Profiteering Gentlebros of the Wilderness
by Caity Weaver / Gawker
Do you have a Y-chromosome and also a keenly refined rustic aesthetic? Are you eager to go camping but hesitant to put yourself in a position where you could ever be out-of-doors? Do you have $40 to blow on a hand-stitched “masculine, yet understated” leather keychain?
Sounds like you’re in the market for a fastidiously planned adventure.
The Wilderness Collective is a company that specializes in curating artisanal manliness by coordinating expeditions that invite robust young gentlebros “to find out what [they] are made of; to be measured by the wilderness.” For $2,500 ($3,500 with bike rental), you can “reclaim masculinity through adventure.” Included in the cost is a videographer on-hand to record the masculine rebirth for sick Facebook videos.
“It’s almost as if the wild was designed as a proving ground for men,” the narrator begins, letting you know right away that what is about to happen is terrible.
It’s almost as if nature were an extremely realistic CGI Mario-world for humans. Almost as if Earth were an elaborate obstacle course constructed in the backyard by mankind’s coolest babysitter, God.
The men lock up their cellphones for an entire three-day weekend so that they can “be present”; they unload cars and set up a campsite even though no one specifically told them to do that.
Each guy wasn’t told what to do but they found a job; they found a place where they could lead, a place where they could be responsible. It was almost called out of them by the situation we were in; we had to set up a camp.
And once camp is broken, out come the “craft cocktails and artisan food.”
We were dead tired but our headlights guided the way through these twists and turns all the way through to this second camp. and when we showed up the craft cocktails and the Artisan food and there were such welcome friends under this endless starry sky.
As his wildebros assemble their craft cocktails, the narrator issues a gibberish call to arms against “eroding masculinity,” which is under assault from those who depict men as “weak, and blundering, and misguided and shallow.” Out here in the bosom of wild nature, he says, they can be “ever more intentional to carve out time for camaraderie, for adventure and introspection.”
In the foreground, his ur-men are shown preparing grilled artichokes, tucking into a bowl brimming with store-bought strawberries, and carefully slicing into a wedge of cheese WITH A FANCY CHEESE KNIFE.
The video’s dramatic conclusion finds our lonely heroes savoring the beauty of nature as they roar down a paved road, through a man-made tunnel, while beeping their motorcycle horns at passing automobiles. Emerging on the tunnel’s other side (INTO A PARKING LOT), they hop off their bikes, smoke victory cigars (“the cigars were broke out”), and realize that “have quickly become a band of brothers.”
This is a group of outdoorsmen who put the “Wilde” in wilderness. Who crave the danger of Eagle Scout camping, but lack the survival skills. Who bring a French press on a three-day camping trip.
At one crucial junction, the moto-caravan pulls over just so that its members can throw axes at wood.
Almost as if the wood was designed for axes to be thrown at it.