Archive for February, 2009

The benefits of spending time outdoors–whether it be a major backpacking trip or just sitting on the grass under a tree–are for all intents and purposes, inarguable.

Fresh air, exercise, sunshine, new experiences . . . no one in their right mind would contend that these aren’t healthy, important, and fun.

But why do we at Great Outdoors Academy find that writing, drawing, or photographing our experiences outdoors are just as healthy, important, and fun?

First of all, and perhaps most mundanely, it helps us remember. If we stumble upon a great campsite, walk, or vista, we want to mark down how, when, and why we got there so we can return some day, or tell a friend how to get there.

Secondly, it helps us connect in real time with the place we find ourselves in. Most of the time, our minds are swirling with thoughts and very few get through to the point that we actually notice them and how they are affecting us. Writing helps us know what is going on in the lives of our minds at any given moment.

Writing outside, we get to discover ourselves and the world at the same time.

You won't know until you get there.

You won't know until you get there.

Last but not least, we find that what we write about, we care about. If we sit by a clear mountain stream and take photos, write about, or paint the pristine scene we are enjoying–only to come back a year later and find it littered with camp trash, we tend to take that personally, and want to do something about it.

Long story short (pun intended) the expressive arts help us belong to the outdoors, and help the outdoors belong to us.


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The Camping Guitar

Anyone who loves the outdoors and also plays the guitar (even if you just know a few chords!) should have a camping guitar.

Sitting around the campfire, you’re the rock star you always thought you should be. Hey, who else is around to steal your thunder, right? All the attention is right where it should be–on you, my friend.

We’ve always found that people love a good singalong, and they’ll really let loose with their vocal prowess much more readily in the wild–if only to keep the bears away.

So what makes a good camping guitar? Well naturally, it’s got to be an instrument that you don’t mind scratching up a bit, dragging through the dirt, leaning on a tree–even using for firewood if necessary (kidding, sort of). Other than that, it’s just important to pick something that will stay in tune.

But the two most important things are: don’t ever spend any more than fifty bucks for a camping guitar, and never EVER play “The House at Pooh Corner” by Kenny Loggins.

campfire guitar

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