To me, being an outdoorsman is an immersive experience where I am not only in the outdoors, but I have a wide range of knowledge concerning outdoor pursuits. I partake in fishing, camping, hiking, and so each one of these outdoor activities fall under the ability of an outdoorsman.
See, to me if I was a hiker, I’d be a hiker. If I was a fisherman, I’d be a fisherman. The distinction of outdoorsman means many different outdoor pursuits fall under my general knowledge. That truly isn’t to say that any one path to enjoying the outdoors is any stronger or weaker than the other but that having a focus in one area of the spectrum grants a specific distinction.
I don’t measure the amount of time spent in the outdoors as any measure of outdoor recreation because though I am an outdoorsman at heart, the actual time I spend within it is far shorter than I would like it to be. In fact, if outdoor mindedness was a factor in “how big an outdoorsman I am” then I may not even be an outdoorsman at all. I’d even submit that the actual amount of outdoorsman would plummet if it was measured by time.
Just like anything else in the world, being aware of the outdoors and relishing it is based on the amount of knowledge one has. That’s why, even when we aren’t in the outdoors, we can still be adequately well informed in our craft whatever that may be. When it comes time to use that knowledge, an outdoorsman should be ready to apply it in many situations.
I read a book once that discussed the concept of a section of intelligence titled “nature smart” where an individual is attuned with his or her environment to the point of being acutely aware of the natural world. As a fisherman, I see fish and movement and ripples that other people may not be able to pick out at all because I have attuned my senses to that point of nature intelligence.
An outdoorsman does not have to be constantly outside as a hiker does not have to be constantly hiking. To be a true outdoorsman, I believe that one should have a certain amount of knowledge in many aspects of the outdoor realm and above all, have a true respect for and relationship with the environment.