Spending some time outside is a big deal. Disconnecting from everyday life is what allows you to return to it focused, refreshed, and ready for new challenges. While a weekend in the wilderness might leave you feeling physically exhausted (and hopefully leave you a bit dirty, too), it's guaranteed to positively impact your mental clarity and up your level of good feelings in the weeks that follow.
Sure, you can head into the woods with some sneakers and your book bag from high school. If that's what it takes to get you out, we're all for it. However, when you decide to upgrade the experience a bit, there are a few things you should be sure to bring with you. Quality gear is comfortable, more durable, and supportive on rough terrain. So go ahead and grab a few pieces at a time to make all you future adventures more enjoyable ones.
During spring time, pine, fir, and other evergreen trees grow by producing new tips at the end of each branch. The new growth is a lighter, vibrant green, and you can (and should!) eat it. The tips have a wonderful citrus-y, woodsy flavor that tastes awesome in all kinds of sautes, seafood, and roasted dishes. But the easiest way to preserve their flavor is steep them gently in a syrup, which will last in your fridge for weeks.
Some days, I wish I just had to wear a suit to work. I probably don’t actually mean that, and I’m sure you true 9-5ers would laugh at the possibility of giving up working in sweatpants for wingtips. A hardhat and steel-toed boots would work just as well. See, I'm interested in the ease of it. "Oh, I'm at work. Here's my work uniform." Instead, on any given day, I could be several different diverse work environments, both indoors and out, wet and dry spaces, with temperature fluctuations of upwards to thirty-five or forty degrees. 30° F when I leave in the morning, and 65° by 3pm.
I recently read an exceptional book by John Muir, father of our modern wanderlust and grand adventurer in a time where the great outdoors was truly an untamed place. His descriptions of a first look at the Sierras, of the sprawling views of Yosemite, and the way the woods filled his soul like nothing else could. While the wild is a bit more domesticated now with established trails, cell coverage, and guidebooks, it still holds in an important key to the overall sanity of humankind.
As autumn cools the air here in the south you will quickly find all the campgrounds and nature centers booked up from September through November. It seems like everyone comes out of their humidity-soaked habitats and are starved to trek all the great mountains and valleys all across the southeast. Hiking season is upon us!
I've cooked a lot of meals in the outdoors, and every meal has come about the same way - with a bit of heat. Make a stove out of an empty can and an ounce of alcohol for a light, compact system that will keep you cooking well in the wild.
Gentlemen, I give you: spring. If it's not there yet, it will be. And with it, comes actual growth...not just the stuff that manages to survive over the snow covered winter (I'm looking at you, beets.)