As modern life becomes increasingly fast-paced and stressful, many of us are shying away from beach breaks and opting for a more adventurous mindfulness escapes.
A number of studies have linked spending time outdoors with significantly reducing anxiety, stress and depression. And City dwellers in particular are finding that spending some quality time in the great outdoors and learning new skills is one of the most effective ways to disconnect from city life and reconnect with Mother Nature. This week is an enhanced Shinrin-yoko experience, where you are fully immersed in the forest.
Recognised as one of the world’s top travellers and wilderness skills instructor, Ben McNutt is offering the ultimate wilderness skills escape, with an added touch of luxury for those in need of a break.
Ben McNutt believes that we should all return to our human roots every once in a while, to remain grounded in ourselves, to master first principles, move naturally, think critically and to learn how to appreciate and live in harmony with the natural world.
The Wild Woods course, which is hosted at Armathwaite Hall, set in the idyllic northern Lake District, is designed to transport people away from their everyday lives and teach them how to survive in the wilderness. However although participants will be spending the majority of the boot camp honing in their hunter-gatherer skills; this wilderness skills camp has an added touch of spa.
Aptly named Wild Woods, guests will be sleeping in the midst of trees for the five nights of the boot camp and spending most of the morning learning natural movement skills including vaulting, branch balancing, precision jumping, limb crawling, foot-pinch climbing, break-falls, natural lifting, breath training, mobility training and rough housing.
During the course of the five days, the afternoon’s activities will consist of wilderness bushcraft skills, like friction fire lighting, canopy camping, axe skills, knife craft, making rope from bark, tracking, baking and campfire cookery and learning about different types of trees.
However, it won’t be all hard toil! Participants will be able to access Armathwaite Hall’s state-of-the-art spa for a morning swim and again in the evening, to wind down in the sauna or relax in the outdoor hot tub. On the final night of the course, guests can say goodbye to their hammocks in the outdoor grounds and enjoy a heavenly night’s sleep in the hotel.
Ben McNutt, explains: “Our intimate relationship with wood and trees is as old as our species; after all for the majority of our time on earth ‘sticks and stones’ have been our highest form of technology; we are inextricably linked, our high tech lifestyle born out of sticks and stones.
“Working from a Robin Hood style forest basecamp, camping in Tentsile tree-tents suspended from trunks below a high canopy, Woodsmoke has access to some of the finest tree climbing locations in the Lake District National Park, from majestic mature oaks to twisting groves of rhododendron.”
This year’s boot camp runs from the 17th to the 23rd of May. The camp costs £795 per person, including all food, beverages, course equipment, camping fees, tree tents, a meal and overnight stay in Armathwaite Hall.