What's the Point?

Okay, so we know how I’ll benefit from this endeavor. I’ll gain experience in the great outdoors that will help me write a better book set in the Adirondacks. But you, my dear reader, may well be asking, “What’s in all this for me?” Hopefully you’ll gain a little knowledge, have a few laughs, and vicariously enjoy a sense of adventure. Think of it as a modern-day Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, where you get to sit comfortably at your computer screen – much like Marlin Perkins watching from a safe distance behind some bushes. I, on the other hand, will go out into the wild, ala Jim Fowler, and do all the heavy lifting in an effort to entertain you.

            Well, on second thought…

Entries in Outside magazine (1)


Take It Outside!

I try to spend as much time as possible inside because, well, it means I’m not outside. Outside is where it’s cold or hot or wet or dark or buggy or … you get the idea. And some of my favorite activities are best done inside. Like sleeping, eating watching TV, playing computer games, reading and, of course, drinking, which is a very versatile activity because it can be done in combination with the others. Except for maybe sleeping, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t tried.




 Staying inside has the added advantage of not requiring any fancy equipment like snowshoes or grappling hooks or pfd’s (not to be confused with pdf’s). All I need to be happy is some good food, some wine, a remote, my laptop and books. Lots of books.

Books allow me to experience the world without ever having to leave my comfy chair. And certain books, Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Into the Wild come to mind, clearly validate my decision to avoid nature as much as possible.



I also love magazines because, as much as I like to read, and I like it even better if the stuff I’m reading has pictures to go with it. Not to mention that reading magazines doesn’t take a lot of time, which frees me up to do as much eating, drinking and sleeping as possible. And with so many different magazine titles, there’s sure to be one to suit all tastes and interests.

I have my favorites. Food and Wine, naturally, is at the top of the list. House, House & Home, House Beautiful and TV Guide all appeal to my chosen lifestyle. The phobia collector in me appreciates Prevention, while Self appeals to my narcissistic side.

You have to be careful, though. Clean Eating is not about finishing off the leftover pizza in your refrigerator to make room for the cake. And Do It Yourself is not a handbook for parents looking for ways to get children to do more around the house. I’d subscribe to Wine Spectator if it weren’t for the “Spectator” part, which implies it’s about watching other people drink, thereby missing the whole point.

Recently, though, I came across a magazine that gave me chills just looking at it. It’s called Outside and its tagline is “Live Bravely.” Needless to say, I’m not a subscriber. But there was something about the in-your-face danger of its attractive cover that drew me to it, even though I knew it wasn’t right for me, much like the way men are drawn to the Kardashians.

I was intrigued by the cover story that promised to tell me how to endure my worst-case scenario. But the title “Could You Survive?” was written in a typeface so large and bold that it was clear the editors doubted my abilities without ever having met me. Okay, they may have a point.

It turns out, though, their idea of a worst-case scenario (avalanches and shark attacks) differed wildly from my idea of a worst-case scenario (a low battery warning on my iPhone during a power outage or finding out the DVR is full when I go to record the new season of Boardwalk Empire).

The article then goes on to give 27 tips that can save your life. Well, here’s a tip for those smug Outside writers who are so busy living bravely they don’t know when to stop: that’s 26 more tips than you need. The number one tip that can save your life is: Stay home. (Okay, supposedly most deaths occur in the home, but wouldn’t you rather slip in the bathtub than get mauled by a grizzly?)


As I continued to leaf through the magazine with articles about fitness routines and adventure vacations, not to mention ads for mountain bikes, GPS systems and hiking gear, I began to feel like a lazy lump of flesh who wasn’t worth the expenditure of energy my muscles required to hold the magazine much less the effort of the writers to write it. It was almost enough to make me want to pick up the latest issue of Travel and Leisure – which would be the perfect antidote if it weren’t for the “Travel” part.