Back to Nature


Think of all your conveniences! Your TV, your dishwasher, your flushing toilet, your smartphone. Your electric heating, your comfortable furniture, your supermarket food always accessible! And think of your life. Your daily routines, your family, your relationships, your longings, your fears. Your money, your stuff, your future plans and your memories, colouring your perception and thoughts in every moment.

And while our human hectic lives move on with their ceaseless stream of important things, stories, events and dramas, the natural world stays there in the background, quiet, doing what it always has been doing without much concern for the human spectacle. Sometimes you might notice this stark contrast between your life and the natural world. And then you realise that you’re also a part of it, somehow...

In this activity we will go out in nature to reflect on our modern lives and give ourselves some breathing space from it. We want to analyse our everyday behaviours and see them from a distance, especially focusing on the material stuff and conveniences we’re taking for granted. Which of all those things are actually important for our well-being? Which might have a negative effect on our well-being? Nature is a great teacher and can have a dramatic effect on our perspective on how we view ourselves and our lives. So let’s see what we can learn!

Activity Type

Individual / Experiential


24 h + planning

Learning Outcomes

  • To reflect on your lifestyle and the real value of it’s perceived “necessities”

  • To have the experience of staying quiet in nature, only with things that are really necessary for your survival


Required Materials and Tools:

Prepare your equipment and food and while doing it keep in mind what is really necessary and what you could easily be without. Don’t bring stuff that you don’t need! On the other hand, bring stuff that you need! When considering your diet, think about what potentially could be found wild. Depending on the season, there could be a lot. Do some research before you go.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Go to the woods! Spend 24 hours in nature. If not possible spend as much time as you can. Find a good spot where you can put up your camp. After some time, when you feel settled, reflect on the following questions:

  • How does being alone in the woods change your way of thinking and feeling?

  • Of your old habits and conveniences, what do you miss most?

  • Of your old habits and conveniences, what do you feel good about being without?

  • How does being in this natural surrounding change the perspective on your own life and the things in it that you value?

Stay calm, do the practical things you might need to do to, like cooking or setting up the fire, and come back to the questions when you want.


When you come back to civilisation, reflect on the following questions:

  • Was there anything that you wished that you had brought to the woods but didn’t?

  • Was there anything you brought to the woods that you wished you hadn’t?

  • Could you imagine living in the woods for a longer period? Why? Why not?

  • What insight do you bring with you from the woods?

  • Does the experience make you want to do any changes in your everyday life?

Instructions for Submission

Submit a word piece of up to 200 words of your experience, covering the previously asked questions that most resonate with you. What in the submission can you identify with? What can you not identify with? Instructions on how to upload photos and how to submit things in Moodle can be found here: Instructions on Submission&Uploading

Instructions for Assessment

Provide feedback to at least one participant that has done this activity. Instructions on providing feedback can be found here: Instructions on Feedback

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