Ted Ehrlich is a backpacker and climber that contributes to TrailGroove Magazine. More of his work can be seen on his blog Mtn Nut.
Why do we obsess about the destination? We hyperfocus on the goal, the trip at the end of the road, the special place that needed a special permit reserved six months in advance by the luck of a lottery draw. The plane tickets, the hotel reservations, the airport parking shuttle. It seems that we can sometimes forget the adventure and freedom of the road, forget what it’s like to explore the world in person. Living out of a car for a long road trip should be a rite of passage for Americans, young and old. Our country is so vast, one trip will never be enough, igniting fervor inside for a journey through the nation.
As winter slowly passes and spring and summer blossoms, my mind ignites with the desire to visit the desert. The idea of sleeping in my car under a raw sky is far better than staying in the comforts of home; it seems almost insane not to go. Arming myself with guidebooks, topo and road maps, bits of research from far too much day dreaming at work, a bag of gear, a reliable hatchback, and no itinerary. A ramble though the southwest is calling out. “Make each day a new horizon” would be the only law to abide by while searching for peace.
Spring in the desert is proof that life can be beautiful and harsh at the same time. Where vastness is comforting and water has a new appreciation. Where red sand can get places that you didn’t even know existed, and a week without a shower is commonplace. Get dirty and explore, not the destination, but the ride.
Active Lifestyle, Backpacking
As climbers, mountaineers, skiers, hikers, paddlers and cyclists, we spend our days searching for the path less traveled. The enticement of exploration and adventure is what drives us to seek out secluded peaks and uncharted trails. For the most part, we seek this adventure to quench our own thirst, but what if we could do more? What if we could do our part to protect the places and wildlife that we search for?
Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation is helping us bridge that gap.
In the wake of a changing climate and a rapidly expanding human population, it is imperative that the choices we make are based on relevant scientific information. We know that the collection of data can be expensive, time consuming and physically challenging.
Adventure athletes constantly travel to areas of great need. These ambassadors of the outdoors often want to do more for the areas they travel in, but simply have not acquired the skills to do so. Throughout the last several months, we have been organizing an army of adventure athletes turned citizen-scientists who are now collecting scientific data on all seven continents.
The time is now to harness the unique abilities of people who are already going to difficult to reach areas. There are thousands of people in remote areas every day who are ready, willing, and able to help protect our planet’s most vital resources; they simply need the tools to do so.
If you’d like to learn more about how to help, visit adventureandscience.org. For a limited time, we’re giving away Talon 11 packs to those who donate $150 or more to the cause. Support the cause today!
adventure, causes, Conservation
Get outside. Explore. From all of us at Osprey Packs, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season! And cheers to many more adventures in 2011!
adventure, Osprey Culture