Archive for January, 2010

Camping: A Valuable Reminder On Survival

Monday, January 18th, 2010

One of the reasons I enjoy camping is that it is about the only chance I get to feel any type of a struggle to survive.

Think about it: most people in our society never have to deal with the struggle to survive until they are very old. This is something very new to humanity. Virtually every generation of humans before us had a much more intimate understanding of what it means to surive. Survival is very easy now. Even on a parltry annual income of, say, $10,000, survival is still very very easy.

In this day and age, we are blessed enough that we do not need to feel the pangs that accompany the struggle to survive. We have it easy. Most Americans have far more calories available to them than they need; so many calories that, ironically, it expedites our journey to being in a more legitimate fight to stay alive. That is, of course, because of the health risks associated with excess caloric consumption.

While we have every reason to feel grateful for how easy it is to remain alive, in a way, there is something empty about it. There is a bond that almost every human to have existed shares which we are left out on. That is the bond of survival. We have no intimate awareness of what it is like to truly struggle to stay alive. Most of us don’t, anyway.

That’s why camping can be such a rewarding activity. Of course, camping can be designed to be nearly as safe and free of risk as staying at home for the night, but it can also be designed to replicate the struggle to survive that our ancestors went through. Best of all: it’s you, the camper, who gets to choose how primitive of an experience you want.

It goes without being said that you should always practice common sense. Watch the movie Into the Wild if you need a lesson on what can happen when you camp recklessly. But camping provides an amazing opportunity to put yourself in a situation where you are almost entirely void of the comforts we’ve grown accustom to in our glutanous society.

I challenge you to let your next camping experience be a little less cushy than you are used to. Leave the Tempurpedic pillow and gas-powered generator at home. Try camping in the way early humans had no choice: a nightly struggle for survival. I promise the white picket fence will be waiting on you when you leave the woods!