Camping Without the Crowds

By: Breanna Harmer

Choosing the correct time of year is crucial.

Think a little outside of peak season when camping.

I’m personally a fan of mid-May and September.

Two Medicine, Glacier National Park in September

Consider backpacking. Yes, it is a bit more work but it is also 100% worth it.

Waking up to a backcountry sunrise is an unbeatable feeling.

I would highly recommend the Grand Tetons in August, especially if you’re a fan of wildflowers. It is still chilly so pack your warm gear!

Get your backcountry permit early! It is surprising how quickly these go and there are limited sites. If you’re unlucky and don’t get a permit you might be forced to find a different hike or abandon your backcountry plans altogether.

Check out apps like AllTrails

We went backpacking in the Mission Mountain Wilderness on the 4th of July and it was one of the best ideas we’ve had. There weren’t many people, the weather was perfect, and we were away from the National Park chaos.

Holidays like Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day are major camping holidays. Opt-out of the beer and think whiskey and backpacking. Look for trails that are more under the radar. There might be some like-minded people like you on the trail but far less then if you were to try to claim your stake on Seeley Lake or Flathead.

Be flexible! If a site seems too busy, don’t be afraid to look for a different one. Some of my favorite camping sites have been found after leaving a less exciting one behind.

Checking a map for a water source is a good way of finding a good site. Chances are that if it’s near a river or lake that it’ll come with a view as well.

Avoid geotagging on social media. If you like a site because there weren’t many people there, don’t expose it.

This might be controversial but I really do believe every little bit helps in preserving the things we love. It’s one thing to tell a few friends but if you have 1,000 followers on Instagram, you could possibly be telling around 1,000 people about this newfound gem. Mum’s the word

Don’t worry, he wasn’t caught. Just an expert fence climber!

I also think part of the joy of camping comes from discovering new spots on your own. It has become too easy to look everything up, it’ll mean more to you if you find it yourself.

How the Bachelor is rewiring your brain

“Will you accept this rose?” Many of us (mostly female, but also secure males) have gathered around our screens to watch some hopeless romantics compete for love and gain fame on abc’s Bachelor franchise. The show has created a cult like following as bachelor fan pages, meme pages, and watch parties have emerged over the years. But the question I want to answer is how? How has abc played their cards so right to make this show such a success? Especially when it is based on such a silly premise.

 Amy Kaufman, a producer with the show since 2009, has opened up on some of her theories on the enthusiasm of bachelor nation. Kaufman admits “This is such a crazy premise, I need to tune in and see how it works because it’s such an odd social experiment.” But watching the same social experiment 35 different times (with male, female, and island spinoffs included) could bore anyone. The VP of the series Jason Sarlanis said that the show is constantly evolving to align with current trends, “story soaps were blowing up so they said, let’s infuse that storytelling, but ease up on the format.” Loyalty has also proved to be a cornerstone of Bachelor success, producers focus on “recruiting returning players in the “Bachelor nation.”” This fueling of the Bachelor subculture and helped to make long lasting success. 

Image result for chris harrison final rose

But still, why is a dating reality tv show inspiring cult like followers in the first place? In an article on the subject from Psychology Today, therapist Erin Asquith explains  “We have a morbid curiosity for drama as it allows one to escape from their own drama, their own life.” The show is built upon pain, a bad car crash that we can not stop looking at. according to author of  The Physiology of Emotional and Irrational Investing

Causes and Solutions, Elesa Zehndorfer, humans are “trained to seek out drama because we experience a rush of dopamine and adrenaline when we encounter it…The more novel it is, the greater the effect.”

by: Teresa Zortman