What is Outdoor Living in a Nutshell?

By Jena Slater

“[What] I like about the outdoors is, I really think it reflects the beauty of God’s Creation in a way that really cannot be expressed in words,” and “That’s part of why I like the outdoors,” said Christopher Barber, a freshman who is double majoring in Vocal Performance and Trumpet Performance here at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU).

Outdoor Living can be a place to escape. For others, it is a lifestyle they would not trade for anything. Our definitions of outdoors vary from person to person. Outdoor living is more than just camouflage, it is a passion which can run pure and deep. Some people are truly passionate about outdoor activities being their hobbies and enjoying them whenever they can.

“I like to be outdoors because I like to disconnect from technology and just be able to think and hangout, not having to worry about keeping up with the person next to me, and just be myself and relax,” said Cassidy Stradling. Stradling is a graduate student in the CDIS Program. For Stradling, the outdoors is an escape, whereas for Barber, his escape lies within reading books and music. Everyone is truly unique when it comes to their perspective of what it truly means to live an outdoor lifestyle and participate in activities associated with outdoor living in a nutshell.

It is hard for us to define outdoors without thinking of many things. Mykhailo Denydov’s first thought when hearing the word outdoors is, “Sports, camping, spending time with friends.” Denydov is a student attending Clovis Community College (CCC). He sees outdoors as “Growing up playing sports all of his life.” When given the opportunity, both Denydov and Stradling would be outside. “I like to be outside, there is nothing I hate more than being inside, so I will go outside for anything except in this (rainy) weather, cause it sucks,” said Stradling. Some of her favorite activities she enjoys participating in while being outdoors are, “adventures, hiking, camping, and being in the sun.”

The reason Denydov prefers being outside is because, “I just like being outside rather than being inside doing nothing,” and “I like to play a lot of sports, I don’t just limit myself to one.” Some of the sports he enjoys playing are: tennis, soccer, and cycling because it helps keep him being active so he stays in shape. Playing sports in the outdoors comes natural to Denydov since he has played sports his whole life and continues playing them so he can stay active while staying in shape.

For Barber, outdoor activities do not come around often but some of his favorite actives to do in the outdoors are, hiking and hunting, both of which do not happen often for him since he does not currently live an outdoor lifestyle. When talking about his participation in hiking and hunting Barber said, “I get to do that every once in a blue moon.” He also enjoys taking in the scenery. Two states he would love to visit if the opportunity becomes available are Montana and Alaska. His traveling preference for scenery would be Montana because he says it is big sky country. He enjoys the scenery which the outdoors offers vastly.

When asked if he has a favorite hunting trip memory, Barber said, “I was hunting with my uncle and my grandfather one time and we were in a truck kind of coming up on this flock of about 40 to 50 turkeys. My grandfather takes the shotgun and like I said there’s 40 to 50 of them take your pick. He shoots and he misses and hits a cactus instead and all the turkeys fly away. So there was no turkey for that Thanksgiving.”

Outdoor living can mean more than what we think. If you were to ask someone what is the first thing you think of when you hear the word outdoors some of their answers will vary. To get a grasp on how many yards a part they may be I prefer to use two outdoor related actives: right on the bullseye or within a few rings or they may be the lengths of shooting ranges away. Outdoor living in a nutshell is participating in different things you enjoy or do for fun such as: playing sports, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, spending time with friends, and even taking family vacations. It is important to remember everyone’s experience with the outdoors will be different.

If we all worried about if everyone had the same views on outdoor living, we would miss the beauty in the eye of the beholder.

I leave you with a quote form Barber which explains how he perceives the outdoors. “It speaks volumes to think, it kind of makes you feel small when you are out in the wilderness because it makes you realize, we as humans really are part of something greater than ourselves when we are surrounded with all the wonders of nature.”

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