July 28, 2012

Go get lost

No, that's not an equivalent of "go get stupid."

Rather, it's a summary of Nick Kristof's new column about the virtues of hiking, including taking the risk of getting lost.  And I largely agree.

Helicopter parents and other things have made more and more people afraid of the outdoors. (Note: I have actually gotten lost, way in the backcountry of Canyonlands National Park. And, I've had black bears walk through campsites of mine more than once. So I have personal experience.)

Yes, there's a lot of "faddism" in research about nature deprivation today, but a fair amount of it is true. It's a way of grounding ourselves and escaping the relentlessness of the modern American world. (I didn't say "Western"; most Europeans still use much of their longer vacations to get out and about in nature, and aren't so obsessive about being "turned on" either.)

Besides, unless we destroy it, there's good stuff to listen to out there. That, as well as the sights of nature, is part of the relaxation, even healing and nurturing, it offers.

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