Friday, August 5, 2022

20 more reasons to go camping, in the backcountry

An article recently appeared in the Adirondack Almanack newsletter extolling the virtues of camping. In 10 Reasons Why I Camp, Melissa Hart recounts the joys of car camping. All are great and valid reasons to spend time at a Northwoods campground.

But there are some differences between Melissa’s recent experience and going a little deeper into the woods. Here is a list, in no particular order, of reasons to leave a few more comforts behind, and go backwoods camping.

  • It’s just us and the loons. And hopefully not the bears. Days can go by without seeing other human souls.
  • Solving the problems of the world while sitting around the campfire.
  • “Preventing” rain by being prepared for it. Or figuring out how to enjoy a wet gray day.
  • Long hikes and paddles without return deadlines.
  • Bone tired deep sleep.
  • “Making do” with what you brought and what the forest provides.
  • Your money is no good here. And being in the woods makes you rich.
  • No cell service, no meetings (zoom or otherwise), no schedules.
  • No Spam, unless you brought a can for dinner.
  • Morning mist rising off the lake.
  • Finding and exploring old abandoned logging roads.
  • Open air commodes with a view.
  • Every camping trip is an adventure.
  • Hearing old stories for the tenth time and laughing like they’re brand new.
  • Calling back to the loons.
  • No dietary restrictions.
  • No shaving.
  • Bathing is optional, and if you do, you can skinny dip.
  • The night sky — Lying on a rocky outcropping into a remote mountain lake and looking up into the blackness to behold shooting stars, satellites, the Milky Way, and the stars, the stars, the stars…
  • The glorious hot shower upon your return to “civilization.”
Photos provided by the author
Editor’s note: This first appeared here. Used by permission

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Randy Fredlund enjoys hiking, paddling, and taking pictures of the area around his camp on Stewarts Landing. He is happiest when breathing Adirondack air.


5 Responses

  1. Kierin Bell says:

    I think I mostly agree. As a point of philosophical distinction, the one caveat I’d add is that we should question the popular conception of visiting the backcountry as an escape from the complexities of civilization, a return to something simpler. Civilization is simple (and easy); it is nature that is complex.

  2. Rhobinson says:

    Hey there, Adirondack Almanack! I really enjoyed reading your recent article “20 More Reasons to Go Camping in the Backcountry”. As someone who loves spending time in nature, your list of reasons really resonated with me. You’ve reminded me of some of the many benefits of heading out into the wilderness for a camping trip.

    One of the reasons on your list that really stood out to me was the opportunity to disconnect from technology. In today’s world, it’s so easy to become glued to our phones and other devices, constantly checking social media or email. Camping in the backcountry provides a chance to unplug and truly immerse ourselves in the natural world. It can be incredibly refreshing to spend a few days without the constant distraction of technology.

    Another reason that I loved was the chance to stargaze. There’s something truly magical about looking up at a sky full of stars, away from the light pollution of the city. It’s humbling to realize just how small we are in the grand scheme of things. Stargazing can also be incredibly relaxing and meditative, providing a chance to slow down and reflect.

    Overall, I really appreciated your list of reasons to go camping in the backcountry. You’ve inspired me to plan my next camping trip and really take advantage of all the benefits that spending time in nature has to offer. Thanks for the great article!

    • Randy Fredlund says:

      Thanks for the kind words. Glad to hear you are inspired!

      I love to take city people out onto the dock and have them look up at the stars. After their eyes adapt a bit, I ask them if they see that long cloud above them. Then I tell them it is not a cloud, but their galaxy.

      If they have half a brain, they are struck with awe.

  3. Jim says:

    As someone who often camps with Randy I agree. I also contributed to the list. Another great pleasure is waking up on a cool morning, sitting by the lake watching the steam slowly burn off with a nice cup of Irish Coffee.

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