I’m not going to share the exact location. This isn’t a travel blog. But it was far enough away that I was “off the grid” with no cell service available (or at least sporadically available)
I know kind of ironic coming from a procrastin8r, who stays all day in bed.
But goddamnit. I say that without a hint of sarcasm I swear.
I love being out in the woods. It’s so relaxing. Besides, it’s a good way to gather thoughts and really unplug from the world of obligations and distractions.
As Robin Singh said on episode 12 of the ProcrastiN8r Podcast:
The best ideas come from leisure time.
You’re not gonna come up with great ideas while slaving away in front of a machine from 9 to 5.
You’re gonna have a great idea when you’re just like, chilling somewhere, like you’re hanging out in nature.
The sounds of birds chirping and the nearby stream flowing. The scent of flowers and leaves. The feeling of a cool breeze and the warm sun upon your face.
Makes me wanna tie up a nice hammock and chillax, man. Just let the ideas flow.
And you may be thinking
“But Nate, chilling out in nature is one thing, but camping. Dude, that’s completely different. All the tent pitching and hiking and fire building just to cook. Seems like a lot of work to me.”
And you know what?
Camping is NOT for the lazy man. Nope.
At least in terms of practicality.
I mean it is much easier and lazier to heat up a hot pocket in a microwave at home or order pizza then say, build a fire, light it up, put together ingredients in a dutch oven and bake yourself a Taco Pie.
(Which by the way, is fucking delicious. Take everything you love about a taco: the meat, the cheese, the lettuce, cilantro, onions, and tomatoes, hot sauce and layer it sort of like a cake or pie. I mean if there’s one reason to do camp cooking, this is it.)
It’s lazier to just crash on the couch watching Netflix then pitching a tent, staking to the ground, and rolling out a sleeping bag while listening to crickets chirp.
As one of my exes said about camping: “You’re just pretending to be homeless out in the forest”
And to some extent, as humorous as that is, I suppose it’s true. I mean I never thought of it like that.
But yeah, you leave your nice warm, comfortable home with all the modern amenities to go outside and live in a makeshift shelter, making meals for whatever is available (or that you pack), using as little resources and tools as possible, sort of like a homeless person would.
Either way, there is some value in camping though, even for the lazy man. If anything, it makes you appreciate that comfy couch even more.
See, because sometimes doing things the hardest way possible makes you realize just how easy you have it; it opens your eyes to things you should appreciate.
Camping is an opportunity to connect with nature and also escape the routine.
When you get stuck in a routine, you begin to feel kind of..apathetic. It’s like you’re running through the motions without actually experiencing them or being conscious of what's happening.
You begin to appreciate things that you normally take for granted.
After going on a camping trip and coming back to “real life”, the daily routine seems less mundane and I find myself getting excited about the little things that I normally don’t even think twice about.
Like showers and WiFi and a flushing toilet.
After pitching a tent, making your bed doesn’t seem so bad, for example. And a gas stove seems like a freaking phenomenal invention after having to gather logs, construct a decent fire pit, attempting to light it, then keeping it ablaze while you cook things.
Do things the “hard” way and the“normal “way of things becomes a lot easier.
Whether I’m secretly LARPing or just enjoying the “great outdoors”, I have to admit camping also has a bit of nostalgic factor for me.
I used to go camping a lot with the Boy Scouts, like at least once a month.
I remember going on a winter camping trip in an Adirondack. I hated it.
I hate the cold, first of all.
Like hot can be uncomfortable. I get it. Especially when you’re just standing there, sweating your balls off, without any sort of physical effort. It sucks.
But cold...Cold actually hurts. Cold goes beyond slight discomfort and brings actual pain.It hurts to be cold. I mean you reach the point where like you can’t even move. You’re frozen. Cold is a terrible sensation
And in case you don’t know what an Adirondack is, it’s a three-walled “mini-cabin”
What the fuck.
Look, I may procrastinate. I’m lazy, but at least I get shit done. A 3 walled cabin is not a complete project and is certainly not efficient, I mean if we’re gonna talk about minimizing effort and maximizing results here.
The design has no protection from the elements, at least temperature wise.
So you’re basically outside with a roof. It’s similar to sleeping outside in a picnic pavilion. Might as well.
Like yeah, it’ll keep you dry from the rain and snow, but if it’s cold, it ain’t doing shit to keep you warm. Oh and that’s assuming it doesn’t rain sideways, which if it does, you’re fucked.
Sure there’s supposed to be some “clever design” where the roof is arched a bit to prevent rain from getting in, but there is just some wind that ain’t stopping to that bullshit.
You’ll come back and all your gear will be maybe not soaked but at least damp from the heavy pouring rain. There’s no 100% protection from the elements in these mini 3 walled fuckers.
But ya know what would work really well in keeping your stuff dry?
An actual cabin.
Ya know, with FOUR freaking walls. Leave the fourth wall breaking to DeadPool.
We would sleep in what’s called a “mummy” bag, which is a sleeping bag that is literally shaped like an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus, with a wide top for the head and torso and thin bottom for the feet.
It’s designed to be a thick blanket to keep you warm with a tiny little hole for breathing. You can tighten the hole with a pull string.
You have two options. Either put your nose and mouth in this tiny hole so that part of your face, namely your nose and mouth, were exposed to the cold air or cover the hole and not only limit your breathing but also get your sleeping bag all wet due to the moisture in your breath.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t sleep when my face is cold and I certainly can’t sleep in a wet blanket.
So I basically spent the whole night rolling over, trying to get comfortable.
Another one I remember was actually my first camping trip. Long story short, we were on a field and I mean it not only rained, but it poured. So bad that I swear I saw Noah’s Ark floating by.
One of the things you do when packing for camping is put your clothes in a plastic bag and sela it so they don’t get wet. Well, you’re supposed to suck all the air out when doing so because if you don’t, as a I found out the hard way, they pop.
All of my bags popped and my clothes got soaked.
And my Boy Scout Handbook, which I used for the rest of my scouting career up to Eagle was water damaged on Camping Trip #1.
I remember one of the leaders saying: “It ain’t camping if there ain’t rain.”
There were also some really awesome moments in camping too, and I don’t want to sound like I’m just complaining about it.
There was one trip we were dropped off in the middle of the wilderness, via float plane and had to paddle back to civilization. Along the way we came across a village. Population:14.
There was a guy selling root beer and fudge there. I felt like we discovered a secret NPC or something.
There was also several times I got to climb a high obstacle course up in the trees, which was pure conquest!
There was a moment when I was freezing wet and cold, thinking to myself, like
“Why am I doing this?”
“What’s the point?”
I mean I have a home. I’m NOT homeless. I don’t need to “suffer’ like this.
But then I realized, it’s because it was an adventure.
A lot of people are just machines with machine brains.
Going to the same 9 to 5 job, doing the same tasks, eating the same meals, driving the same roads, watching the same shows. Over and over again.
They aren’t living. They’re existing. They’re running like a computer program, following the same set of patterns and behaviors.
Adventure, camping, makes you feel alive. It breaks you out of your comfort zone. It takes you out being “stuck” in the routine.
Go camping for the “escape” the grind - to get out of the routine.
Do so not for the likes or the karma but to reconnect yourself back to...LIFE!
Unplug yourself from the digital world. Detach yourself from the 9 to 5 grind.
Sometimes you need to put yourself in a situation of a bit of discomfort in order to appreciate the comfort you already have. You need to break routine to be human and avoid being a machine.
Camping puts things into perspective and makes you appreciate the modern technologies and conveniences we have today. Whether it’s the “perfect weekend” with clear skies for a camping trip or a stormy mess, every single camping trip gives you a sense of adventure, a sense of feeling alive.
And trust me, the bed feels 10x comfier after a camping trip than it did before going.
Hammock by FreePik.com
Girl in bathrobe by FreePik.com
Homless Camp from MPR News
Cabin from Hidden Valley Scout Reservation
Machine Brain from Science Defined Blog