Wilderness Pt 3: the How and Why
Story and photos by Travis Perkins
In our day and age, we march to a steady rhythm of asking & answering the “hows" of life...
How am I going to complete this project - this objective - this goal?
How will I get to work on time?
How will I survive this semester? How will I pay off the impending student loan debt?
How will I plan for retirement?
These questions aren’t inherently bad or fruitless to answer, but underlying each of them is the often un-answered: “Why?” We focus on the what or the how, and ignore the why question completely.
Why do we ignore they “why” you may ask?...
Simply put, the why questions just aren’t as fun to answer. We like the solid, concrete, logical answers to the "how" questions. How will I complete this goal? Create a project timeline with specific deliverables. How will I get to work on time? Use your Waze App and give yourself a 15 minute cushion in case (or when) I-35 is completely jammed.
Answering the “why” questions, on the other hand, is tough. Why is a blurred grey in a world of black-and-white answers. There's always a deeper answer, another level to uncover when we start asking why to the people around us.
Its this characteristic of why that makes it so incredibly important and beautiful - a characteristic I'm reminded of every time I travel into the backcountry. This isn’t to say adventure in the outdoors prompts me to I ignore the “how” questions, but rather I am able embrace the reality that the “hows” and “whys” of our lives are much more connected than we may realize.
When I top out on a climb, there are a lot of “how” questions that need to be answered in order to travel that route successfully. Trust me, in rock climbing, the “how” questions are very, very important. At the end of the day, however, if I don't understand why I am doing what I'm doing - it is ultimately pointless.
When I top out on a climb and look out to the distant horizon, I’m reminded of the why questions. I’m able to reflect on my answers to those questions, and for a brief moment see with clarity the direct path connecting how and why. These are the moments where adventure creates real value in our lives.
Simply put, spending time in the backcountry, in the alpine, on the trail, at sea, or wherever “out there” is for you, prompts us to consider the why. At Kammok we try to ask ourselves and answer the why question daily. Reflecting on the why is what motivates and inspires us to continue doing what we do - equip and inspire for life changing adventures.
Considering the why sparks depth, understanding, and fullness of life. We live and breath for creating a community of adventure enthusiasts that seek that same fullness of life.
Dive deep today, folks. And ask yourself why.