Have you ever, while lying in your bed, thought to yourself, “man...my sleeping bag would be so cozy right now!”? Have your friends and family expressed concern for your incessant wanderings in the wild? Have you ever found yourself in your kitchen, contemplating whipping up a Mountain House meal for dinner? Do you feel restless all week long at the anticipation of the weekend and the adventures that await you? You, my friend, might just be an adventurer. Here's how to know for sure:
Photo: Drew Robinson
1. Your friends and family think you’ve gone a little crazy
You get a lot of incredulous questions like, “you wont get cell phone service?!” and “you sleep on the ground?!” and “what if you get attacked by a bear?!” Your loved ones may not always understand your need to be outside and exploring. They may not get why you would want to put yourself in a situation in which you are far from the creature comforts of civilization. They may worry about your safety when you are miles into the backcountry. You just smile at them - they are sweet, aren't they?
2. Your gear has taken over your garage
Your gear collection has eliminated the ability to park in your garage. That’s ok. You have awesome gear. And you need every last piece of it, right?
3. You sleep better outside
You feel more relaxed sleeping on the side of a mountain than you do in your own home. Nothing is more peaceful than quiet starry nights far from city noises and lights.
Photo: Andy Earl
4. You are always wondering what’s over that ridge
And the next one. And the next one. Your outings usually end up being way longer than you originally plan for. There is just so much out there to be explored!
5. You like to disconnect
You like not having cell phone service in the mountains. You enjoy shutting down your electronics and taking time to be present in the moment. Instagram can wait.
6. You crave situations in which there is an element of risk
Where is the fun in a situation if there isn’t at least a slight chance of danger? The thrills of a challenge and of the unknown are what drive you.
Photo: Kevin Kaminski
7. You love to explore new areas
Whether seeing the bright turquoise waters of an alpine lake for the first time or stumbling upon a new valley full of wildflowers, you live for finding places and things that you have never seen before.
8. A freeze-dried meal and an energy bar is your idea of a feast fit for a king
Let’s face it. When you are tired and hungry after a long day of trekking up a mountain, nothing, and I mean NOTHING tastes better than a hot, freeze-dried meal cooked over your camp stove, and an energy bar for dessert.
9. You like to survive off the land
You like to see how well you’d do if you were forced to live entirely off of the land. Building your own water-filtration systems out of sticks, grass, pebbles, and a shirt; starting a fire without any matches or a lighter; fishing or hunting for your food; building a shelter…Yes, you are pretty certain that you could survive a Mad Max type situation.
Photo: Anna Cohen
10. You're the "outdoorsy" friend
You are the one that people always come to for advice about gear and about places to go. People know that you have researched all of the best gear out there and that you have been to some pretty cool places. You have a bit of a reputation. They want you to teach them your ways.
11. You feel most alive in wild places
A cool mountain breeze, the echo of an elk call, the roar of a river… the wild breathes life into you and is where you feel most connected to your true self.
12. You’re always itching for your next adventure
You are barely back to your car before you start getting antsy for the next chance to get outside. You are constantly pouring over maps and sorting through your gear, preparing and (not so) patiently waiting.
Cover photo: Miranda LeConte
To see all of Anna's adventures and articles, check out her Outbound profile.
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