Can one get in touch with Nature? Many of my friends and a large portion of the American population went camping last weekend. Many more “authentic” campers scoff at these weekend trips to a barely wooded lot off of a street with a parking space and a bathroom don the street. “Why bother hauling all of the comforts of home along out into nature?” they might ask. I suppose some people just like the stars for a ceiling and a lake for a backyard every now and then.
But back to the survivalists – is it more natural to hike in and set up a campground? scavenge wood? bury your um, waste? If everyone who wanted to sleep in a tent engaged in this type of camping, it would be devastating to the natural environment. It would be trampled, burned and filled with to the brim with feces much like early human settlements. When we trek into nature we bring things with us, or take things from it, and leave things behind. Which brings us back to the initial question: Can one ever get in touch with nature? Or does it recede from our reach?
Perhaps the rough crowd has a point though. Even though we affect nature, hiking in solitude gives nature the upper hand. One can pee in nature, eat its berries, burn its wood, but Nature, it could swallow us, drown us, crush us, starve us, freeze us, etc. Perhaps we can’t perceive that power whilst roasting sugar fluff and listening to jams on our bluetooth speakers.