An Outdoorsy Shift of Focus
I am usually a pretty minimalistic person. Owning lots of stuff overwhelms me unless I can put all of it to good use. The only thing I do allow myself to have and keep a lot of are books. However, living in a city like London where I could have anything at literally any damn time of the day it’s no wonder that I get tempted. A quick coffee in the café around the corner or another bar of soap to add to the pile that is already stacked up under the sink. The problem is: these things don’t matter.
Last weekend we went to the Peak District with a group of friends. All seven of us squeezed into two small cars already jam-packed with rucksacks and bouldering mats. After a pit stop at Burger King (it’s part of the routine) we made it to the little bend in the road from where we had planned to set off. The destination was Froggatt Edge, or just below Froggatt Edge to be precise. A small ledge that we hoped would be big enough to hold our three tents. We had stocked up on water on the way and set off. I did wonder if I had packed well. Did I bring enough liquids to drink, cook with, clean up the dishes and brush my teeth? What about fuel? Would there be enough for cooking coffee (a little luxury that we like to indulge in), making porridge in the morning, curry for lunch and H followed by pudding in the evening? And batteries? What if the ones in my head torch died halfway through our walk in?
Realistically, I was more than well prepared. Not only did I have plenty of water, spare batteries and about three times the amount of fuel that we ended up needing but we were also within a relatively short walking distance of both the car (where we stocked even more water) and the next pub and village. Also, there were seven of us. Surely one of the others would be able to help out. Two nights later it became clear that we were pretty much perfectly prepared.
What I am trying to say though is, that when you are outdoors you do not worry about the long queue of people waiting to pay at Sainsbury’s after work. You don’t think about the fact if your hair looks work appropriate in the morning. What counts are the things you need to survive. It’s perfectly okay to worry about the amount of liquids and fuel you are taking. Just because you carry water bottles or an extra meal in your rucksack does not make it a “glamping” weekend. But it’s just such a relieve not to have to worry about things that just don’t matter.
When you are outside, survival becomes real and luxury irrelevant. I feel glad to know that my friends and I are lucky enough to be able to own really good quality gear that makes our adventures even easier. Like that waterproof jacket that keeps me dry no matter what. I like to be prepared for the worst, but in the end I get to relax because when I go to bed at night I fall asleep because my day was packed with memories. I choose to live a life where I don’t have to worry about the sheer amount of tasks I have to tackle on the next day.
This is a thought I brought back with me to London. It’s enough to have a simple life because in the end I will be much happier. I don’t know how you feel about this or if you have had similar experiences. But the way in which a night or two (or more) outdoors resets your body and shifts your priorities is amazing. I absolutely cannot recommend it more!