As my little brother and I laid outside in hammocks, we briefly reminisced on making forts in the mystery and grandeur of our own backyard back when we were elementary school kids. I’m 18, he is 14, and yet tonight we planned to break in our new hammocks by spending a night outside under the stars.
We couldn’t help but laugh at our backyard camping, and as I looked up through the branches I thought of how much value I got from my yard. I learned about raspberries and hummingbirds and fire making all in the comforts of a glass of lemonade and a lunch meat sandwich. We did everything from catch snakes and hunt birds (tried anyway) and all these little memories have made a big impact on me as I grew into a young adult.
Being in the outdoors isn’t always about the farthest reaches of the woods or getting away from civilization, it’s about giving our biophilic sides the connection with the outdoors it needs. Getting out allows us to have an adventure in the most intimate setting possible.
Doing things like backyard camping need only a cheap fire pit (or a dirt pit) and smore sticks. Quite honestly these things can all be adapted for young and old ages of any background.
Tonight, in the open air, it matters not that I’m 10 feet from my home. What matters is that I feel the air on my skin, the sound of birdsong fills the air, and I’m experiencing something outside the box.
If you have a gentle night during the warm summer months, grab some blankets and try sleeping under the stars by your house. They are just as mystifying as anywhere else.