By The Gazohny Experiment
Understanding the power of outdoor serenity and campsite calmness.
Eyes open, there is an unfamiliar moment as I take in what is overhead when I wake up. Sometimes it’s the roof of my tent, the stars or a shelter I have put together. The sleeping bag is restrictive but then I realize its warmth and I am grateful. Nothing but quiet around camp as I get to my feet and start putting together a fire and getting the coffee that was soaking overnight on it.
The morning quiet around a campsite is my favorite part of any camping trip. I’m an early riser even by camping standards and before the movement of the day I enjoy the moment of solitude that I get out of it.
Paul Tillich said, “Language has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.” That aspect of camping is one I enjoy thoroughly, whether I am camping in a group setting or alone. There are so many different facets to camping; some we think of ahead of time and some that pleasantly surprise us. But the only way we will ever find them out and how we will react to them is by getting out there.
Without getting overly romantic about the outdoors, there is simply no shortage of positives to being out in nature. In a group setting you learn teamwork and efficiency as tasks have to be taken care of or the group will potentially go without food or shelter (not always a bad thing).
Alone you will gain an incredible sense of confidence and pride. My bushcraft instructor Tim Smith would always say to me, “convenience is the enemy of self-reliance.” In an increasingly modern world there is an impotence that comes with the trappings of gadgetry and technology. Bringing it back to the basics of a life in the outdoors gives us a sense of empowerment that is so important to our heritage as a species. That’s not to say that we should all be vanishing off into the woods or desert to pursue a simpler life. But there is value in intermittently straying from our sedentary existence.
Before intimidating any reader we have to mention that starting small is natural for all of us. Don’t let experienced outdoorsmen make you feel like you have to go on a solo walkabout with nothing but your underwear. Start with what makes you comfortable but I encourage everyone to strive for progress. In a digital age where we are bombarded with messages and told a million ways of how to do things, we have to blaze our own trail.
The Gazohny Experiment is an adventure and extreme sports team founded by Hussein Gazzaz and Tarek Zohny. Learn it, live it and teach it.