What's So Great About the Great Outdoors?

Nature. Just the word makes me shudder. There are bugs in nature. The ground is hard. The great outdoors isn't climate controlled and you have to deal with whatever weather Mother Nature hurls your way. And, sometimes after a day of hiking and carrying gear, you wake the next day to discover you've pulled muscles in places you didn't even know muscles existed. So, here's the question of the day...

What's so great about the great outdoors?

Or, how about this one: why do we go camping when we could just stay home? For the second time in three weeks, we packed sleeping bags, blankets, clothing, and food so we could leave our house and sleep on the ground. After picking up my youngest son from a Boy Scout encampment at one end of the county, we rushed home, packed up, and headed to the opposite end of the county to spend the night somewhere else. My son hasn't slept at home in two nights. While I admire his sense of adventure and his ability to fall asleep anywhere, I can't help but lament the fact that I am the only person in the state of Missouri with a sunburn.

Why is it that I am so ill-prepared to deal with nature? Is is because my parents never took us camping? Or, is it because I'm a bug-phobic wimp who can't live without indoor plumbing? Whatever the case, I always come home from camping with a deep sense of failure and a vow to never sleep away from home again.

From now on, or at least until Spring, I'll enjoy Mother Nature from the comforts of home. My forays into nature will have to be in the form of short day-trips for a while. I don't mind bundling up for a brisk autumn hike, but when the temperatures dip below fifty, I'm sleeping inside, thanks.

So, back to the original question. What's so great about the great outdoors? I'll let you know when my sunburn fades.

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