The Thin Veneer And The Real World

The modern world we live in is a thin veneer stretched over the raw circumstance of our human condition. Countless interconnected pieces give us things like central heating, the internet, smartphones, tax forms, and countless other modern realities. Despite its many benefits, the veneer insulates us from the experience of life our forefathers knew. While I’m not of the belief that we should go back even if we could, I do think experiencing a simpler, more spartan existence without all the interconnected pieces is good for the body and mind every now and then.

This modern life often makes me weary. So much energy expended for so little of any actual worth. People chasing money and status, facebook likes and shiny new trinkets. How grand to step away from modern world for a while. To live by your wits and not your wallet, to understand and provide for your own simple needs yourself. To live exclusively in the present and experience the slow pace of life in the forest. To be dry and warm, well fed and watered, while leaving behind the trappings of the modern world and embracing the frozen north with a small group of companions. This is my antidote to the modern condition. It’s where I’m going tomorrow, beyond the reach of the veneer and back to the real world.

During the Boreal Snowshoe Expedition we’ll haul our gear on homemade toboggans, live in canvas tents outfitted with wood stoves, chip a hole in the lake ice for our water, cook our food over a fire, and listen to the wind in the trees. We’ll remember our place in the world, come face to face with winter in the north, and see the veneer for what it is.

“I’m sick to death of your well-groomed gods, your make-believe and your show;

I long for a whiff of bacon and beans, a snug shakedown in the snow;

A trail to break, and a life at stake, and another bout with the foe.”

Robert Service, from The Heart Of The Sourdough

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