The soothing sounds of evening crickets

The strange experiment of camping out on your backyard deck

Michael "Mick" Bisignani

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Fall has come here in the Northeast. Cooler temperatures. Crisper air, low humidity, blue skies and great sunsets. It is a bit early to talk about leaves, but soon they will be turning colors, and we will experience a great autumnal kaleidoscope of yellows, reds, browns and every warm shade in between. It sets a tone for wanting to camp out, to spend and experience time in nature. The sound of crickets is still loud, vivid and alive during this time. It’s a melody that plays , incessantly in the background and makes for a magical time. More on crickets later.

Mountain house Photo by Author

I have been watching, somewhat obsessively, all sorts of brushcraft videos on YouTube. I have seen videos of survivalists spending days in the frigid woods of Alaska and Canada, experiencing crazy subzero nocturnal temperatures of minus 20 degrees and lower. It’s mind boggling that there are people that enjoy pushing themselves to such extremes. Love it , it is indeed exciting. Does this mean I am capable of such a test ? Probably not, but nevertheless, I am tempted to test the waters and, at least fantasize about spending some time on my own in the woods.

How does one prepare physically and mentally for such an adventure ? Which brushcraft skills are needed? What equipment must one bring?

Last time I camped out, and it was indeed a long time ago, I remember how unprepared my friend and I were. We were super excited to do so, almost as if we were tackling to scale the side of Mount Everest. After a two hour hike with over-packed backpacks, we reached our spot in an somewhat alpine , serene mountain plateau, situated at around 1300 meters (close to four thousand feet). It is place where it gets cool enough at night, around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, especially in October. We had enough food to feed a small army. We had a tent and sleeping bags. Yet, we had no hats. Sadly, we did not know about sleeping pads and we learned our lesson. When we woke up in the morning, after having slept directly on the ground, protected only by our lite sleeping bags, our bodies were stiff, frozen. Our limbs were so cold, that they, for a moment, did not respond to our brain’s commands to move. Scary at the time, strange in retrospect. Water was not an…

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Michael "Mick" Bisignani

Professional Technologist, Aspiring Food Celebrity. Catholic spreading messages of Empathy and Equality.