and high quality sheets lose their luster in the face of a restful night spent in a sleeping bag with the sounds of nature all around.
When you let the stress of everyday life leave your body, you give yourself a chance to rethink how you do things. When you are focusing on chopping wood, you aren’t spending time worrying if that other person read your e-mail. You are focusing solely on chopping wood. Your mind can readjust to recognize the important things in life. Sometimes this is all we need.