I can tell by comments on my YouTube videos and by phone calls and emails that there seems to be a growing problem for people in coping with fear while outdoors. I find more and more folks saying how concerned they are about bugs or other crawlies, and especially they are scared of the predators.
Bugs and animals are not the only thing people are scared of, there is a fear of injury, sickness, or being lost or stranded. Recently I made a video about using a hatchet, apparently it was nail biting watching me demonstrate how I use a hatchet. I was quite amazed at the response.
So here I am most always camping solo, and how am I not scared to death? Think about it, I don’t like camping around people that much, so not only am I solo, I am remote solo much of the time. If something happened to me how could I be rescued?
I don’t really think about it much, if I did I could work myself into a frenzy, and that would ruin my camping experience. This is not to say that I never worry, well maybe worry is the wrong word, I am usually always exercising a degree of caution. I know things can happen, accidents of my own making, dangers or injuries that may be totally out of my control.
I have camped in areas of very recent, even current bear activity, camped at the base of cliffs in a storm which caused boulders to tumble down, I have camped in the Southeast US in terrible thunderstorms, I’ve tried my best to sleep in forests during storms with high winds causing a cracking and thundering noise as large trees tumble to the ground.
So How Do I Deal With It?
First of all I’m not trying to say here that none of the above situations caused me any concern. I do think about what is going on around me and of course in my head I think of the possibilities. The key is not to dwell on things. I try to be cautious where I go and where I camp, I use common sense strategies to avoid attracting danger. In the end, when I have done all that I can reasonably do, I have to let myself live with it. I don’t think I have ever lost a night of sleep over these fears. I deal with them in my mind then I relax and go to sleep.
There are always uncontrollable things in this world and I have to think that most likely I’ll be OK. Something else to consider is this, being in a city, in civilization, presents certain dangers, perhaps many more dangers than one would encounter out in the wilds. To many people the wilderness is foreign to them, they visit occasionally but not enough to be at ease, whereas the city is their home they are used the dangers posed by living there, and they “write them off” in their minds so that they hardly notice. I often tell people that driving your vehicle to your camping spot may be more dangerous than camping is.
I think that the trick is not to let your mind run away with you, it can imagine so many things that you might be tempted to pack up and go home. Acknowledge threats, verify you have done what you can, then move on. I always make it a priority to get a good nights sleep, that is paramount to me. I do what I have to do to be comfortable enough to fall asleep.
One time for example there were bears milling around in the woods that surrounded my camp, and on that occasion I could not relieve mind enough to go to sleep. In the end I laid down by the fire, I piled up enough wood to maintain a small fire all night and I went to sleep, I had a great sleep.
I have a personal VLOG where I talk at length about this very subject, check it out below.
Thanks and the best to all of you,