Saturday, November 22, 2008

When You Can't Escape

The best laid plans... on hold.
Just when I thought we were on the verge of getting back into the wilderness, backpacks and all, G. has had a bad flare-up of the tendons in his arm. That puts any kind of hardcore activity on the back burner for a couple more weeks at least.

I've had my own challenges with injuries that took tramping off the menu for weeks at a time. A few summers ago, just after Christmas, I injured my foot while we were taking a casual stroll through a vineyard! Little did I know that what I thought was an ankle sprain was actually a small stick embedded in my foot and causing infections galore.

So what do you do when you're stuck at home with an injury? What's the substitute for getting out there and being active?

Here are my suggestions:

Shopping - This is one I've been doing a bit too much lately. New sleeping bag, new tarp, new hydration bladder. But even just window shopping for gear, or catching up on the latest gear reviews, can keep your head in the camping world while you're unable to participate.

Planning - Take out your guide books and maps, and start deciding where you are going to go as soon as you are able. What new areas have you been meaning to check out? Which of your favourite routes have you not done for a while. When you get the all-clear to head out, you'll be ready to roll.

Armchair Travel - So maybe you're in no shape to climb Everest at the moment. But you're more than capable of renting the DVD of "Into Thin Air"! Other armchair classics for the outdoors include Touching the Void, Grizzly Man, Deliverance, Into the Wild, and if you feel like extra cheese, The Blair Witch Project. After seeing so many trips turn out badly you'll be glad you're stuck at home!

A Good Book - Whether it's Bill Bryson's attempt at the Appalachian Trail (A Walk in the Woods), or Caroline Hamilton's all-woman expedition to the South Pole (South Pole 2000), you're sure to find a paperback adventure to keep you occupied for a while. I particularly enjoyed A Blistered Kind of Love, the tale of a young couple walking the Pacific Crest Trail written in alternating chapters by both of them.

Social Networking - The buzzword of the decade! The number of outdoors forums out here in interwebby-world is astounding. Get interactive, join a conversation about something you're interested in. Or just lurk in the background checking out other people's discussions. Heck, if you're really desperate you could read people's outdoor blogs! (I mean, um, anyway...)

So there you have a few suggestions for the next time you're stuck at home due to an injury, illness or just a period of bad weather in your neck of the woods. If you have a favourite book, movie or time-killer that keeps you in the wilderness mood, let me know in the comments.


Outdoor Culture said...

Sex in a bed?

You can always string your tarp up from the light fittings, put on a birdsong CD and throw a few leaves around the room ...

Al x

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