The hilarious film “Don’t Look Up” delivers a symbolic message about society’s refusal to accept reality. While I highly recommend the film for fans of dark comedy, I want to also remind people who enjoy the wilderness to remember to look up frequently!
When looking for that perfect place to set up camp, what typically comes to mind is finding a flat spot void of rocks, bumps or other obstacles that might impede comfort. Positioning your camp for that perfect view and proximity to the trail is usually top of mind as well. Your choice in where to set up may be driven by convenient access to your vehicle or a water source. All of these things are important to consider and should be, but are you forgetting something?
With the excitement of finding just the right spot, It’s so easy to forget to look up. However looking up is an extremely important part of choosing your camp site. Large dead branches or dead trees prime to come down (also known as Widow Makers) can shift and fall with a little wind from the right direction causing injury and destroying tents and gear. Nests are also something to pay attention to. Nobody likes squirrel or bird poop in their morning coffee.
Now that we’ve covered the dangers of not looking up, let’s talk about the some opportunities missed by a lack of attention skyward.
The beauty of tree tops against a blue bird sky or spotting a soaring eagle can be some of the many highlights of time spent in nature. It would be a shame to miss the brilliant night sky full of stars shinning in glory and more visible than ever without light pollution diminishing your view.
For the foragers among us, keep in mind the many gifts nature offers above. Nuts, berries, and mushrooms can be easily missed if your attention is solely directed toward the ground.
Being aware of what's up is a practice I encourage all outdoor enthusiasts to get in the habit of. It may even become mesmerizing, so pause your hike if necessary. Gazing into the tree tops while walking isn't a great idea.
Next time you find yourself in the wilderness, I encourage all to take time to look up and connect with nature.
- Andre Branning
Owner & Operator
Nature Connect LLC