I Could Never Do That!
These three words are spoken by many of my non-outdoorsy friends that admire the fact that I am an outdoorsy person. My other non-outdoorsy friends that do not admire that fact, well, they have other words and opinions of me. I tend to find them quite hilarious. For instance, c’mon, like I’d really be attracted to a bear. Ha! A bear has a lot of nice qualities, but it’s no whitetail deer. Wait. What the hell just happened there?! PLEASE allow me to digress.
What Can’t You Do?
What is it that I’m doing that you could never do? Enjoying breathtaking sights? Hiking up mountain peak that is actually considered just a scramble? Going to climbing areas that are so populated that you can literally find bolts gleaming in the sun from several hundred yards away, for any difficulty rating you could imagine?
I’m not doing anything you couldn’t do. You have two legs, so you can hike. To go along with your lower appendiges, you also have an equal number of appendiges upstairs unless you’re like my friend Austin, whom had an extra pinky. Don’t worry, it was removed at birth. So assuming you have 2 arms, 10 fingers (please, let’s not get into “thumbs aren’t fingers” debate) , 2 legs, and 10 toes that are all functioning mostly normal, you can do what I do.
What I do is nothing special. I’m not hiking the Swiss Alps for 6 months straight. I’m not doing multi-day big wall climbs, sleeping suspended from a rope (yet). Hell, I’m not even climbing mountains over 14,000ft. It just so happens that I have a love for these things that drive me to experience them. What I do, where I go, is not really that risky. It takes some pretty basic equipment, and you could come along! We could take turns pooping behind big rocks and burrying it with a shovel the size of a slightly larger than normal soup spoon!
So, ok, I guess there are some things that all people aren’t cut out for. But seriously, if you truly wanted to do these things, you could.
What It Takes To Be A Weekend Warrior
Let’s face it. I’m a weekend warrior just like you. Your weekend wars may involve a bottle of Captain Morgan and the slightly overweight hottie at the end of the bar against your sober consciense; whereas mine involve a gorgeous sunset and a herd of rabid mosquitoes. Nonetheless, we are both weekend warriors. And since this post is all about being more like me, because let’s face it, we should all strive for that, I’m going to help you get out there and experience this stuff firsthand.
As I mentioned, it first requires desire. Since you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you at least have that. Next, you’ll need some pretty basic gear. You don’t need to spend $400 on your first tent. You don’t need a top of the line sleeping bag. You probably don’t even need a pack. No. Instead, you need to go to Walmart, or if you’re lucky enough, the manliest of all man-stores — Fleet-Farm, and get those items there. They will be much more budget friendly.
Once you’ve got your basic setup, you’re going to pick the closest campground to your vicinity that has access to an activity that might interest you. Common activities may include hiking, swimming, boating, snipe hunting, or cliff diving. If none of those interest you, I question your reasoning for wanting to camp. Plus, there’s always yard games and drinking beer to fall back on. But I’m not judging. I just want you outside.
You will then proceed to learn how to set your tent in your apartment before you leave for your first adventure. After that, you will go to YouTube to learn how to start a fire WITHOUT using gasoline or other ligquid flammables. Your diet will consist of things you can cook over a fire. They will be highly nutritious and delicious. I suggest various sausages that can be cooked at the end of a stick. Things from a can are also a great choice because they can be set on the grate that covers most modern fire rings or just directly in the coals. You’re not ready for gourmet camp cooking….yet.
And that’s about it. You’ve got gear. You’ve got fire. And you’ve got food. Of course, once you’re ready for a real adventure, I’ll be here to help you out!
Solving Your Excuses
You know what they say about excuses? “Excuses are like a$$holes, everybody has one.”
I don’t like bugs and insects.
Me either!! They’re annoying; they make me itch; they blemish my majestic albino skin; and they may carry disease. The good news is that there are all sorts of creams, ointments, salves, and other medications. We’ve also invented clothes, bug spray, and magic smokey things. All of these things can make the most mosquito infested site an enjoyable one.
I don’t like being dirty/I need to shower every day.
Lucky for you! You know what baby wipes are, right? Guess what? No. Really. GUESS WHAT?! They now make adult-sized, biodegradeable, full-sized human wipes! I know it’s not the same as a nice hot shower, but you will be able to wipe the bug spray, sweat, and dirt from all of your most disgusting body parts. If you should be so lucky to camp near a lake, there’s also biodegradeable soap. You can take a dip in the biggest, coldest bath tub you’ve ever been. Trust me, you will feel just as clean and just as refreshed as a shower when you get out.
It’s too expensive!
This part is somewhat true. To go on rad adventures, you need some pretty rad gear, and rad gear is not cheap. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it cheaper than me. I buy nice gear because this is my passion. I want my trip to be supremely convenient, where convenience allows, so that I don’t have to worry about the little stuff and live in the moment. I also plan on using it more than twice a year.
But in your case, you’re just starting out. You only need the basics I mentioned above. Any new hobby you kick off is going to have some cost of entry, and just like any hobby, you can make it as cheap or as expensive as you’d like. For $300, you will have a pretty good start. You don’t need ultra-lightweight gear. You don’t need the finest down, plucked from 3-week old goslings. You don’t need moisture wicking, waterproof, windproof clothing. You don’t even need fancy shoes. You just need the basics to go. Once you’re hooked, and you will be hooked, you can add gear relatively cheaply if you’re willing to wait for outstanding deals. I highly recommend you check out the links to the companies I list here, especially TheClymb. As Tony the Tiger says, “Theeeeyyyyyy’rrrrrrreeeee GREAT!”
I don’t have anyone to go with. 🙁
Um, hello. Here I am! Even if I can’t go in person, I can go with in heart! Maybe we can even do some virtual camping. Like, you know, I’ll catch a fish and capture it on video. Then I’ll upload it to YouTube and send you the link. It’s practically like we’re sleeping in the same bag, right?!?!
But in all honesty, if you have ZERO friends to go with, look for a local gear shop. Places like REI, Gander Mountain, Scheels, Dicks, Midwest Mountaineering, etc. etc. all have trips they sponsor. It will cost you a pretty penny, but they go to even MORE amazing places than I do, and all you need to bring is some clothes and a happy face. They typically provide the rest. I’ve not been to this site before, but there may even be a Meetup for something like that.
My Completely Valid and Unsolveable Excuses For Not Being More Extreme
True story. In a split second of underwear filling terror, I was certain this bear was going to eat me. You should never be this close to a bear!!!
Now get out there, you crazy kids, and don’t be afraid to post any questions you may have about starting out down in the comment box. I love comments. They make my soul smile.
Don’t Miss Your Chance
I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.
Then I took control.
You can too, and it starts right here.
That is a fun word to say.
I specifically had you in mind when I wrote that.
Love this whole post– pretty sure I’ve heard at least half of the reasons, although most people here are willing to give anything a try 🙂
Over the years and many evolutionary modifications, I think Coloradans are genetically required to poop in the woods at least twice in their lives — once, because they have to; twice, because they like it.
That’s a black cow..easily to be confused with a black bear..But yes you should not even three x that distance from a bear..
That’s a cow?!?! Man, good thing we didn’t see any actual bears!
Actually a black angus..maybe with baby to be. Yes south of Macon GA that maybe mistaken for a momma bear..best way to tell is to pull the tail and then grab the ears and wait for a “sign”. If you survive it was just a cow..if not it was maybe a bull. There are other ways to know but not as entertaining. Bears are friendly from a distance..see you along the AT..
Hahahahaha, Wayne! I’ve seen more than several black bears (I think) from a safe distance. I think I’m going to start confirming, via your method, if they actually are. And yes, I do hope to hike the AT some time. Looks beautiful!
Please stop telling people to go camping and hiking, or the great outdoors will be overcrowded too. Lol
That’s funny. You’re the second person to say that about this post!