Ahhhhh, the great outdoors. Fresh air, inspirational vistas, adventure, reflection, solitude and freedom. Yes, freedom to do what I want, sleep where I lie, eat what I catch and go where I want. And when I say go, I mean go. Unlike other hobbies, when outdoorsmen are outdoors and nature calls, since we are alone—or at least farther apart—we barely give it much thought. We just go.
How Kayak Fishing Frees Us When Nature Calls
What is the challenge for kayak anglers? We are exposed to the elements and anyone else who is on the water. There is no place to hide on a kayak and coming to shore isn’t an option. Paddle behind a tree or try to act natural. At least one kayak manufacturer is promoting a boat with a relief port in the deck.
Eventually the kayak fishing trip ends and we are expected to return to the porcelain throne. For some anglers, this transition is not absolute. I don’t think I’m alone when I admit I have come out of the water closet.
Although we think of ourselves as outdoorsy, we are in fact, mostly indoorsy. Through our daily routine, there is evidence we cling to our wild side. An evergreen air freshener dangles from the rearview mirror of my car. My computer wallpaper is a mountain lake scene. I sleep on a plush mattress under a quilt with a pattern of bears and cabins. There is even a dish of seashell soaps near the sink.
My meager yard with the patio, clipped lawn and flower garden, becomes my itinerant taste of the outdoors. I breathe fresh air, hear rustling leaves and briefly marvel at the stars weakly glimmering above the city lights.
In the yard, I gain a little more freedom to do outdoorsy things. I char meat on a grill, pick up sticks and throw them for the dog and harvest the fruits of the land from my garden. And, when no one is around, I exercise the freedom to go. Often this is a covert operation. Perhaps I excuse myself to “check the weather” or “visit a favorite continent.”
If you live in town, the process of elimination must be done with extreme discretion, usually under the cover of darkness, or at least some strategically placed shrubbery.
It is important to know where to draw the line in the snow; there are legal consequences. If you get charged with public urination, the penalty for this transgression could be an embarrassing misdemeanor and your picture on social media.
The outdoor enthusiast’s yard is marked with previously mentioned strategically-placed privacy shrubs, trees, ornamental grasses and yard art taking into account relative remoteness, vegetative density, the neighbor’s kitchen window and normal traffic patterns.
Rural residents can be more brazen. My country friends get a urinary amusement park. Every tree and rock becomes a chance to hose a mole.
There are several trickle down theories attempting to explain the underground irrigation movement.
One is simply conserving water. Flushing wastes a couple gallons of a precious natural resource.
The call of the wild may also derive from a more primitive urge to mark my territory. Even though I lack the olfactory capabilities of other animals, am I letting the punk raccoon know this is my house?
Or maybe it started with potty training. Long before my kids could wipe and flush, they were porch trained. What parent hasn’t had to just grin and bear a toddler’s emergency pit stop on a road trip?
While I excuse myself to see a man about a horse, the act of watering the trees actually draws us together. In the outdoors, I sleep under the stars and fish in the hot sun. Returning to my Neolithic roots is powerfully satisfying. I am exercising the freedom to choose where, when and how I go.
On the weekend, I’m just another part of the food chain. During the week, I may have to work, eat and sleep inside, but I can still remain a little wild in the yard, especially during the wee hours.