The smooth roar of an open fire with the occasional sharp crack, sending embers dancing into the air. The calm, silent winds as you stare up at the vast, starry sky. The comfort of friends and family, or the feeling of absolute solitude.
Moments like these are made greater when experienced outdoors.
It's been a monumental time as the world recovers from pandemic lockdowns and the so called 'Great Resignation.' These changes have made many of us take a step back and consider what we truly hold dear, and how to make sure we can spend more of our time doing the things we actually enjoy. Tensions everywhere have been high, and we've probably all had enough of the hum drum activities of 'civilized' life.
So the next time someone tells you to take a hike, you should consider it, and they probably should too.
Experiencing life before high rise apartments, grocery stores, and everything else is a humbling, and beautifully haunting experience. If you've never spent a night or more outdoors, I would highly recommend doing so within your means.
Whether you're an experienced outdoorsman, or the first time cabin goer, spending time separated from the hustle and bustle of everyday life will provide more mental clarity than you're probably used to. There's a reason why many writers and artists seek inspiration in the wilderness, and this has to do with the calming nature of natural environments.
There's nothing quite like the sound of a natural waterfall, or the serenity of the forest as you stand and take in the sounds and smells of the local ecosystem. Moments in life are often fleeting, leaving as quickly as they happened, with only our memories to recall the emotions we felt. The beauty of the outdoors is that these fleeting moments occur on a daily basis, as the creatures and organisms that live outside the realms of humanity go about their life cycles. While the exact experiences may differ, your feelings of awe and inspiration will be there for every moment.
So, the next time someone tells you to 'take a hike', take a step back instead and consider when the last time you experienced a feeling of true serenity was, and plan your next outdoor destination.
For first time hikers, make sure you're properly equipped for your trip. Plan accordingly based on your destination, environment, and the amount of time you'll be out there. Make sure you have enough food to maintain a high caloric intake, as well as double the amount of water you think you'll need. Some basic tools such as a multi-tool or bushcraft style knife can make a huge difference, especially on multi-day hikes.
As always, your safety will always be the first consideration when planning an outdoor excursion. Know your own limits, and don't push yourself into situations you are under prepared for. The outdoors are for everyone, and there's a multitude of ways that you can find something that speaks most to you.