Lately I have been looking into biomechanics and the way humans “used” to live. The way the human body is supposed to work, move and succeed. As I write this article I understand the hypocrisy. I am sitting in a heated home, watching a television, typing on a laptop computer and when I am finished will be sending this document through email and by Monday thousands of you will have read it. This wont be an article about beating up technology. It will be an article about finding our human balance again.
I say “used” to live because we are talking about 100 years ago people were much more aligned with nature and their bodies. People hunted more often than not, there was much less sitting. While walking and discovering was a part of everyday life. So we look at the NEW human who wraps his feet in big puffy expensive shoes, stares into screens all day and relies on some giant infrastructures to feed him, clothe him and assure that he gets the most important thing in the NEW humans life, money.
There have to be serious mental implications to spending our whole lives focusing our big brain power at dirty green paper and having it be the make or break in our society. The more dirty green paper you have the better person you are? The more success you have had?
Don’t get me wrong I love money and I am a fan of the quote by Coco Chanel that says. “ the best things in life are free but the second best are very expensive.”
It’s about balance and we are falling way out of balance. The urge to homestead, to prepare and become more self reliant is not only the looming danger but also your body speaking to you. Below I want to outline exactly what your body is crying out for to achieve that balance again.
I am not seasoned hunter. There may come a time when I can proclaim such a thing. Still, it doesn’t take many trips into the woods to realize hunting is about much more than that mount on the wall. Being in nature, listening, sneaking, engaging muscles you rarely use to duck under thorns or sit motionless for an extended period. Learning from nature. This is a time to learn about edibles, its time to focus your eyes on a distance they rarely see in the up close world of cubicles ad wall hung televisions. All of this before you even see an animal. Before those skills are challenged your body is brought back to one of its most ancient duties.
The importance of camping
When I take people into the mountains or even when I go alone there is always something in this “alien” terrain that takes the breath away. If there is an activity that better allows you to break free of the inclusive and connected world we have built than I haven’t found it yet.
Sleeping on the ground in the middle of a forest on the top of a mountain is not the best sleep you will get but it will disconnect you. It will remind you of the giant world that is out there. It’s the world outside of the hourly wage or the balance due.
There is also something about removing the protection of your walls. Knowing you are out there with the beasts and all that separates you is the micro thin wall of your tent is another important experience. Whether you are armed with bear mace or not the idea of one of those giant animals always remains in the back of your mind.
To me waking with the sun and the birds and spending the day with trees, rocky cliff sides and mountain top stream is incomparable. You can bring your device but if you are lucky it won’t get a signal anyway.
Working with your hands
Getting out there, hiking and camping are a great opportunity to put your bushcraft skills to the test. Though many parks won’t allow you to remove anything from them you can chip away at rocks or trim sticks to work on bow drills or other weapons. You will have nothing but time and there is really no better time to immerse yourself in this art.
Most of us rarely produce anything with our hands except word documents and reports. Even less create deadfalls or traps on regular basis. My one word of caution would be to pack backups. Don’t count on your bow drill as your only means to start a fire especially if you have never made or used one before.
Your child is an empty hard drive. It is up to you to upload important knowledge and experience onto that hard drive. Your child will grow, learn and develop to meet the needs of their environment. If you allow that environment to consist of the living room, dining room, bedroom than your child’s eyes, ears, depth perception and much more will learn to excel in that environment. Now if you take your child into the real world. Where distance is greater than wall to wall, well, maybe we won’t have 15 kids in 30 child class room wearing glasses. This is one of the stronger examples of a body crying out to be outdoors, to touch the dirt and to see the world.
As we move forward with technology and progress lets never forget that we must hold onto what has brought us to this point. Remember that our body cries out for just that. We have not evolved simply by creating these screens and technologies. Also ask yourself do we want to evolve into a world of screens and technologies.
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