Twice every year I take two solo adventures into the wilderness. Once toward the end of the year in late November or early December and again in the beginning of the year sometime around late January to early February. I do this for several reasons but the most important and spiritual reason is to give myself a clean slate. The end of year trip is to wrap up my year and learn from my past mistakes and failures. The new year trip is to go over my plans for the future and reinvigorate myself. On these trips I must be alone because that is one of the few times where I can truly tap into the inner me. It is a time when I can adjust my thoughts, bury my losses and embrace my demons.
A second reason is to experience at least a few days or so unplugged and free from this crazy world we live in. A few hours away from noisy traffic, busy typing and crowded streets can do wonders on your mind and body. If you were to take a single day out in the woods just to unwind I am sure you could just see the stress and anxiety leave your body, even if for only a moment. We cannot forget where we came from and how we even survived to get this far. Just like all forms of life, we are born from nature. Although I believe we are the only species on the planet destined to leave it, we are also children of this earth and just as we should always return to our parents we must also return to the parent of us all. I feel it is only right to take a day or two to bask in the glory of the natural world.
A third reason is a more practical reason than philosophical; to practice my abilities to not only survive the wilderness but to also thrive in it. Each trip I take I make a note to only bring pure essentials, items that I couldn’t recreate in the proper amount of time. Every year the items change and every year I learn and evolve and adapt my skills. I believe in the idea that the more you know the less you need and each trip has caused my items’ lists to dwindle in a good way. These skills I have obtained are not difficult to do yet they can be time-consuming and monotonous (things that the modern world despises.) However, regardless of the fact that each day we become more and more advanced, we must relearn how to survive and thrive in the wild.
So take a page from my book and go out into the woods for an overnight adventure. But don’t do this so carelessly, be sure to brush up on survival knowledge. Bring the essentials; enough food and water for the trip, something to sleep in and something to sleep under, at least three forms of fire-lighting, at least two flashlights, and a small emergency kit. No matter what you bring with you, be sure to go out there with purpose. Enjoy nature, learn to thrive in it, but most important of all, take a day to love the world and love yourself.