We all get the feeling now and then that we’ve drifted too far away from nature and that’s probably the reason to why depression is becoming more and more common in society nowadays.
We all love a majestic view from a great mountain or massive river, but can we really appreciate it to 100% without ever stepping a foot outside the realms of smartphones? Can we appreciate a picture from a mountain as much as standing there looking down over the mountain’s body which we just climbed?
I guess it remains to be seen. I know for a fact that I appreciate nature more than anything else, probably because I come from the northern parts of Scandinavia where nature is constantly present, a place where you have to live with nature whether you like it or not.
From high above
You can witness the beauty of nature in many ways. You can get a majestic feeling from being in the woods, from watching the horizon over a wild sea or from sitting on a mountain top while looking out over the vast landscape as any other semi-god.
One who never climbed a mountain has probably no idea of what I’m talking about but I know that some of you probably recognize themselves. Reaching a mountain top can take many hours or even days in some cases. But don’t let that beat you down because just like everything else, the more effort you put into it – the greater the rewards you get.
That is the reason to why it’s impossible to compare a picture from a mountain top with the real deal. Spending time at a mountain top is extremely fulfilling if you climbed it yourself.
Everything that is bigger than ourselves can fill us with awe. Our DNA has already witnessed most things on earth, but still, we easily become mesmerized by the things that are more powerful than ourselves. Massive oceans and rapid streams are a part of the greenhouse effect as more and more ice is melting to gradually fill up our oceans and rivers, big and small.
The melting snow from mountains forms bigger streams where salmon come every year to reproduce and many animals are depending on the salmon to eventually show up. A big stream of fresh water can be enchanting and incredibly unforgiving in the north of Scandinavia.
Witness Something Real
We see people pass by and watch things happen every day, different and weird things. But not many of them are “real”. I’m talking about life-and-death real. In nature, there’s a big chance that you will actually see power struggles between species or even animals protecting their young ones.
Although I like to believe that our lives in the smartphone matters, they are not equally “real” as the nature outside is. It’s not rare to watch animals fight over a caught fish or bird eggs, I guess it depends on where you are camping.
Clean and Clear
You will notice that the air starts getting cleaner and the stars shine brighter at night as soon as you start moving out from the city towards the real nature. The air can be felt both day and night; while the reduced light pollution can be noticed mostly at night.
The fact that you breathe fresh air and see the nature clearer allows you to quickly adapt to camping outdoors. This can be experienced the most by taking a flight to a northern location with as little air pollution as possible.
The light pollution from cities doesn’t only destroy the beautiful view of the stars, it also prevents the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) from showing up in the same extent as in the north of Scandinavia.
Sound Notifications OFF
Bring a cell phone but keep it off. It’s not vital for people to be able to reach you since any issue can wait until you get back from the camping trip. The sound notifications of our mobiles, tablets, and computers are disrupting the momentum of our daily life.
Speaking with people nowadays is not the same as it was a couple of years ago, it now seems impossible to maintain 100% of the participant’s focus throughout a complete conversation. Make sure that you don’t infect your camping trip with unnecessary sound notifications during your stay in nature.
You want to avoid using your battery until you actually need to make a phone call during the trip. Hopefully, everything goes as planned and you will not have to make any phone calls at all.
Aristotle claimed that a happy man is a self-sufficient man. Ultimately, we came from being self-sufficient tribes who eventually made ourselves dependant on each other. It’s weird how we still do that, it is very common for people to pay for each other’s drinks at the pub – an attempt to increase the value of a relationship.
It’s natural for us to do so, but it is a luxury that came from our great progress in evolution over time. Deep down, however, we come from being self-sufficient individuals and I believe that it’s important to try to rediscover that every now and then. Set up a camp, start a fire, hunt for food and live off the land where you camp. The sooner you start, the better you’ll feel. I guarantee it.
Being self-sufficient is actually a really important feeling to have felt at least once during a lifetime. It is, however, worth mentioning that many of us actually never experience it in their lives. I’ll end this article by quoting Bob Marley:
“In this great future, you can’t forget your past”