Saturday, April 4

The Tao of Wildcamping

I rarely try to explain the appeal of my personal enjoyment of a backpacking/wildcamping trip.

Many of my immediate acquaintances see such an excursion as little more than some sort of extended outdoor exercise activity, done on the cheap, and lacking the level of luxury they associate with a holiday trip away from the daily work/home grind.

Those that know me better see a desire to flee the mass of humanity for that all important Me Time.

Regular readers of this site may have overlooked an inaugural post where I tried to describe some of the associated feeling.

But mostly the deep emotional and, in my own terms spiritual benefits, are not readily communicable outside of the backpacking community. Even then, the individual reasons for just why we heed that inner call are varied, and highly individualistic.

So it was with a deep feeling of empathy I read May's TGO magazine. Messers McNeish, Townsend & Meechan have put into words that elusive appeal that we share. Much of what they say is based on years of experience. Which even, with my more moderate time spent out on the hills, I can understand at a bone deep level.

In particular - why that inner drive to keep repeating the experience is so essential despite far too many conflicting alternatives on offer to satiate the soul.

Living on the south coast of England the chance to wander off to hills and wild land is not an easy proposition. But it is possible to do, just not with the ease and regularity available to those better located.

But it is possible.

In fact I'd go further - for me its essential. Its a subtle satisfaction of that inner urge. One that is reinforced each night I spend wildcamping.

Well done TGO.

If there was only some way to condense these articles into a format that I can proffer next time someone looks askew on hearing my holiday will be roughing it somewhere remote, dangerous and solitary.

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