We are homo sapiens, the comfort seekers. In the forty thousand years of our existence, we have walked from the desert toward shelter and sustenance. Now, if we’re lucky, we enjoy lives of abundance, but our excess has created an imbalance in the world.

Something is missing from our civilization. A few of us search for it wildly, amid nature’s indifference to our money and status. Accepting responsibility for our actions, we paddle the rivers, surf the oceans, fly the thermals, climb the mountains. Sometimes we don’t return; this, too, is part of our adventures, where the outcome is always uncertain.

Wilderness affects us as individuals, informs us as cultures, offers us answers to human-made problems. Convinced that within it lies our very survival, we preserve it for our sake and that of our planet. Inspired by its beauty, emboldened by its challenge, heartened by the camaraderie of our tribe, we return again and again to the only example of perfection we know, seeking to restore the balance in ourselves and in our home on this planet.

The wilds are our birthing place, our burial grounds, the cathedrals in which we practice our religion. We are their people.