What is a Woodsman Without the Woods?

Cranbery Campsite

What is a woodsman without the woods?  This is the question that I have been asking myself for the past several days.  What is a woodsman without the woods?

I’ve had this nagging feeling for some time that it’s difficult to blog about the backwoods when I don’t spend near as much time there as I’d like.  I dream of spending weeks hidden away in the backcountry, hunting, fishing and foraging for my subsistence.  What is a woodsman without the woods?  A man.  A man with responsibilities and a life away from the trout-filled rivers, moonlit nights, crackling campfires, and solitude.  I love my wife.  I love my children.  I even have other hobbies aside from being a woodsman – I paint, read (finished Atlas Shrugged last night), smoke a pipe, play guitar, etc.  The point is this, even a devout woodsman must still be responsible and tend to his business before considering his own personal desires.

I spoke with my wife at length about my dilemma.  I explained to her how I felt and what was bothering me to my very core.  To her credit, she handled it quite simply.  “Get some trips on the calendar and make them happen” was essentially her response.

So within the timespan of an hour, I went from having nothing on my calendar other than my annual trip to the Cranberry, to having a two night and two river canoeing and camping adventure for our anniversary in June, a one or two night family outing, a possible one night solo adventure, a three night outing in Fayette County, another three-nighter and a two-nighter near Harpers Ferry in July and a possibility of something in August – not to mention the eight day trip to the Cranberry Backcountry in October.

Duncan by the Fire

I can’t wait to be back to the backcountry!

I suppose that there is a lesson to be learned here.  If you want to enjoy outdoor adventures, you have to get off of your posterior and make it happen.  Get it on the schedule.  Carve it in stone.  Write it on your hand.  Do whatever it takes but make the plans and then make it happen.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like Public Service Announcement and Thinking Outside the Box.


4 thoughts on “What is a Woodsman Without the Woods?

    • It was eating at me pretty bad. Fortunately, I have a supportive wife and family who understand my need for time in the wild. Not to mention that my wife was completely on board with a canoe/camping/fishing trip for our anniversary.

      I’m definitely excited to get out again. It feels like it’s been forever. Some of the trips should prove to be excellent material for SmoothingIt so I’ll certainly be doing trip reports for all of them.

  1. I’m in the same boat. Right now I have nothing on the calendar. I think that I’ll be following suit along with you. Sporadic overnighters and two day trips are better than my couch!

    • Indeed. I naturally gravitate towards the couch. But even when not heading for the outdoors, I still spend as much time outside in my yard or on my deck as possible. One or two day trips are definitely better than nothing at all. But I always look forward to my week long adventures into the backcountry.

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