Dwayne is many things. An Outdoors Enthusiast, a Dreamer of Dreams and holds a degree in Environmental Science and Education.
Experiencing Life Outside the Box
Campers are generally a unique-minded group of people. Who in their right mind wants to leave all the comforts of home and all you have acquired in life thus far? Things like indoor plumbing, a warm bed, a fully functional entertainment system and kitchen, and on-demand heating and cooling are really enjoyable. Campers choose to abandon this for a certain duration of time and call it a “vacation” or “getting away from it all."
What campers know that a lot of other people don’t—or at least take the time to experience—is how life is much bigger than just the little box that is our life. For the most part, many of us wake up and turn on a box to see what the rest of the world is doing. Then open a box to get something to eat, then get into a box and go to work. We work all day in a box, putting in hours typing, searching, playing, and dreaming on a box, then drive home in a box only to then sit back down and watch a box until it is time to go to bed. Then rinse and repeat.
Campers tend to see the bigger picture. They know life is not just a box. Instead, they acknowledge life is a dynamic, ever-changing, series of events. Life somehow creates a seemingly chaotic blend of happenstance, then orchestrates it into a beautiful symphony only meant for those who are willing to stop for a moment and watch and listen.
Campers are the ones who like to get out into nature in the hopes of stopping for a moment and experiencing this orchestrated symphony in their souls. If only for a weekend.
Preserve, Protect, and Improve Our Environment
The problem is that this symphony is becoming less and less in tune with changes in our climate. Campers witness this firsthand. More and more wildfires are happening. Lakes, rivers, and streams are drying up. Garbage is littering every square inch of land that we hike and play on. Air is getting more toxic to breathe and free water is too dangerous for us to drink and play in.
A lot of people are out there shouting from their soapbox, “Save The Planet.” When the truth is . . . The planet does not need to be saved!!
To think the planet needs our help is quite egotistical. The planet has been around long before us and will be around long after us.
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Mindset of a Camper
What campers are trying to say is, how can we bring the planet back to the point of homeostasis? Returning to the point where everything is back in balance. Back to where everything is in tune with each other and creating a healthy environment for us to live in.
By getting outside "the box" and taking the time to witness the world around us changing, campers tend to be more in tune and aware of environmental changes. The best way to explain how campers see this is simple mental programming.
For instance, think of the last time you went to go buy shoes. Not just any type of shoe, you were looking for blue running shoes. So, you hopped online and started searching and searching. Thanks to mathematical algorithms, certain companies picked up on your searches and you'll start seeing ads for blue running shoes all over the place. The thing you can’t explain is why in the world you are starting to see people, out in public, wearing blue running shoes all over the place as well. Ultimately, you have programmed your mind to search for blue running shoes. People have always been wearing blue running shoes, it is just they were not in your mental search terms until recently.
This is what it is like for campers. We always have the natural world on our minds while outside exploring. Campers mental search terms include phrases like, natural green meadows, pristine waterways, or natural forests. When a change occurs or something interrupts their mental search terms, campers recognize it first and have an internal desire to put it back to the way they see it in their minds.
By simply knowing how nature looks and behaves without humans, campers program their minds into wanting it to stay this way. Hence the coining of mottos like “Leave No Trace" and “Leave only Footprints and Take Only Memories.” Campers want to keep nature clean and clear of human signs.
Everyone Has a Part to Play
Campers are humans and know we have the internal desire to be comfortable. So, a compromise has to be made. This is why we have designated areas for camping. Or we set up an area we can call home for a short period of time that may have all the comforts of home, like running water, cooking areas, and waste disposal. Campers want to keep these areas clean (who wants to sleep, eat and live in a wasteland of garbage?) and beautiful so they can hike, ride, climb, and play in them. They've programmed their minds to want to experience.
So, one of the benefits of going camping is how it helps preserve, protect, and improve our environment and develop the mindset to keep nature natural. Campers of all kinds strive to keep non-populated areas of nature free of man-made items and garbage that could be potentially harmful to the surrounding ecosystem.
Campers also know that it's not just the areas they like to camp in that are important to keep clean. They know what happens in one part of the world will sooner or later affect the area they themselves like to camp in. This is why many people who love to spend their free time in the outdoors are very big advocates of environmental protection organizations.
This is starting to be seen more and more all over the world. According to The Guardian, “Philanthropists pledge to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030, as the planet’s health climbs the charity agenda.” Within this article, they give examples of high-profile individuals who plan to or have donated a large amount of their vast wealth to charitable organizations to help protect the environment. But everyone has a part to play, from the richest to the poorest people on the planet.
Hopefully, by now, you can start to see how just being a "camper" is much more than taking a weekend trip to go stay out in the woods somewhere. It's more than roasting s’mores and telling campfire stories. Instead, it's reprogramming your own personal search terms to get you to notice and appreciate the world around you. Make it a little more appealing, then you can do your part in helping to preserve, protect and improve our environment.