Everybody loves nature, there is no question about that, so why do we not make more of it and enjoy time in the great outdoors? Laziness is the only answer. However, due to the Coronavirus, we all have that opportunity just waiting for us. Foreign travel has all but come to a halt and hotels are not yet open in our home countries, so what better opportunity to discover the delights that nature can bring to us?!
Sadly, many of us would not know where to start when thinking about spending a day in the countryside, let alone turning it into a weekend trip, so thankfully we have drawn up this easy guide to give you all the tips you need to spend a fantastic weekend away indulging in all that nature has to offer.
When planning your ideal weekend away the first question that you need to answer is where you will sleep. The more adventurous among us might consider building their own bivouac, which is great fun in its own right, but to keep things simple we are going to suggest a humble tent. Tents come in all different shapes and sizes and are suitable for all weather conditions so it is important that you research the climate where you are going and buy a tent accordingly. If you are going to be trekking to your destination then something lightweight is recommended but if you are staying local and there are many of you, you could look into hiring a second-hand tent that Scouts or the Armed Forces might use as these can sleep a huge number of people and are incredibly reliable.
Learn to Make a Fire
What do we need to survive? Water, obviously, but food and shelter come a close second. We have already discussed where you will sleep, but how are you going to cook your food? Bringing a gas stove is cheating if you really want to get back to nature, so your only bet is to make your own fire. What, make your own fire?! Yes, I really mean it, and you need nothing that cannot be found in nature in order to cook your food and provide warmth throughout the evening. Head into the undergrowth to find dry, dead wood, and you have the base for your fire. Next, you need some smaller branches for kindling and then some bark or very fine straw to ignite, to start your fire. I'll allow you to bring some matches or use a lighter for the initial aflame, but if you really want to get in tune with nature you should rub sticks and use friction to create that first spark. Give it a go, I promise you that nothing is more rewarding than making your own fire.
A Water Bottle
Being out in the wilderness is challenging enough at the best of times, but doing so without the right equipment can literally be deadly. As we touched upon earlier, water is the most important thing when it comes to survival, so ensuring you have a plentiful supply and a decent water bottle is paramount. You need something practical so one of these cool tumblers can make the difference between life and death as it will safely store your water and keep it fresh. Do not ever be in a position where you are left without easy access to water, or your trip back to nature could end in disaster.
The Correct Clothing
Whether you are venturing out in the middle of winter or the height of summer, your apparel is highly important. You don't want to be too hot or too cold and, more importantly, you need to be protected from the elements. Check the local forecast before you head out and make sure you plan accordingly. It is better to be safe than sorry, so if in doubt carry too much, it's much safer to gain some extra muscle by carrying a heavier load than it is to travel light and find yourself at the mercy of the wind and rain.
As we have learned it is not difficult to spend a weekend away in nature, but it is important to be prepared or you could suffer the consequences. You need to think about where you will sleep, so a good tent is essential, and making a fire is paramount if you want to eat cooked food and provide yourself with some warmth. Water is the key to all life, so make sure you have an adequate water bottle and don't leave yourself to the mercy of mother nature herself by heading out without the correct clothing. "Be prepared" is the Scout motto, and it is a phrase that every one of us should have on our lips when we head out to nature, so, if you follow these simple tips you'll have a wonderful weekend away to take your mind of the current pandemic.
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist