This last week the buzz around the house is – preparing for elk hunting, especially from our 12 year old son as this is his first time hunting. He has been practicing with his bow for months now and is very excited to hike into the wilderness to camp. However, the focus has been on practicing his with his bow and not the thought of camping in the wilderness, out of cell phone reach with only the things that you hike the 4 miles in with. As the time has gotten closer, and he and I began preparing his items for his backpack, many interesting conversations have taken place. I can’t help but think of all the various theories we quote, discuss, and write. For example, the conversation about the backpack being too heavy if you bring that. Or, well you don’t have to bring toilet paper, but what will you use in the woods – oh no there is no bathroom where you are going. Yes there have been bathrooms when we camped before but this is different. Well you can bring that, but if the battery dies, there is no place for re-charging. Don’t forget food, you will need food – what kind of food would you like to have and will that work for hiking it in? There were countless conversations like this all week, oh how I wish I had recorded them.
You ask why does this stand out to me – well I will tell you – my son who is 12 years old, who has traveled, camped and hiked before, showed me just how much our culture is dependent on modern conveniences. Almost everything in his bag first go around was removed for final packing. His normal automatic assumptions about the environment he would be hiking into for camp are based on his daily life and various camping facilities we have stayed in. This is a new experience for him, not only the hunting part, but staying in the wilderness for an extended time part – a new cultural experience that is out of his already established culture view of hiking and camping. This stood out to me in a big way through our conversations. Well at the very least he will have to process all the new experiences and decide how to incorporate them into his cultural view.