Nice work! Outdoorsy....you sound more like adventurous and daring, thrill seeking even. Yaknow the thing I liked about reading this was "fear factor"! None! Go up a mountain by yourself, see dangerous animals, climb gnarly routes...that's what I like to hear! Far to many poeple these days are run by the "safety police". That's crazy if you ask me.
The way I see it is, you are doing the best activities for sharpeing your senses, honing your servival skills(basic or otherwise), connecting with nature on a different level then just going for a hike, not to mention connecting with yourself on a deeper level, having time to think or not think. It's kind of like soul searching...anyways enough out of me....I envy you!
No need to envy me, peacefulwarrior, sounds like you're hiking right alongside. You might be interested in the works of Richard Louv, who coined the term "Nature-Deficit Disorder." His theory (I call it hard fact) is that we as a society are spending more and more time indoors in stressful physical, emotional, and mental environments and not enough time outdoors in a relaxed state of mind. His book, "Last Child in the Woods," was a bestseller that started an international movement to reconnect kids and nature. I'm currently reading his latest, "The Nature Principle."
Just being around nature induces a meditative state in the brain that allows it to function at a higher level. There's an article in the current issue of Backpacker Magazine about a researcher who's taking people out into the wild on backpacking trips and testing their brain power with word games and puzzles as they go along. Conclusion: a 50% increase in smarts after only a few days away from a city. No surprise to us, right? We get all sorts of mental inspiration and solutions to problems as we hike along and let our mind wander and flow. The researcher wants to get his findings published but I say enjoy them NOW! Why wait for some stuffy scientists to proclaim that something is true if you're already livin' the results?
Case in point, I'm heading out as we speak to harvest hedera (invasive ivy vines) in our local Forest Park. I've learned to weave them into baskets by hand and it feels so good to simultaneously rid a native forest of weeds, get free supplies, and create functional art all in one fell swoop. But it's muddy as hell out there today. Gonna be one of those times where I shower AFTER the fun, not before. Yeah, I'm definitely an adrenaline junkie and this ain't quite it but at least I'll be out in the slugs, the muck, and the fresh spring leaves. Maybe I'll run into my friend, Sal Mander.
Fear factor? Safety police? I used to be a Forum Moderator and Event Organizer for one of the largest hiking/outdoor clubs here in Portland, Oregon. I left. I got real tired real fast of their ludicrous, ambiguous "safety" rules. For instance, they deleted posts by anyone who showed a waterfall climbing adventure (too dangerous for children, they might get ideas), a cross-country bushwhack (too dangerous for everybody else, they might get ideas), and lectured anybody who mentioned in their hiking report that they hiked alone, without a cell phone or GPS, and told no one where they were going. That would be me. That's MY idea. Been doing it all my life and my life is quite intact, thank you very much. As a matter of fact, the only time I ever got into any trouble was when I had other people along with me. Man, pick your hiking companions wisely, that's all I have to say. One of my favorites was a young pup named Alex, who is now living in New Zealand with his girlfriend. He and I laughed about our craziness on a few hiking podcasts, recorded prior to my falling out with and subsequent gleeful avoidance of the evil hiking club: http://allthoughtsworkoutdoors.wordpres ... ts/page/2/
Baby Herc, card carrying adrenaline junkie