Before Outdoor was a thing…

I’ve always been allergic to the kind of wistful nostalgia along the lines of “Ah, back in the day...” and I strongly believe that the most important things in life are the things that happen in the here and now. Yet, I increasingly find myself indulging in recollecting and reminiscing about the thirty years I spent among people of my own blood, people, who in the early nineties started being grouped together under the rather fitting term Outdoor.

Up until this term started lumping us all together, we would fluctuate with the seasons going from skiers to hikers, cyclists, kayakers, climbers, mountaineers, travellers, adventurers, campers, wanderers, vagabonds and all sorts of other romantic things.

Not that it matters. It’s not important what people call you. What’s important is if you have the will and strength to fully relish these changes and if the reasons to leave this overly civilized world, cut off from nature, are still there. Luckily, they are. Everything that falls under the category Outdoor is still alive and kicking. Perhaps surprisingly, it has not been suffocated by all the electronics and technology that ease our every challenge and degenerate our physical, manual and mental skills.

Whether from a rocky peak, mountaintop, a gliding parachute or other locations with breathtaking views, however high we climb, however low we clamber, we experience something that can neither be bought or downloaded. These are our experiences, our accomplishments, full of indescribable feelings of harmony, bliss and understanding among friends. This is where the adrenaline flows freely, as do other chemicals beneficial to humans. My glass is currently filled with such a chemical, and I raise it in honour of anyone who identifies as Outdoor, whether they prefer paragliding or picking mushrooms. I wish you many wonderful and unforgettable adventures.

Extract from a speech by P. Habětín, co-owner of Warmpeace, delivered 27 April 2015 in a hotel room in Lahti in southern Finland when on a business trip with sleeping bags.

I may have been alone, but at least the speech was delivered uninterrupted and garnered a hearty round of applause at the end…

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