Nature Deficit Disorder


Are you aware of the term Nature Deficit Disorder?

Whether you are or not it is most definitely worth reading this report by the National Trust that very eloquently talks about this problem.

Here at The Rugged Outdoors we have always been concerned that kids are just not getting enough quality time in arms of Mother Nature. We also extend this concern to the adult population and have seen at first hand the difference that immersing yourself in nature can achieve.

We spend lots of time with our two boys Luke and Josh in the woodlands of the UK. Both are healthy fit young boys but moreover they (we feel) are well rounded individuals who are just as comfortable cooking themselves Bannock over an open fire that they themselves have just started as they are surfing the web.


Ok sometimes its difficult to get them away from a TV screen or computer but we as parents persevere and once they are out there their whole attitude changes.


For us the most important part of being in the woods is the chill factor because once this takes over their minds take a journey of discovery, “Dad there’s a deer track over here” “Mam are these mushrooms edible?”. They are both comfortable using a knife to process wood and we are happy to let them use a knife because we have drilled the safe use of such to the point that to them its automatic, its muscle memory.

They will climb tree’s and they will wade through streams all the time checking that the tree limb that they are about to step on is safe or the depth of the stream is such that they are not going to get into difficulties while crossing from one bank to the other.


They know their limits and will sometimes stretch those limits, they will explore the woods and we will let them because we know that they have their whistles strapped to them and they will give a good blast on it if there is a problem.


All of the above provides for a child that will use their imagination throughout their life, they can make decisions, they can work as part of a team but just as importantly can manage as an individual.


In his seminal book Last Child in the Woods, published in 2005, California based author Richard Louv coined the phrase that has come to define the problem we are now trying to solve:


Nature Deficit Disorder describes the human costs of alienation from nature, among them: diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, and higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses.


Its never to late to start so get out there and let mother nature embrace you, if you need help just get in touch with us here at The Rugged Outdoors we have something for everyone.