The Wilderness: Heaven or Hell?

Last Update: June 27, 2013
I have always considered myself to be an outdoorsy kind of guy. I like hiking, bicycling, canoeing, skiing, basically anything that will get me back into nature. I wouldn't consider myself an athlete because I don't do well in competitive sports. I didn't play basketball or baseball or anything that a lot of kids did when I was growing up.


I was in my twenties when my friend Jim dropped by my office. He asked if I had ever done any back-packing. I had to confess that I had not but it sounded interesting. We visited the various outdoor outfitters, like Bass Pro and Cabelas and bought the requisite gear. It was expensive but new experiences often times carry a heavy price tag.

The planned week-end had finally arrived, we packed up the car and headed off to the Mark Twain National Forest near Springfield. This is a wilderness area not too far from the city. We were to back pack on the Berryman Trail. This is a rugged trail, circular in nature, so you end at the same spot you began. This design is so convenient because you end up back at your car without having to travel the same path back. It was to be a three-day adventure we would never forget.

Day 1: The Journey Begins


We arrived at the trail, loaded up the 75 lb packs on our backs. These packs contained everything we needed to survive. Freeze-dried food, water purification pellets, camp stove with fuel, sleeping bags, tent, and so on. We hiked through the day. It was a typically hot and humid August day. There didn't seem to be a breeze to be found anywhere.

Jim and I ate a wonderful lunch of dehydrated apples, cheese and unleavened bread. Tasty! The ticks and other jungle insects were unrelenting. The insect repellent cream that was supposedly used by the U.S. Army only seemed to attract them, rather than repel as I would have preferred.

That night we camped in a tiny pup tent, again no breeze. There was an abundance of wild animals that investigated our campsite at least 50 times during the night. I was sure these were bears and wolves who would like nothing better than enjoy a couple of city kids for a late-night snack. I felt safe and secure knowing a bear would never be able to penetrate the fortress of our tent made of the thinnest nylon fabric.

Day 2: A New Day

The next morning, I was groggy but those powdered eggs were indeed the incentive I needed to continue along toward our destination, the parked car and civilization were still another day away.

This day was so similar to Day 1. The topography and vegetation looked identical to that of the previous day. This was not going to be my best day.

That night we arrived at our pre-determined campsite. Our dinner was another freeze-dried delicacy that would have given cardboard a run for its money for culinary enjoyment. We were out of freeze-dried apples so there would be no dessert for us campers from the city.

We retired early, right at dusk in hopes of getting an early start in the morning. My back-packing pal didn't seem to be having much of a better time than I. To this day, I don't know if he was just sick of me or if he didn't enjoy this style of outdoor activity either. I fell asleep just as I laid my head down right where a pillow should have been.

About 10:00 p.m., I awoke to the sound of a diesel motor. It was a really nice big truck pulling a huge camper. Up until that time, I didn't realize this wilderness campsite had access to Missouri Highway W and our new neighbors were traveling in style.

It wasn't until 2 a.m. that they went to bed and turned off their big screen TV with theater surround sound. The sound and smell of their juicy 2" thick steaks sizzling on the grill was almost more than I could bear.

The rest of the night was restless as I was constantly reminded of how miserable I was: their central air unit cycled on and off every ten minutes. This had to be the worst night of my life.

Day 3: An Early Start

We got moving at the crack of dawn. I declined breakfast or coffee. I just wanted to go home so we hot-footed it the rest of the way to the car.

I was in heaven as I saw the parking lot, but realized I couldn't find my keys. It didn't take too long to find them, they were laying on the front-seat of the locked vehicle. My buddy apparently has talents in breaking and entering as he was able to open the car within a few minutes. He may be in prison as we speak.

I started the engine, turned on the air conditioning and we immediately headed to the nearest café for some food that had not been destroyed by some extraterrestrial food preparation technique embraced by NASA.

Conclusion: Here's where I get clever and make this apply to business

I decided back-packing wasn't right for me. I sold my gear and have never again been foolish enough to try such an undertaking. Other people love it, and I am happy for them. So, no disrespect is intended if this happens to be your thing.

I read somewhere that only 5% of the people who try affiliate marketing ever make enough money at it to earn a living. I believe that number is true, and most people will never do very well. This is a tough business.

The advantage for you and I: we have a support system unlike anything I have ever seen. With the complete training and support from the everyone here, I believe with the right amount of effort an dedication, everyone at Wealthy Affiliate can be among the 5%. We can all succeed.

The other 95% just weren't as smart as us and didn't take advantage of this nurturing community.

Excuse me while I pat myself on the back for being smart. Ow! That hurt.

Kali
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betcha Premium
Nice one, Kali! Of course, I would have to pat my back as well for being in the the top 5%! LoL!!!
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kaliinozarks Premium
You deserve all the credit for making smart choices.
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maryson Premium
A good article for those who love free outdoors life. I do agree with you on the opinions that" only 5% of the people who try affiliate marketing ever make enough money at it to earn a living.....everyone at Wealthy Affiliate can be among the 5% ? " I realize that why someone comes and goes in WA. For me, may be I start thinking TO CALL IT QUITS even I am a premium member since I cannot see the goal set.

maryson
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kaliinozarks Premium
I would hate to see you quit at the beginning of your journey here. This is the hardest time of the process, but I'm already seeing it is getting easier.

Of course, you know what is best for you. If it makes sense, you can always back down from premium and still be a part of the community.

I would be interested in hearing what your final decision is. Whichever you decide, I support that decision 100%. Best of luck to you in every endeavor.

Kali
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kiya05 Premium
Hi, I agree with Kali, and would hang in there. I quit before, right after I got my website up, and here I am again, at the same place, considering it again. I paid for a year this time so I won't be quitting at this point, but I get so frustrated at every turn, on the other hand, I'm so proud of myself when I get it. The only way I can get around the frustration, is to take a break, this last one was a LONG break, but gave me time to think of what I want to do with this.

I really like talking to the people here, and reading their blogs, and I have got my website started, so that's something. Anyway, I've decided to dedicate one day a week, 4-5 hrs throughout the day, to WA, no pressure, since I won't have to do it again for another week, and just get done what I can that one day, you know, baby steps, but I think this is going to work well for me. I wanted to make some decent money at first, but if it comes, I know it will be awhile, so I'm doing whatever works for me, to enjoy the trip, learn what I can, and see where I am next year.

You should do the same, figure out how you can work it into your life, without stressing over it, and just do a little at a time until it gets easier, and enjoy the people, and whatever you can along the way, and see where you are down the road. I always wondered where I'd be if I would have just done this last time, since I think this will work for me. Find something that works for you, and just ask for help when you hit a snag. That's the good thing about WA, there are so many people willing to help. It's much easier to get help now, than when I first joined, and they are constantly working to make things easier for us, I don't know of anywhere else where they do that.

These are just some ideas I've had for myself, so maybe they will help you some. Anyway, good luck to you, no matter what you decide to do.
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Shields Premium
You are, as I have said, such a good writer; and, of course, I really enjoyed the WA pitch!
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kaliinozarks Premium
Gotta make this apply some how. I really like these blogs so much better than anything else I write. I have fun with them.
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demetris Premium
Only 5%? Very disappointing..
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kaliinozarks Premium
No 5% is exciting. If everyone did it then it wouldn't be worth anything. By being exclusive to the people who are willing to put in the work, those of who do can be wildly successful.

Mass participation dilutes the prize.
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demetris Premium
I like this approach. It is good to feel that you're a part of something special, a sort of elitism..Thank you for this. I've never thought this way. Very well done!
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wtbee2013 Premium
Love your stories. ;O) Hmmmm I think I remember someone saying that he was the tent camping kinda of guy, Haha
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kaliinozarks Premium
Tents are perfect as long as I can see the car.
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wtbee2013 Premium
uh unh whatever! ; O)
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