Learning to Camp: Part 1

Camping was never something I yearned to do nor — but it is necessary to get outdoors.

So camping is a necessary evil?  Yes and no.

If you’re accustomed to the day-to-day luxuries like running water and electricity, then like myself — you’ll start off finding it quite the struggle.

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I have a confession.

Camping was never something I yearned to do nor — but it is necessary to get outdoors.

So camping is a necessary evil?  Yes and no.

If you’re accustomed to the day-to-day luxuries like running water and electricity, then like myself — you’ll start off finding it quite the struggle.

Fear of mosquitoes and other flying insects doesn’t help either.

So what to do?

It’s easy to say, okay fine — only do day hikes and I will simply rent a room or cottage somewhere.

One of my early attempts at camping with an inexpensive Coleman's 6-person tent. One of my early attempts at camping with an inexpensive Coleman’s 6-person tent.

However if you want to go somewhere more remote, you can’t rely on that solution.  So it’s time to push beyond the threshold of your comfort zone:

Start somewhere easy.

1.  Borrow a tent or rent one for a weekend and set it up in your backyard or a friend’s backyard.  Get acquainted with how to set it up.  Sleep in it overnight and get accustomed to how it feels.

2.  Practice, and then move to a more remote location like a local provincial or state park with facilities (i.e. showers, flush toilets, etc.)

3.  Repeat steps 1 or 2 until you feel you are ready — but be prepared for discomfort.

If you can, find a friend or someone who is willing to join you.

What if … you don’t have a tent or access to one?  Local communities, provincial or state parks often run programs to help people learn how to camp.  For those in my home province, Ontario Parks offers their Learn to Camp Overnight Experience

They even have a graduates program for those who have more experience and want more.

I think this will suffice for those who find the thought of camping quite a challenge to overcome — but it is possible and I believe anyone can do it.  Stay tuned for part 2 of Learning to Camp!

Any thoughts or challenges of your own?  I’d love to hear about it.

Reflection [Oct 3 / 15]

I’m trying to put into practice, an approach of making notes over the week about things that I felt strongly walking away from.

I watched a TED Talk by Linda Cliatt-Wayman, a Philadelphia high school principal.  She is an incredbly powerful speaker, and I imagine quite the leader.  Her talk described who approach to tackling a complex and challenging situation in the high school where she is principal. I stepped back and gave it some more thought to try and apply what she said to other situations.

Key lessons:

1.  If you’re going to lead, LEAD.

Leading means taking on the responsibility and helping to create momentum and energy to 

2.  So what? Now What?

There are always going to be tons of information influencing your decision and your teams decision.  The key is understanding what is truly important.  The rest is noise or distraction.

3. If nobody told you they loved you today, you remember I do, and I always will.

Work will always be work. There is never a shortage, but the people – whether colleagues, family, friends, citizens, or customers – we should believe that there is greatness of all forms in them.