I read in an article recently that outdoor companies like REI and North Face are having to tailor their brands as fashion lines because this new view of the outdoors as a fashion statement. As if being an outdoorsman is a style.
First and foremost, outdoor recreation is about respect. Clothing companies like North Face created truly rugged clothing lines out of respect for the tough environmental conditions that exist out in the world. They were explicitly aware of the fact that things could go south at any moment and a person better be prepared for it.
Now, it seems like taking outdoor adventures is about what is most instagram worthy. It’s no longer about what we do just as long as it looks cool to show off.
I think, it’s really about testing who we are. It’s about broadening our awareness of the natural world and our place within it. It’s an adventure because it’s something we do to grow and thrive.
It shouldn’t be about what is popular or what is “in” or what the style is, the outdoors is about getting back to biophilic roots.
It’s a way of life.
As we as human beings move further away from our roles as hunters, gatherers, and survivors, we grow weak and complacent at the core of who we are and lose ourselves.
We gain weight, lose coordination, and are generally unremarkable.
I sincerely love the moments outdoors when I can’t feel my fingers and the snow is blowing and my nerves are on edge because that’s when I feel alive. It’s when I realize that my blood flows and my eyes wander for danger and my legs pump across uneven ground.
That’s the outdoors to me and in my fervor to chase what will turn heads I lose the wild in it and unknowingly succumb to aggrandizing the wilderness.
That’s what’s in.
Well, I live to be out.
That’s an outdoorsman to me.