“Be independent, but not impudent. See all you can, and make the most of your time; “time is money;” and, when you grow older, you may find it even more difficult to command time than money.” – How to Camp Out by John Mead Gould , 1877
When I think of my time outdoors, I think of the time spent.
Oh, sure, there’s some gear over the years I’ve used, and think about how it enabled the time spent outdoors or seemed to work well.
But, in the end, they are tools that enable Joan and I to be safe comfortable, and enjoy our time outside.
When I got divorced and burnt out from a job that paid well but robbed me of my outdoor time, I thought long and hard about what I wanted and what was among the things I needed in my life.
I need to live in a place with easy access to the outdoors and an area that inspires a love for it, a strong community, someone to share it with, and, of course, the time to enjoy it all.
Traveling a handful of times a year to spend time outdoors would not be acceptable. I’d find it hard not to get stuck in traffic for hours to get outdoors acceptable.
Indeed, I always wonder if my free time will be respected as in my past corporate life and if I’ll have time to enjoy it overall; the past experiences did not make for a sustainable lifestyle.
And that leads to the gear pick of the year for not just me but very much for Joan as well – “The Gift of Time.”
More than any gear, what we appreciate most is the time to enjoy it all.
We’ve crafted a life that routinely gives us blocks of time to enjoy arguably some of the most striking scenery in the United States, if not the world. Within two hours of our home are alpine mountains, red rock desert, canyons, and some of the grandest examples of archaeology for this area’s vibrant culture and history.
And if we extend our travel occasionally to three or four hours for a more extended block of time? We are in the heart of Colorado’s most extraordinary pocket of wildness.
We don’t have to spend our time bank funds too profoundly to get outside, nor do we get it robbed of us.
And if Joan or I don’t foresee ourselves taking off for months soon, we’ll take advantage of this gift to spend weeks in the wild places.
Any time spent outdoors is the most valuable item for any outdoor person- months, weeks, a few days, a Saturday, or an after-work stroll.
Get outside and enjoy it however you can. Any time you can spend time outdoors is a gift.