Hiking, where you go farther afield, exploring new places every day, is a glorious adventure.
It strengthens you and hardens you so that you won’t mind wind and rain, heat and cold. You take them all as they come, feeling that sense of fitness that enables you to face any old trouble with a smile, knowing that you will conquer in the end.
But, of course, to enjoy camping and hiking, you must know how to do it properly. You have to know how to put up a tent or a hut for yourself; how to lay and light a fire; how to cook your food; how to tie logs together to make a bridge or a raft; how to find your way by night, as well as by day, in a strange country, and many other things.
Very few fellows learn these things when they are living in civilized places, because they have comfortable houses, and soft beds to sleep in. Their food is prepared for them, and when they want to know the way, they just ask a policeman.
Well, when those fellows try to go scouting or exploring, they find themselves quite helpless. Take even your sports “hero” and put him down in the wilderness, alongside a fellow trained in camping, and see which can look after himself. High batting averages are not much good to him there. He is only a “tenderfoot”….
The truth is that men brought up in a civilized country have no training whatever in looking after themselves out on the veldt or plains, or in the backwoods. The consequence is that when they go into wild country they are for a long time perfectly helpless, and go through a lot of hardship and trouble which would not occur if they learned, while boys, to look after themselves in camp. They are just a lot of “tenderfoots”.
They have never had to light a fire or to cook their own food—that has always been done for them. At home when they wanted water, they merely had to turn on the tap—therefore they had no idea of how to set about finding water. … If they lost their way, or did not know the time, they merely had to ask somebody else. They had always had houses to shelter them, and beds to lie in. They had never had to make them for themselves, nor to make or repair their own boots or clothing.
That is why a “tenderfoot” often has a tough time in camp. But living in camp for a Scout who knows the game is a simple matter. He knows how to make himself comfortable in a thousand small ways, and then, when he does come back to civilization, he enjoys it all the more for having seen the contrast.
And even there, in the city, he can do very much more for himself than the ordinary mortal, who has never really learned to provide for his own wants. The man who has to turn his hand to many things, as the Scout does in camp, finds that when he comes into civilization he is more easily able to obtain employment, because he is ready for whatever kind of work may turn up.
(“Scouting for Boys” By Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, 1908)
You can find the Bob White Lodge Where to Go Camping Guide here.