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Life Lessons Learned in the Woods

Life Lessons Learned in the Woods

Update: Scroll down for links to all 7 posts as they're released this season.

If you had to choose your own adventure, what would it be? Would you hike, bike, paddle, climb, or surf?

We're drawn to the outdoors for many reasons. The thrill of adventure, the peace of running water, the desire to find wildlife, or the chance to kick back and relax. It may be to find solitude, or to make memories with people we love.

Sometimes feels impossible to get away, and yet we do it. Why?

Because it’s always worth the effort.

I go for many reasons, perhaps you can relate: to learn my place in the world, to experience vulnerability. To experience wonder. To remember who I am and where I come from. To have fun! To step out of my comfort zone because it is those difficult spaces that I grow. To make new friends. To encourage others. Because on a wilderness trip, life is simple: shelter, food, water, and warmth are only real responsibilities.

The bottom line is that I go to gain perspective on what really matters. Through all of these things, I find connection with myself, with others, with the Earth and with God.

Whatever the reason, when we take trips into the backcountry, we come out changed. 

On my most recent trip, I had the privilege of co-guiding a group of high school youth in a week in the woods. As with any wilderness trip, there were were many lessons learned. Often, the learning comes in the sharing, so I thought I’d share seven of them with you.

Life Lessons Learned from a Week in the Woods

  1. What you carry vs. what you leave behind: it matters.
  2. Managing risk: growing spaces and dangerous places
  3. Attention: the difference between paying attention and the attention economy
  4. The importance of taking initiative: for yourself, for others
  5. Balancing personal goals with group goals
  6. The immense value of trust
  7. How to successfully take a wilderness shower

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing more on each of these topics. Stay tuned.

And we'd love to learn from you too. What lessons have you learned on your outdoor adventures? Share them with us in the comments below or on FB/IG @redbudsuds #thoughtfullyclean.

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Thoughtfully yours,


filed under: #ThoughtfulThursday | Thoughtfully Clean Field Notes

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