lovetheoutdoors (lovetheoutdoors) wrote,

What's the big obsession to the countryside?

To a lot of people, the allure of the great outdoors defies logic. campers have warm, comfortable and spacious homes, yet they leave it all to struggle in the cold outside in a cramped tent in the woods . Participants in extreme sports like mountain climbing are usually healthy and in the prime of life, but they risk both life and limb to push themselves further. What is the attraction? Here are the top 10 reasons people crave the outdoors:

1. Beauty and grandeur

"O beautiful for halcyon skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties," go the evocative words to America the Beautiful. Indoor and city surroundings have their beauty, but an outdoor view untouched by people can take your breath away. Because of this, humans have a strong emotional pull toward the outdoors. Even people who claim to hate the countryside bring plants into their homes, decorate with the colors of nature, and have sunroomsbuilt so they can see the scenery.

2. Spaciousness

"O beautiful for spacious skies" resonate with many people. There is something exhilarating about seeing a stunning panorama spread before you. The feeling is often a great sense of smallness and freedom. In the tiny space of the home or office, people often feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility, as if a lot rests on their shoulders. Being in the countryside puts it all into perspective. The order of the universe will continue even if you don't get that report written in time and even if your children gets a C in science.

3. Stress reliever

Most adults experience a constant low-level stress from the strains of modern life. There are always e-mails to answer, phone calls to return, bills to pay and lots of unfinished tasks to complete. By setting it all aside to row down a lazy river in a boat, hearing nothing but the singing of birds and the smooth slapping of oars against water, the mind becomes quiet.

Although they may complain at first, children benefit from getting away from the playstation and Internet. The constant distractions from various electronics make it hard to concentrate. Parents notice their kids calming down and actually being tired when they go to bed at night.

4. Adventure

although pioneers are no longer settling uncharted areas\places, people still have an inborn\huge desire to explore. Adventure is the main reason hunters traipse into the wild to kill and drag their food home rather than heading to the butchers of the grocery store. There's just no sport in picking up a package of chicken for £2.99 a pound.

5. Physical challenge

Working out at the gym keeps you fit and is relatively safe, but it can quickly get boring. Climbing a cliff face focuses every ounce of attention to the task, and the continual danger keeps it from ever getting boring . For those who like safer challenges, even a walk offers a change of scenery at every turn. Unlike a treadmill, a walk has built-in motivation. An exerciser can simply step off a treadmill when it gets boring , but a day hiker can't just quit in the middle of the mountain.

6. Challenging

Correct use of gadgets can make or break an outdoor experience. In some sports, it can mean the difference between life and death. Gadget-lovers pore over the specifications of everything from sleeping bags to carabiners, and they love every minute of it. Each day out becomes a technical feat. Mountaineers work out the number of pitons required to scale a pitch, ice fishers decide which auger to purchase, and bow-and-arrow hunters choose which kind of weapon to use.

7. Mentally stimulating

Most outdoor adventures require more than brute strength. They challenge the mind. Any excursion into the unknown requires careful planning. Backpacking is one example of this mental challenge. Hikers mull over each tool and piece of clothing to decide whether it is worthy of going into the backpack. Each item is carefully weighed and totaled. Hikers find that the mental challenge of paring down to bare essentials is oddly liberating.

8. Live for the now

A lot of work, home and school life is focused on the future. White collar workers strive for a promotion, parents save for university, and students study for upcoming exams. The details of the present are usually barely noticed. When people go backpacking, mountain biking, rock climbing or canoeing, they are forced to forget about all thoughts about the future. All that matters is making the correct next move. When people live in the moment, immediate surroundings come into sharp focus. Even the food begins to taste better. Campers say there is no better taste than bacon and eggs sizzling in a pan over an open fire.

People who experience near death experiences in the country often say that this intense, moment-by-moment feeling alters their life. They come back with a new perspective for every good thing they have.

9. Camaraderie

Having a mate to share a tent and an outdoor experience brings you far closer than any meal in a restaurant. Encountering dangerous situations, those in which your life is in your mates hands, brings a huge level of trust that few other situations match. One sport that involves extreme trust is rock climbing, in which one friend is on belay and the other fixes the rope.

10. Mind healing

Occasionally getting to the end of your physical ability brings intense spiritual insights. Many people who come face to face with life-or-death ordeals in the wilderness tell of a strong feeling of love propelling them onward, a sense that their loved ones are present in spirit. In 1992, J Davidson and his climbing partner, M, fell into a crevasse while climbing Mount Rainier. Mike died in the accident, and Jim, though grief-stricken over the loss of his pal, felt the presence of his father encouraging him through the dangerous vertical ascent to safety.

Apart from near death situations, many people ponder the order of the universe during their expeditions into the country side, whether they believe in a god or not.

With all the benefits of country life, what is the attraction to the great outdoors
Tags: living outdoors
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