Camping Freely

What does camping freely mean? Whatever it is, I was determined to do it, as I went on a quick camping trip in the deep mountains of Idaho last weekend. I wanted freedom. From stress, expectations, and the emotional draining of my work.

As I drove from the sun-filtered valley to the frosted backcountry, I wondered why people do this. Why do they spend days, weeks, and hundreds of dollars to “rough it?”

If it’s to “get away from it all”, why do we insist on taking most of IT with us sometimes? All for the feeling of leaving it all behind.

People spend hundreds on camping and thousands on the equipment to achieve that feeling. I remember when I first started listening to Tony Robbins, he talked about one of the basic needs of everyone is variation. We need variety in our lives to combat boredom.

  • 1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure
  • 2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli
  • 3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed
  • 4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something
  • 5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding
  • 6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others- Tony Robbins

Camping provides the variation and may increase connection to actual humans without technology. If we allow it to.

Whether camping, glamping, homeless or vacationing- people are still trying to meet their daily physical and emotional needs. In the safety of home, the physical needs are a bit easier; but take away a few comforts and it gets a little harder. That’s why so much of our vacation time is spent searching down food, and supplies- things we forgot.

I didn’t have any cell service on my camping trip and with my many kids and grandkids; and a son in rehab; I made the trip down the road every morning to get service to make sure everyone was ok. Other than that, it was nice to be free.

The second day I came down with a kidney infection. With no cranberry juice within 40 miles, I had only water to treat it. I realized that no matter what our plans there will always be new needs that arise. That’s why trusting in a higher power works for many people. But what it really did was force me to take care of myself. I spent the mornings sleeping and the afternoons reading.

As we rode around in the soon to be snow-covered ground; with my mind not cluttered up with the need to check social media or my blog for viewers; my thoughts were FREE to just roam. Like the moose we saw trudging through the trees, my heavy weights of worry I had been carrying were like the backdrop of a silent movie- still there but non-threatening, not all-consuming.

Everyone says nature is a grounder. It brings us back to center. It reduces the clutter in our mind because we have less obligations to worry about and more time to think about what matters. To the moose, all that mattered was getting food and water and staying alive. Even though we are not cavemen anymore, we really do spend our days meeting our needs.

My trip turned out to be a nice breather. We left a day early due to impending snow. Back into the groove of life where problems and worries remain but I had a little bit of heightened energy to face them. That’s what self- care does. Give’s our bodies time to catch up with our minds.

Here’s some pics from this trip and here’s my last one, if you missed it. Happy camping!

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