Hi everyone,

Another voice from the Chicagoland area! At the tender age of... <cough><cough> "a little north of my 40s", I find myself being drawn back to the outdoors after a couple of decades being absent. Growing up, our family camped, hiked, and spent a lot of active time outside. For a number of reasons, I allowed that to fall by the wayside but now that my own kids are growing up, I'm feeling the pull back to nature.

I was soooo looking forward to getting outside with my kids and going camping (my wife steadfastly refuses to go camping with us) but with most facilities (AKA bathrooms) being closed this Summer, that activity is being postponed for now. Until then, hiking, cycling, and walking the neighborhood fills my non-working hours.

Let's see... what else to add...  I'm an avid cook and currently trying to develop new dehydrated recipes for camping/backpacking food that my kids will like. The first part (developing recipes) is going well. The second part, "that my kids will like"... let's just say that there's been a very wide array of successes and failures. I'll happily share the recipes with anyone who asks.

I'm also a martial arts instructor and a meditation enthusiast ("enthusiast" not "expert"). Nothing like meditating from a remote campsite at sunset.

Anyway, back to the "returning to nature" stuff - I am really excited to be a part of this community and I am looking forward to learning from all of you as my knowledge and skill set is definitely in its infancy.

See you all on the trail and stay happy, stay healthy, and stay outside!

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

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