I was recently contacted to do an interview about an Instagram post I shared. In the post I’d explained how for the last 3 years I had slept outside for at least 31 nights of each year.
For the last 3 years I’ve slept outside for at least 31 nights of each year. 1/12 of the year out in nature. To some this will seem extreme and to others this will seem a small amount. But out of everything I’ve been doing recently sleeping outside is still the single best way I’ve found to increase my connection to nature, remove distractions, and gain clarity. If you’re looking for the same and don’t sleep outside that often set yourself a target this year and go for it. You won’t regret it. Kudos to @semi_rad for giving me the idea of counting.
I can’t take the glory of this idea unfortunately, I became aware of it after this blog post caught my attention. The idea really resonated with me, could I spend at least 1/12th of each year sleeping outside?
The challenge, initially, started as a one off. But, it’s grown into something more. It’s become a bit of a philosophy for me. A way of keeping track of whether I’m prioritising one of the things I see as important in life. Connecting with nature and spending time outside.
If you have a full time job, it can be hard to make time for nature these days. Most people don’t work in nature, don’t live in it, don’t collect their food from it, don’t exercise in it. We can go a long time without truly being in a natural environment. Which… doesn’t seem very natural.
What if we can escape every once in a while and sleep outside, away from wifi, away from responsibilities, away from all the things that need to get done, and just live life a little more naturally?
It’s not about doing the biggest, first, scariest, hardest, it’s about sleeping outside. It’s about establishing a little more connection to the natural world than we do in our modern, everyday lives. Sure, it would be easy to reach 31 days if we quite our jobs and travelled. But, that’s not what this is about. It’s about maintaining a connection while maintaining a “normal” life. Reminding ourselves that we are always part of nature. That spending time in the wild places feels natural because it is.
We could all benefit from spending more time outside. So, I’d like to reignite the initial 31 nights out challenge. If 31 seems a daunting challenge then pick a more realistic number, 3 nights out is a great achievement if last year it was 0 nights out. If it seems too easy, pick a higher number…
How many nights can YOU sleep outside this year?
Thanks to Brendan at www.semi-rad.com for the inspiration