Not to long ago I wrote up a blog titled ‘10 things only an outdoor enthusiast would understand‘ and it received a lot of attention (tons of comments/likes/shares). I think that’s because outdoor enthusiasts are a unique breed. Something I’ve noticed is that non-outdoor enthusiasts see us as ‘crazy’, ‘all over the place’, ‘unstable’, ‘day dreamers’, ‘dirty’ etc. But just like anybody on this earth, we all have our own unique struggles. For the true outdoor enthusiast, “the struggle is real” in many cases. Below is a list of 10 struggles we all deal with.
We often prefer the ‘natural look’ and are perfectly okay with getting dirty. We can easily go multiple days without changing our clothing, showering, shaving or brushing our hair or teeth when we are out in the back country. We buy clothing and gear knowing they are going to be put to good use – using things until they are no longer ‘useable’. If someone buys us a nice sweater or t-shirt guaranteed it will end up with a couple rips or stains. We are comfortable going out in public looking a little ‘disheveled’, as if we just stumbled out of the wilderness (though high chances we probably did). Even though we may experience weird glares or negative comments from other ‘non outdoor enthusiasts’, ‘germaphobes’ or ‘clean freaks’, we choose to embrace it and see it as adding character. At least we have each other to relate to!
2) Early mornings
We take advantage of our days and rarely like to sleep in. Early wake ups mean tons of noise around the house, stomping around, making breakfast, packing and getting ready. Our guilt kicks in if we miss to many sunrises. When we are up, everyones up! Those living with us, who are not early risers, may see us as a pain, or annoying. ‘Can you please be quiet!’, ‘Can you not just sleep in one day!?’ These comments are not foreign to us. We also don’t really like staying out late because we need to be energized for our early morning adventures the next day. In that case we are the ones telling others to quiet down at night. Unless we are already outside, then late nights filled with stargazing or other activities are something we would be up for.
3) Different priorities
‘To attend the sister in laws wedding, family reunion or an old friends birthday party, over an ‘epic’ 3 day backcountry hike with a few friends?’…. Mmm that is a tough choice. These decisions are ones we are constantly faced with and we often lean towards the ‘adventure’ option, which often gets us in trouble. Also the more time we spend outside the more we find fancy events, people, crowds or loud places to be uninteresting and more of a ‘pain’… ‘Do we have to dress up? Or can I wear my ‘comfies?’ Unless these events are going to be held outside, or involve some sort of ‘adventure’, then perhaps we may reconsider. Friends and family to the outdoor enthusiast are probably no ‘newbies’ when it comes to compromising.
Because we are constantly outdoors, or ‘on the go’ we can be difficult to get ahold of. With no Wi-Fi in the forest we may not be connecting with the ‘outside world’ on a regular basis. We find more of a connection with the trees, mountains, water and wildlife most of the time. It becomes more and more difficult for us to relate to and communicate with people who do not appreciate the outdoors like we do. With that said, we prefer to surround ourselves with other outdoor enthusiasts, who think like, and understand us. We also enjoy our solitude and spending time alone with Mother Nature herself. The word ‘romance’ according to the dictionary means excitement, adventure and something extremely real. Here at tentree we believe that ‘romance’ should describe our relationship with nature. She rarely lets us down.
5) Risk takingBeing an outdoor enthusiast comes with its pros and cons. Whether a hiker, biker, skier, white water kayaker, mountaineer, etc. There is always a certain level of risk involved. We always find ourselves wanting to go higher, farther, longer and taking bigger and bigger risks. We are drawn to risk, fear and pushing our limits and believe that, ‘If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up to much space’. With that said it may leave friends, family members and significant others constantly worried or concerned, that they may possibly hurt themselves, get lost, or get into some sort of trouble.
We always want to be on the move, exploring and seeing new things. We don’t deal well with boredom or repetition. With that said it can be difficult for us to stay in one place for too long. Picking one place to live forever, as well as one stable job can be difficult decisions for us. We don’t always know what we want and hate feeling tied down. This may make it hard on other people in our lives, such as a boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other who does value stability and wants to settle down, start a family or have kids earlier on. Though if you want to have ‘fur babies’ aka dogs, then we will probably be open to that conversation.
We would rather spend our money on outdoor gear, gas, travel and adventures, then on saving for things like a new vehicle, a house, University or an engagement ring for that matter. Travel and adventure is not always cheap and when we enter any outdoor store or start ‘google-ing’ trips our wallets often end up taking a beating. We can be impulsive in certain situations and fail to think long term. This can make it hard on both us and others in our lives, when we continue to come home with new ‘outdoor’ purchases.
Due to the fact we love our outdoor activities so much, we will exert most of our energy and time into them, which leaves less time for other things that may be more important. The things we may procrastinate doing are unique to everyone depending on our situation though some may be: homework, paper work, replying to emails, making phone calls, errands, cleaning house, yard work, washing our vehicle (I mean it is just going to get dirty again anyway), enrolling in school, applying for a ‘real job’, and just organizing our ‘lives’ in general. We are good at avoiding doing certain things, though it often ends up biting us back in the long run.
9) High energy
We hate wasting days and love being active. We have a certain energy and love for life that some people may find annoying, if they aren’t into the outdoors. If we aren’t outside being physically active, we are most likely being ‘verbally active’ and talking about where we are going to go and what we are going to do next. We will want to constantly share our past, current and future adventure stories, plans and dreams. If you are going to hang out with an outdoor enthusiast, be prepared for lots of listening and hearing the same stories over and over again. If you enjoy watching TV for multiple hours, spending time indoors on a regular basis and lots of silence, you may find yourself irritated. We will try to convince you to join us on our adventures, and that the outdoors is place you too should spend most of your time. Life is too short to spend it on the couch or inside!
We often get caught up in our own heads, daydreaming of our next adventure or ‘escape’. Because of this we may have troubles living in the moment when were not outside, whether it be while driving, out shopping, at family events or with you. With day dreaming comes selective hearing, and with that we may tune out what others are saying because we are to busy trying to sort out our own thoughts. Especially if the conversation has nothing to do with the outdoors, or you potentially telling us how we need to be ‘cleaner’ and need to learn to sleep in every once and a while, sort out our priorities, communicate better, be safer, stabilize our lives, budget, stop procrastinating and just ‘chill out’. In that case, we most likely did not hear you say anything at all. 😛