Each year, countless people leave the built environment of cities and towns to visit national parks and enjoy a natural, unspoiled landscape. Here are two easy tips for enjoying the outdoors even more.
Linger long enough to sketch a scene
Whether you stick to a well-beaten path or go adventurously further afield, there are a number of ways in which you can increase your enjoyment of the restorative solitude that earlier generations took for granted. For those blessed with some measure of artistic ability, sketching creates a visual record of time spent in the bush and also personalizes those experiences in a way that photography generally cannot match.
- Sketching requires you to pay attention to the plants and scenery around you.
- All you need is a sketchpad and a pencil or a fibre-tipped pen and perhaps some coloured pencils.
- A watercolour effect can be achieved by drawing with water-soluble coloured pencils and then going over the finished picture with a wet paintbrush.
Keeping a written record
Back home, as you reflect on your trip, a written record of your experiences in the field can be an invaluable memory aid.
- A diary can be much more than a day-to-day account of the places you visited. The best journals often ignore the routine aspects of life on the trail, focusing instead on unusual incidents and evoking the spirit of the place.
- A notebook for a field journal should be sturdy and small enough to keep close at hand.
- If you are on the move there is usually little time to keep up a detailed commentary. It is best to limit yourself to a miscellany of notes and impressions — everything from bird and mammal sightings to personal reflections and even poetry.
- Use a pencil to write with: unlike pens, they do not leak or run out of ink, and are handy for sketching in the margin or making notes on a map.
There is something relaxing and peaceful about returning to nature. Whether for a short day-trip or a long camping adventure, these tips are sure to help you process the beauty around you and make sure you remember every detail of your trip.