Music touches the soul, and without it, I would argue one has yet to truly live. I would also argue that travel expands the mind, and without it, one has yet to truly live. Being an audiophile and a traveler, like myself, can present a challenge, as it’s tricky to travel, yet appreciate music in your everyday routine, which is how I like it. For, without music in my everyday experience, I feel stale, sluggish, a bit depressive, and tend to find myself wallowing in a funk. Music is what touches my soul, and it’s what gets me moving, and makes me feel such a variety of emotions, that without music, I don’t see how one is truly human; for without the vibe and melody of music moving through ones bones, how can you well up with emotion, or bob your head with the beat of the fire inside?
Cooking in the great outdoors can be quite an experience, from a mixture of adventure to the possibility of having to endure some serious headaches. The latter is all the more true if you’re camping with a group of three or more, because not only do you need enough plates and/or bowls and silverware to get the job done, you also need a skillet and pot big enough. The problem then becomes how much space and weight you can handle on your trip into your campsite. Some folks like to camp in a designated campground, while others, like myself, prefer to get off the beaten path and adventure into the wilderness a bit farther, which means you must lug everything you need in with you.
GSI Outdoors has come out with a new line of bottles that will add value to any adventure. Where I’ve often struggled at finding reliable drink ware that I like, and that adds to my adventure rather than taking from it and becoming a burden, GSI has succeeded. A lot of the entry-level bottles and market prevalent bottles that I’ve tried often seem to be cheaply made, or are overpriced with no extra features. Sadly, I’ve found that many simply fail at their most basic feature, while being poor at retaining heat or cold, or they tend to leak around the lid and will spill down my front and get in my beard every time I take a swig. It’s a small thing, but it can be rather annoying.
The natural world is an amazing place to see, to explore, and to feel deep in ones soul, but even the most beautiful vista can be jam-packed full of a myriad of difficulties, so it’s imperative to plan for anything. Because anything just might catch up to you, especially when you’re least expecting it. Proper preparations can make all the difference when you’re out in the wilderness, which goes beyond packing the right tool or upgrading to a more ergonomic pack. Preparing as well as one can while working within ones means is a chore, but a necessary lesson that every explorer and outdoorsman must learn.
The ideal tent is a work of art. The right tent is more than a safe space to stay for a night, as it can make or break your trip experience. Believe me, I’ve learned the hard way, mainly when I first started traveling, because I focused on stretching my investment as far as I could. But that meant that I was buying the cheapest made tent that was typically the hardest to setup. And yet, it lasted only a few trips, leaked, and ended up ruining one of my trips to Wyoming… But that’s another story for another time.
Backpacking the world and roaming from place to place is a special thing that only people who do it truly understand. There’s a freedom in being able to wander, where there are no time crunches and no external expectations, and (if you’re lucky enough) no end date. It’s not the easiest way to travel, but it certainly can be the cheapest. Sure, your back is burdened with the weight of your rucksack, and everything you own is strapped over your shoulders, but when you can go for months, living out of a pack, and see and experience the different cultures, the landscapes, the difference from where you originated, you’re giving yourself a unique opportunity to be reborn as a new you; one that has seen things that few others have and one that has experienced other cultures, ways of life, and new perspectives that you never knew existed. Because once you’ve expanded your mind to accept the new world view, a real understanding of what life is, can and will grip you, if you search long enough and with a true enough heart.
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