Winter Camping ~ A Fast-Track to Gratitude

Winter Camping ~ A Fast-Track to Gratitude

Chiropractic Vernon BC Dr. Lysyk's Daughter

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC ~ Vernon Chiropractor

I recently asked my 7-year-old daughter if she’d like to join me on a snowshoeing adventure into the forest behind Bluenose Mountain, spending a night in a lean-to we’d make together. She looked at me and, in an instant said, “Of course, Daddoo!”

I brought up all the factors that might, in the end, make her change her mind, just to be sure that this was the right expedition for her at this age. But no matter what I came up with, she happily insisted on joining me. She did reveal that it might be frightening to be in the dark for so long, and it’s true—there is a certain vulnerability that comes with spending nearly 16 hours in the ghostly-quiet forest, but I knew she could handle it.

I’m very attracted to the idea of living with less. For me, spending time with as few provisions as possible in the winter, with a shelter you make yourself, is about as close as it gets. It’s definitely a way to obtain your fast-track degree in gratitude because nothing makes you more grateful for your modern amenities than having them all taken away for a while.

And if crude shelter and melting snow for water aren’t enough, try the low-back pain, neck pain and hip pain that result from lying on the cold, lumpy ground with ski pants for a pillow. It turns out that 7-year-olds can fall asleep on a fire hydrant and still wake up feeling refreshed, but as for the rest of us…well…

There are plenty of ways to cultivate gratitude, but this method works great for me. Try being ripped from a fitful sleep, in your stack of sticks, by the eerie howls of coyotes in the cold night air while somehow still managing to feel safe and at ease with nature. I wish I would have recorded the beauty of that sound, but then again, as my partner Alana once quoted, “Life is the present moment, unrecorded.” No recording could ever do that experience with Shay any justice, as together we braved the elements and developed a deep appreciation for all the amenities awaiting us at home...

Chiropractic Vernon BC Dr. Lysyk's Daughter


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