Backyard as Base Camp

backyard as base campDo you want to spend more time in the back woods but don’t have the time? Does limiting yourself to Backyardsman status make you wish you could be a real backwoodsman? I say you’re thinking about it the wrong way. Don’t think about being limited to your back yard. Instead, think of your back yard as base camp. If you put yourself in the right frame of mind, your backyard won’t be a limit on learning backwoods skills…

But I can’t do this in my backyard…

Obviously there are some things you can do in the back woods that you probably can’t do in your backyard. Hunting and fishing are probably out. Unless your backyard is a forest you might not be gathering fire wood. You probably also won’t be tracking wild game or finding ancient artifacts. So the back yard is a poor substitute for the back woods, right? Well, not so fast…

Things you can do in the backyard…

If you want to be a backwoodsman but you’re stuck with your backyard, the last paragraph might be depressing. It shouldn’t be. Sure there are some things you can do in the back woods that you can’t do in your backyard. When you think about it, not that many things though. For starters, in your own backyard, you can…

  • build a fire ring and practice fire starting methods
  • pitch a tent and introduce your family to camping
  • build an emergency shelter
  • build a more permanent shelter
  • practice trapping techniques (yes, even in the city)
  • practice water collection methods
  • learn how to predict weather by watching clouds
  • use your backyard as a base camp for exploring your neighborhood

I could go on but I think you get the idea. Don’t look at your backyard as your entire (non) backwoods world. It’s much bigger than that – but only if you think…

Backyard as Base Camp

The early American mountain men didn’t find some little spot of land, build a cabin, call it their own, then proceed to spend all there time in one little spot. They explored. They may have had a home base, but it was just that – a base for their explorations. I’d bet even Thoreau didn’t spend all his time in his cabin on Walden Pond.

There are lots of backwoodsman things you can do in your backyard, but so much more if you use your backyard as merely a base camp. Hike. Explore your AO (Area of Operation). Gaze at the stars. Gather plants. Learn where you can hunt or fish without driving for hours.

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