Backcountry to Quarantine: Skills to Maintain

Backcountry to Quarantine: Skills to Maintain

by John Harris Alexander

In the outdoors, we like to have the mentality of being prepared for whatever might get thrown at us through building the mind, body, and spirit to endure challenges ahead. Many of these skills we build up are transferrable to our current scenario where we are facing a pandemic and some key skills are outlined below:

Embrace the Discomfort:

The outdoors aren’t always the most comfortable place whether it’s getting into base camp a bit late and having to set up in the dark or a frigid cold crossing of a river bed before a day of hiking. While there are definitely ways to increase comfort in every scenario, in the outdoors discomfort can help us grow immensely. The discomfort we are all facing in the face of COVID-19 is a similar scenario; we can choose to grow and learn or we can choose to function at the whim of this virus.

Adapt to Rapid Change:

When on trips in the outdoors we prepare as much as possible for what we think mother nature is going to throw at us but she’s always ready to throw a curveball and change the weather on us. The ability to adapt to that quickly approaching thunderstorm can be used now too. With different restrictions being leveraged each day and a seemingly never-ending string of limitations to our daily lives, we need to comprehend, form, and implement new plans to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe.

Communicate with Each Other:

With outdoor trips that we lead here at Tulane, we always emphasize communication as it helps build community and understanding among members of a trip. Communication helps us set expectations with one another and express how we are all doing. In current times, communication is just as important. We need to stay in contact with each other to carry forward the relationships and communities which we have built. Joe Pinsker had some great ideas about how to stay in contact and continue socializing in The Art of Socializing During a Quarantine published in The Atlantic. These connections can be what help all of us move forward through these times, together.

About the Author:

Name: John Harris Alexander Year in School:Senior Major: Environmental Studies Hometown: Waco, Texas Favorite Outdoor Activity: Paddling Favorite Camp Food: Hudson Bay Bread Ideal Outdoor Trip Destination: Backpacking the full Pacific Coast Trail If you were stranded on a desert island, what/who would you bring with you: A Volleyball and some FedEx boxes