When you go camping, it strips you down to your essence.
You have the goal of spending a weekend in harmony with nature, but somehow it never works out that way. The creature comforts of everyday life are left behind, and you have to find that innate survival instinct deep within you. You have to make do with what you have, but there is always something that you are missing. Camping is about making it up as you go along, adapting to external influences and being satisfied with “good enough.”
The thing is; you rarely go camping on your own. It would be easier if you just had your needs to deal with, but when you go camping with others it gets a whole lot more complicated (or fun, depending on your perspective). All you want to do is relax with a bottle of wine and some burnt sausages, but there is lots of work to be done before you can do that.
Do you get in each other’s way, each wanting the glory of being in charge of the barbeque and the fire? Are you resentful at being the one designated to fetch the water with a 25-minute round trip? Are you full of advice at the way “you would do it,” rather than letting someone else make their own mistakes? Do you lie quietly in the long grass, looking up at the sky while everyone else is toiling around you? Do you get frustrated by everything taking so much longer than you are used to?
A camping trip is not about leadership – it is about pure teamwork. You have to look at people’s strengths and understand which parts they want to play. For a harmonious camp, everyone needs to be contributing, and everyone needs to feel appreciated. There is a camaraderie, a common purpose.
Then it starts raining. Not some half-hearted drizzle, but an angry monsoon downpour that soaks everything within seconds. You could see the dark clouds on the horizon, but, when it comes, you are still taken aback by its ferocity.
It has ruined your best-laid plans, but how quickly do you realize that a weekend in a cramped tent playing cards, singing and telling jokes can be equally as fun? You make the most of what you have. It would be easy to pack up and go back to your warm and cosy lives, but you are pioneers, you are explorers. You don’t let a bit of rain dampen your spirits. If anything, it offers a bonding experience.
When you leave the campsite, you clean up, and all that is left of your presence is the flattened ground where your tent once stood. You feel that you have grown a little taller, you have learnt something about yourself and about the others who were with you. You leave with a tinge of regret and promise yourself that you will come back soon.
In life, we need to feel challenged, we need to be taken out of our comfort zone. For this, there is nothing better than camping for a budding entrepreneur.
Written by Alex Turner, Edited by Paul Drury