Hi folks, Clint here, with a quick story about my adventures deep in the wilds, and an invitation:
When I was 25 years old I spent a full year living primitively outdoors with a small group of people in Northern Wisconsin as part of a year-long wilderness immersion program. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding adventures of my life. Being immersed in the wilderness, with little access to the comforts and conveniences of the modern world, had a profound impact on me and strongly contributed to my later decision to start Forest Floor and provide experiences like that to others.
My favorite season during that year, to my surprise, was Winter. This was a surprise for several reasons, not the least of which being that I grew up in central Florida and lived there every winter of my life before my year in Norther Wisconsin. It’s arguable whether that part of Florida even has much of a winter, with temps in January averaging a high of 72˚ F and low of 50˚ F. I was distinctly unprepared for the cold I experienced in northern Wisconsin, with January averages at a high of 21˚ F and a low of -3˚. On one particularly memorable day the temperature dropped to the -20˚’s F with a wind chill of -40˚ F. Of course I only found this out later, as we didn’t have thermometers in our primitive camp, but it was the sort of cold that etches itself into your memory and was easy to identify later when looking at weather data records.
But despite the physical discomfort that can come with the cold, it really was my favorite time of the whole year. In the winter outdoors, the days are short and the sun hangs low in the sky. The demands of meeting basic physical needs simplifies life immensely. There was rarely a question during that winter in WI about what I was gonna do with myself(gather firewood, make a fire, eat something cooked on the fire, go out for one other adventure, return to the fire before dark, go to sleep, repeat). This might sound stifling, and it did take some adjustment, but ultimately I loved it. There is a piercing beauty that comes with the cold air, and a calm clarity that settles over the mind, mirroring the paired down reality of the forest. The part of me that craves a simple life was able to breath a sigh of relief in that place and time. That experience has become a calm center within me, one that I can draw upon when life gets crazy, hectic, and overwhelming.
I want this for your children. I want them to know the simple joys of quality time spent in the winter wilds. I hope you’ll consider having them join us.
Founder & Director, Forest Floor Wilderness Programs