Often when Americans think of the outdoor experience they have a romantic image of the solo fur trapper, a lonesome cowboy or an isolated backpacker on a journey. While these scenarios are true and being alone outdoors has a profound effect on the individual, most of our time spent outdoors is with a community.
Every year I spend as much time I can permit in the outdoors and most of those hours are spent with friends and family. Although we may separate during the daylight hours and partake in different activities, a hot meal and a campfire always bring us back together. I cannot imagine fall without hunting camps marked by friends swapping tales of the day or reliving past hunts in the fading light. A highlight of my younger years was traveling north every fall to our deer camp in the Keystone state. That log cabin was more than just a structure to me it was a symbol of community, brotherhood and the outdoors. Although I have traded that log cabin structure for a canvas wall tent and a backcountry tipi that sense of comradery is still present.
Throughout this past spring here in Montana I got the chance to participate in seven different hunting camps. Although we chased different game from wild turkeys to black bears and made tracks in different directions we all enjoyed the time spent fireside best. A warm meal, an open flame and stories of the day will always be something to bring people together. So get out there, make the most of it and share the camp experience with someone in need of community.
- By Rick Hutton