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Baby Matters

Natural Accommodations

July 1st, 2016

By Trent Wilkie

A relationship with the outdoors is a lot like becoming a sunrise photographer, the earlier you start the better.

Getting outside, the act of being away from any type of comfort based structure is a wonderful treat. It teaches self-reliance, focus and the ability prioritize what you need or don’t.

There is the whole ‘unplugged’ movement, well, being outdoors makes that a residual effect, not a goal.

What you need is to know your limits. You aren’t comfortable tenting? Find a camper. Aren’t comfortable in a camper? Rent a cabin. The important thing is that you are outside for an extended period of time, with nature within reach.

Even if it is raining and windy, dress proper, and sit within it all. Save for a tornado or something equally as harmful, there is very little that you can’t dress for.

For all the time I’ve spent outside, there is still things I’m learning. Like family stuff.

As an example, I recently had a conversation with my wife about wanting to take our son on a canoe trip down the North Saskatchewan River He is just under two-years-old and would thoroughly enjoy it, but she was a bit hesitant. I assured her that I’ve taken younger kids on long trips. One summer, many moons ago, I took two infants on a three-day canoe trip in Algonquin Park. It had its difficulties (mostly things nobody noticed but me), but the parents enjoyed themselves and everything turned out excellent.

But I was totally missing the point. What she meant is that it was more about her wanting to be there too, and that made sense. I would rather her be there as well for the Bean’s first canoeing experience. I gapped that leap of information. Experiences are best when shared with the whole family and it will definitely be an experience.

It is my opinion that nature gives back what you put into it. A lot like a family.

We just had our first campground camping experience and it was wonderful. A gracious friend lent us their hard sided camper and we spent the long weekend at Pigeon Lake.

It was rainy, cold and windy. It was perfect.

We got to be a family amidst the elements and are better for it.

The Bean got to jump in puddles. Elizabeth and I got to talk about important things. And as a family, we cuddled, played cards and just generally enjoyed each other’s company.

This is a new experience for me.

I wasn’t in the back country bush crashing for firewood, I was eating hot meals from a sandwich maker with the ones I loved the most. But the outdoors, the confines, the adaptation, the clean air...all of it, added to the experience.

When you think about it, we are all still mammals. We like to exist in natural environments, awe we should.

Just as long as we prepare for the worst and let the best happen.

Trent Wilkie is a writer/journalist/performer in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. Trent has written for everything from CBC Radio (The Irrelevant Show) to The Canadian Emergency News to Adbusters to the Edmonton Sun and Trent is also a member of Mostly Water Theatre, a sketch comedy troupe and has also performed in several Edmonton International Fringe Festivals and had varying degrees of success. As well, Trent has also been a wilderness canoe guide for over 10 years. Having paddled all over Canada, he considers the deep dark woods a therapy that only comes at the cost of comfort. When taking time off from trying not to be boring, Trent likes to relax while watching horror movies and trying to write the perfect three chord song.

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