Watching a group heading out for an overnighter- I got to thinking about how much gear we often take and wondering if the gear not only shields us from the elements- but also the experience.
Every so often I drop as much gear as I can and work from just the basics. First and foremost my fire kit and knife, followed by my tarp to cover myself, a military poncho liner, my canteen and cup, and 100′ of paracord tucked in a pocket. I might also throw in a rain jacket or wool anorak to protect myself from the elements
Learning how to make your own gear and use what’s already out there not only increases your bush skills , but physically, mentally, and emotionally increases your chances at surviving real situations. What I find is that I’m much more aware of my surroundings and even though I might not sleep well, I am more tuned into all the environment provides. I can also move faster and quieter off trail- where I really gain the advantage of seeing more animals and birds.
Weather, animals, tracks, even slight changes in the sound of the woods or desert, I am better tuned into nature and all its happenings when not encumbered with how to set up a tent of fix a water filter. When I shake of all the trappings of modern camping I can tune into my surroundings and focus on what God has to offer out there.
One of my focus areas this year is to log the ways I thrive with minimal gear when out and about.