WAO – simply snow – WEEKEND
uit de pen van outsider Katriina Kilpi van Forest Mind

Katriina Kilpi van Forest Mind  ging met We are Outsiders twee dagen de sneeuw in. Als Finse konden we haar natuurlijk niet veel wijsmaken over het witte goed dat zo massaal uit de lucht viel. Ze schreef er een leuke blogpost over. Je leest hem hier:

 

This weekend I took part in the Simply Snow weekend in the High Fens of Belgium. This trip was organized by We Are Outsiders, a great young Belgian company for outside adventurers. They booked the the camping area, brought the firewood, lead the 15k hike in the snow and kept us well fed.

It was the first time for me in this part of the country in the winter time. Though I had heard that there can sometimes be snow on the ground, the amount of it surprised me completely. It was a return to winter.
It was also the first time I slept in a tent in the winter. I had my doubts about the possible poor quality of sleep given the conditions and my poor feet that tend to get cold and stay that way. Another thing that had me doubting was joining a big group of people I didn’t know in advance.

But boy, am I glad I went! What an all around positive experience, with good, deep sleep and nice, easy going company to top it all off. I also gave myself a pat in the back for going alone even if my initial companion had to cancel, as I was more open to chat with new people, got to know many new individuals with new thoughts and stories to share, and had the chance to stretch my mind open a bit more.

Though I have always found the “gear fanaticism” somewhat amusing, I now start to understand it. In these conditions, let´s face it: if you do not have a good mattress, tent, sleeping bag and clothes to keep you dry and warm, the entire trip is ruined.

I also start to see why many Flemish people like camping so much. When one lives in such an urban region of the world like the Belgian Flanders, there´s no better way to get a full dose of nature in a short amount of time than to spend a weekend, literally, lying on it. I imagine it also brings with it a sense of freedom to be able to escape all those social obligations and be able to just enjoy the simple things like the surrounding nature, the relaxed mood of yourself and your friends brought on by that surrounding nature. The escape from the routines. The freedom to not brush your hair or care about what you look like (as long as whatever you have on keeps you warm). The laughter, the feeling of adventure, the good food, drinks, sitting around the fire. The silence of the night and the idea of lying under millions of stars and being surrounded by a forest that is home for the deer, wild boar and other such creatures.

Though this weekend was much louder and faster paced than my usual forest outings, it definitely included elements of forest therapy in it. Nature does, after all, improve our general wellbeing, no matter how we choose to “take” it in. I am sure everyone returned home recharged and feeling a bit more connected to the bigger picture.

x

Katriina Kilpi