At Home in Nature

  (Agate, Colorado)
TwoInTents Blog
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Forget the tent

When camping out in the wilderness, it is easy to bring too much.  In considering what to leave behind, give a thought to forgetting the tent.  By bringing a stout sleeping bag (Coleman offers some very nice affordable bags) and a large tarp, you are sure to stay dry and warm.

The tarp should be big enough to wrap under the sleeping bag to act as a moisture barrier with the ground, and also on top to prevent rain and dew from wetting you from above.  It should be long enough to tuck under your feet and keep the wind out, and tuck over your head if you wanted to shield yourself from the wind and weather (be careful to leave a ventilation hole: don’t tuck yourself in too tight).

Veteran campers will acknowledge that on a clear night, bagging is better than tenting, and only under severe conditions will a tent be preferred to the convenience and pleasure of the raw natural experience of bagging. 


Have you camped in your backyard?

A fun adventure for children is camping in the woods, but the next best thing is camping out in the backyard.  While a safe place for the family to explore the basics of camping and do a “dry run” of a real camping adventure with children, it provides enough excitement and interest for the children to keen their interest in the adventure of wilderness camping while sharpening their minds to the skills they will require later.

Stay up late and watch the stars and the moon, listen to the night animals.  Did they know they had so many nighttime neighbors?  Give a thought to the poor who are forced to camp in the city with or without a tent.  There are so many big thoughts for a small night out.  Such thoughts give confidence in school.

Later, when the kids grow up they will think back on the occasional nights out and remember the lessons you taught them, and begin to think of the entire world as their backyard.


How best to enjoy wild foods

One of the best ways to appreciate the changing of the seasons is to get a CSA membership and, as the parade of flavors passes by your plate, even a casual observer can take notice that nature provides exactly what we're hungry for when we're hungry for it.

Foods rich in protein, vitamins and minerals in the spring, cool juicy treats in the summer and fatty and starchy foods in the autumn.  Winter's austere love can be found any time of year (winter foods are hardly seasonal, whether it is the preserved berries or the delicious tree barks), but (isn't it funny?) we only notice it when we need it most.

Yet it is far better to watch the new pine needles, soft and tender, emerge from their paper tents and grow hardened as they mature; to see how Winter's austere love warms into Spring's soft hopes.  To taste summer is far different from witnessing the daughter of Winter maturing into Summer, to see her hopes fruit in the birth of her son autumn.  To rest yourself at the banquet with your fellow creatures surrounding you, to join in the happy songs of the birds and the insects as they give thanks for another year's bounty is easier when you are out of doors.

To camp outdoors! 

One of the first things we advise to our customers (whether they subscribe or buy just a single box) who want to know how to best enjoy the food we bring them is to camp outdoors.  Whether it is on your balcony or in your backyard, find yourself at home in nature!  Men, women and children are not meant to lock themselves away from the world inside castles of stone or stockades of wood.  Let down your defenses and you will find what good friends you have waiting outside!

Then, bring your kitchen outdoors, too.  Your barbeque, your campstove, a small fire pit - this is how food (wild or domestic) is meant to be prepared.  Under the stars, sun and clouds food cooks better and tastes better.  Whether you are cooking your pinole or your pasta, your fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, teas, nuts... when you hear the breeze in the trees above you or the coyote in the distance, the meadowlark and robin encourage you to sing along while you cook.  And everyone knows that singing makes food taste better.

Then, laying in your tent or in your sleeping bag in the open, the gentle sounds of the night singing stories of the primordial childhood of your noble species, stories about your fathers and mothers, uncles and aunts, cousins distantly related across distant seas, you remember the sea, you remember the mountains, you remember your home and look about you - you really will! - and see you are still there.

No matter how chaotic life becomes, the constancy of nature's love reminds us we are at home, the joy in the company of our fellow creatures reminds us we are at home.  No longer prisoners in our castles and stockades, we work harder at school and our places of business because our bodies are filled by good food and our hearts are filled by good hope - the hope that never disappoints. 

If you keep an animal in an environment that it is alien to, if you cage it or take it away from its natural environment, it will have stress.  A camping lifestyle is for everyone.  Whether you like a yurt, an outfitter's tent, a backpacker's tent, a tipi or just to sleep out under the stars, there is a place in your heart that needs the campfire and evening song, that will not be satisfied by television or electric stovetop burners, but thirsts for the cool, clear draughts that has satisfied humanity for ages.  Can't you feel it?

Don't ignore it.  Beneath it, there is a place in your gut that hungers for wild foods and will accept nothing else.  Feed your hunger, slake your thirst!  Give some of our wild foods a FREE try today!

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