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Emily: Today's episode was made with the help from the Field museum's Keller Science
Action Center in the Youth
Conservation Action Program who are working together to get people outside.
Emily: Humans today spent historical record setting
amounts of time inside staring at screens like you, right now.
According to the Nature Conservancy
88% of American youth say they spend time online every day
and other studies estimate that that amount of time is up to seven and
a half hours a day, about as much time as anybody spends at work.
This incredible amount of indoor screen time can have devastating
impacts on our overall mental and physical well-being
Whereas spending time outside every day can really boost your mood energy and health.
Although understandably there often exists obstacles preventing people from accessing the great outdoors
So for today's video, we recruited our producer Sheheryar,
who has never been outside, and Field Museum volunteers,
Bukola and Anthony, to help tackle some of these hurdles. So we can all get out outside.
We're here today on the south side of Chicago, at Beaubien woods,
which is part of the forest preserves of Cook County
It's surrounded by a major highway, a sewage treatment plant,
a semi polluted river and landfill and yet here life and nature is found in
abundance. In the next thirty years or so, it's estimated that 66
percent of the world's population will live in an urban environment
So it's important for us to rethink what it means to be a part of nature today. One misconception
many people have is that we think about nature only as being a big glamorous instagram-worthy
destination, like a national park with sprawling forests, grand canyons and glorious mountain ranges.
But it's important to think about nature as a thing
you can interact with every day.
Because we're literally surrounded by it,
whether it's the plants and the cracks on the sidewalk and observing the
pigeons on your daily commute or just enjoying a city park.
To feel the positive health benefits from being in nature. It should be practiced as a daily exercise
And for most that just means defining what being in nature means.
If you want more information on this check out the book Rambunctious
Garden, by Emma Marris, or her TED talk (we put links in the description)
also to find a walking trail near you check out the
app all trails.
Here in Chicago, the weather can be relentlessly hot or cold throughout the year
But if there's one thing that I learned when I moved here
It's that there's no bad weather just poor clothing choices and bad
attitudes. It helps to think about the plants and animals that have adapted to your area,
a polar bear wouldn't be at home in the
desert, any more than a kangaroo in the Arctic.
Keeping your cool in the heat comes down to staying hydrated and wearing loose,
breathable clothing.
If you're super sensitive to the Sun, like me, bring a hat and load up on sunscreen.
I also like to hang out in the shade
I literally turn crispy.
Heat is a big challenge for most so make sure you know your own limits and take it easy.
Layers are your friend in the wind and snow?
If you don't have snow pants, you can always layer a pair of leggings underneath the pair of looser pants.
No snow boots? No problem.
Alternate two layers of socks with plastic bags and your gym sneakers
The sneakers might get wet, but this offers an added layer of moisture
protection to keep your tootsie's warm.
Rain is worse than snow because it's harder to keep dry,
so pull out those umbrellas and ponchos and focus on keeping your feet warm.
Ticks and other biting insects like mosquitos can cause serious problem
when you're trying to enjoy the great outdoors
Luckily, what's not serious, is this really attractive solution to keeping them out of your shorts.
You can wear long pants to tuck them into your socks to keep the ticks out,
and wearing long sleeves in light colors
so you get a heads up when you got an insect on you.
To avoid getting covered in ticks, try to walk in the center
Of a trailer path and avoid brushing up on plants because Lyme disease isn't fun for anyone,
and if you've got some use insect repellent.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency popular repellents like DEET
are effective for keeping mosquitoes and ticks away and they pose no greater
impact on the environment or human health.
So spray it away.
If you're in North America, plants like poison ivy and poison
oak can be fun day ruiners.
The easiest way to avoid getting rashes from these plants is to avoid all contact with them,
but that's difficult
if you don't know what to look out for
the rule of thumb is the saying leaves of three, let
them be.
Wear long pants and gloves if you're working outside
and if you suspect you've made contact watch thoroughly
with soap and water, that goes for your pets, too
So now you've been watching this and thinking, gee we sure are having fun
But I had to drink a ton of water to stay hydrated and I got a pee and there's no public restroom in sight.
That's ok,
you can pee outside, just make sure you're about 60 to 75 paces away from trails and water sources to avoid
contamination. Want to avoid feeling super exposed and save yourself from squatting on poison ivy?
Get a pee funnel. There are lots of different kinds both disposable and reusable
just make sure you practice in the shower first before giving it a go outside.
If you don't have a pee funnel and you need
to squat, here are some best practices brace yourself with your back against a tree for balance
Make sure you aren't leaning into any noxious plants to avoid accidentally
peeing on your pants while you're trying to pee outside
Make sure your shorts are your pants are bunched up near your knees
You can also grab onto a tree or boulder and lean backwards or put a hand behind you for balance.
There's a lot of info out there for dealing with pooing in the woods if you're going on a long
backpacking hike or a cycling adventure
But what if you're just out on a casual stroll in the woods and you got to go?
Now we're not advocating for recreationally pooing in public,
but when you got to go you got to go.
Follow the distance rule for peeing above, either 60 or 75
paces away from trails and water sources,
then dig a hole since most people don't go walking around with a shovel
You'll likely need to find a rock or a stick
If you can't dig a hole bring a doggie doo bag along and pick it up like you would after your pooch
Nobody has to know it's yours. For maintaining your balance, follow the pee rules.
Alternatively, you can always lean back and put your hand behind you
They call this the tripod pose. For cleaning up, some intense hikers or bikers recommend using sticks and leaves
But I don't want to get a poison ivy rash on my behind
So I'm Pro packing in toilet paper, but leave no
trace, means packing out whatever you brought in with you and don't try to get creative with your disposal.
In 2015, a cyclist started a 73 acre forest fire when he tried to light his used toilet paper on fire.
Don't do that. Instead bring a few ziplock like bags with you
you can clearly label them as used and unused
and put the use stuff in an opaque sack if you don't want to advertise your
business of the world, and then we discard as soon as you find the nearest trash can.
Got more questions about handling
menstruation we made a whole video already about that.
It's hard to care about something
If you don't know what it is that goes for both people and things
Field guides are a great place to start if you want to do something like bird-watching,
and you want to put a name to a species, but other times it can be difficult to know what you're looking at
Luckily, there are apps for that. My favorite is iNaturalist
You take a photo of a plant, insect, bird or mammal,
tag the location where you saw it and an expert can verify its identity.
There are a lot of other apps and digital resources for this sort of thing
We put a bunch of links in the video's description. So let us know what your favorite is in the comments.
Shinrin-Yoku is a Japanese term
That means forest bathing, which first made me immediately think of someone rolling around
in a field of wildflowers
Turns out I kind of missed the mark, but forest bathing is an immersion in the environment around you.
It's a very structured way of being unstructured in nature
Leave your phone and camera behind and without any agenda
allow yourself to become absorbed in your surroundings.
Don't know what to do?
Just go with a friend, friends are made in the outdoors
and the connections you make with others outside are important if you want more
structured activity look into local organizations,
like parks, friends of groups or other hobby groups for bird-watching, fishing or even native planning events
And you know what? It doesn't even really matter what you do when you go outside,
it's just important that you make some kind of meaningful connection with nature.
We are here at camp Shobana and the force reserves of Cook County in the rain because
The weather shouldn't keep you from enjoying the great outdoors
So is this your first time camping out here in the in the forest preserves of Cook County?
Bukola: Yes This is my first time.
Emily: And overall, how was the experience?
Bukola: The experience is
Adventuring as you can see we're out here in the rain and a lot of mosquito bites, but overall it was good,
we asked s'mores we ate we have fun. I played my favorite sport, soccer. It was really fun.
Emily: Do you have any advice for someone if maybe they're interested in becoming more involved in the outdoors,
But maybe they don't know where to begin?
Jacqueese: I would honestly say start with your backyard like you can find a lot of wildlife
out in your backyard
with trees and plants and animals and stuff.
Emily: Yeah, so you don't even have to go that far and you don't even have to sit out our picnic table in the rain.
Jacqueese: Yeah.
Bukola: If you're outdoors just do the things you love
I mean like and also come out here with people that you love because if you're out here alone, it's like scary
But I just come out here, have fun, you know be, with your friends and like, you know
Just have fun, like play sports, have s'mores and eat and just enjoying nature.
Emily: Yeah, I'm all for that even in the rain.
Emily: I would be a terrible weather person. I'd be like it's wet
It is raining,
the rain is coming from the sky from this direction.
It seems to be
hydrating the area.
Back to you
It still has brains on it