Outdoors adventures. If you know me even a little bit, you may know I am not shy of outdoors adventures. Hiking, running, sailing, swimming, rowing, surfing, climbing.. anything that makes you be in the great outdoors. You will find me there . There is something magical about being there , you become aware not only about the beauty of the surroundings but also about the power that nature has. You learn it the hard way too, when a wave crashes on your head and you end up in a washing machine trying not to hit your head while hoping you will get to breathe soon, or while you have too much sail surface on, making hard to impossible to steer, or while you are atop a mountain and you see a storm coming and the path in front of you looks so hard and rugged but going back isn’t an option.
I wrote before about the importance of respecting nature and being careful about planning adventures . I also made a list of sports and how to ensure to make these really sustainable (e.g. sustainable scuba, sup). Today I want to focus on the idea that maybe outdoorsy people are more likely to want to protect it too.
I was recently at an outdoors short film festival , and there was a clear message for nature protection. In many films , from the ‘last honey hunter’ where they mentioned how bees are moving further and further away from men (in an already very remote location ! What are we doing to the world ?), to sustainable environmental tourism (which includes cultural appropriation of the natural territory from the locals) , through to wonderful and powerful underwater images from all around the world with the juxtaposition of a crowded beach in the rich French city of Nice.
The message wasn’t just in the films but also the people presenting and organising the festival used some words to stress the need for protection and the sponsors (outdoor clothes brand and the Italian alpine club) said some sentences that gave out this meaning in their speech and their introductory videos- such as ‘we belong to places , places don’t belong to us’ .
I am wondering what came first ? It’s the old chicken and egg conundrum. Are people who want to protect nature also more likely to be out there exploring it? Or are people exploring it realising how beautiful nature is and want to protect it more ? I think that like many things in life , it’s not a black and white answer but it is a bit of both and so I would love to think that by encouraging people to be outside more they would be more inclined towards nature conservation . Being outside more means also being outside and observing, being outside in different seasons , being outside in the elements with just human powered (or element powered) means of transport. Only then it is possible to realise the greatness of the wild, and it’s harshness . The importance of a cave to shelter in , the need of shade , water , and the ability of life to thrive in most of these conditions, somehow.
And you? Do you love being in nature ? Are you already working towards its protection ?
If yes to the above : Did you become a tree hugger first or and outdoor adventurer/ explorer ?
Or maybe it was an organic simultaneous thing ?
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