Winter Camping Can Really Suck — Or It Can Be Epic

Eric Hanson: I think the wilderness in general has the ability to simplify life and then if you factor in the conditions
that happen in winter, everything gets reduced to its most simple state. You’re
not thinking about all of the other things in your day-to-day life it goes
down to: what is the most elemental thing necessary? And these are the tasks that you need to focus on. It can be painful, it can be
uncomfortably cold. You get so reduced to that need to feel
warmth and then to actually build a fire and have that start to like, move through you. It is a deeply moving experience. There’s this greater sense of appreciation, of everything. Most people don’t want to experience the
discomfort but, what they’re doing is ruling out that they’re going to
experience the other extreme, which is the joy and the elation and the peace
and the beauty that comes with it. It does feel like the landscape is
resting, the earth is in a different state of
being. It’s very quiet, you don’t almost hear
any birds or hear any wildlife or almost hear anything other than the sound of
maybe the wind or the river. You get to participate in that sense of
stillness and peace and tranquility. Wilderness is such a visceral experience
and it taps into our most core selves, the extremes of winter help even drive
that further. It doesn’t have to be packing in 15
miles, what makes it great is simply just being outside. When you’re leaving the wilderness and
you’re about to come back, you bring something with you. I think ultimately why I do these things
and push myself is to find the best version of me. you

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