Winter Camping And History
Thoughts on our forefathers claim to new land
Camping in this day and age seems to have taken a major shift in application from years ago. With large apartments on wheels in route for the weekend weakling event and the camping warrior, with his tent, who makes a more valiant attempt to rough it for a short duration camping has an appeal to a vast audience. What is it that attracts us to this type of activity. More interestingly, what attracts us to this in the months of blistering cold ground, air, water and everything else, with exception to the roaring fire pit?
As I have been on both extremes of this quest, luxury and lack of accommodations, I imagine the answer to this question is very different for each person considering such a venture. I can, and have, asked a great many of people this very question while on different camping trips. Indeed, the answers vary greatly. As I would like to tell many stories of the interesting answers I have recieved, I will reserve that for another day.
My thought process now is more concentrated on the tent campers and the relationship we tend to cling to as it relates to our forefathers. For many of us getting a glimpse of what forging new territories throughout this country brings us a little closer to the hardships and potential mindsets of those before us. Wow, to say they were tough is a gross understatement. A few months ago as I was in a engineered tent with my boys in the 9 degree evening weather I came to a much better understanding not only of how soft I really am, but also a realization that it is no wonder they died at a younger age than current day. I know, your laughing right?
Yes, a lot of that has to do with modern medicine. However, have you ever stayed outdoors for any duration...over night, or several nights...in the cold?
One’s mindset, while camping, is given the luxury of future comfort. In other words, I know at some point in time I will likely go back to my nice warm, soft, comfortable home and all of these trials will come to an end. However, our predecessors only knew that they had to continue on until the land and the area for which they were attempting to settle would give them a good mix of all that is needed to start a home. The thought of not knowing if you were going to find food, water, proper shelter, etc...is far different in the second scenario and requires a different mind set.
As I realize that very few campers these days may reflect on such an idea I would encourage all of them to think back, for more than 30 seconds, on how our country was formed. Put aside all the political deviations of accounts of the White Man over throwing the native Indians as that is, again, another story to be told and think of those brave individuals who risked so much that we may now enjoy the lands on which we live. A respectful smile should come over you as you get a very small glimpse into what it takes to begin anew. And because this is often times the reason for so many to go camping I think it is appropriate to remember that one’s thought process, as it pertains to respecting this portion of our countries past, can truley begin anew as we experience our land and physical existence in this setting.
So join me, and the other seemingly crazy individuals, and go camping in a fashion that more closely resembles that of our fore-families. Gain a respect for our countries humble beginnings and reconnect with what can be a new beginning for you and your family. Stay warm and enjoy.
Be an equipted camper
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