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by dylan

Is there another place for outdoorists online?

July 12, 2010 in Investigation

I hate to admit it, but part of living my outdoor dreams has been the realization that I don’t have the online time to write about my experiences here the way I had hoped. Initially I thought that this site might help me (and you) earn income in outdoor-oriented ways, and I have found my own way to do it, but haven’t learned much about what others do.

I do know a few outdoorists have gathered here, and are interested in talking about how we can integrate the outdoors into our lives effectively. It seems like most of the online outdoor social networks are focused on gear or “extreme” activities, but I’m sure we could find a home elsewhere online if I decommission this site. Does anyone have any votes? or a Facebook group come to my mind – any other alternatives we should look at?

by dylan

Outdoor Health Care

March 21, 2010 in Investigation

I’ve finally taken the leap and launched into a completely mobile lifestyle, working online and living with my wife in our camper. We’ve been getting lots of outdoor time in new places. The joy of this is tempered a bit by some of the chaos swirling around us. We left New Mexico in the midst of a budget crunch and found much of the same news in Arizona. Debate rages about a looming health care bill. Staying in a park near a congresswoman’s office in Tucson, protesters mob the street for hours once a week.

Meanwhile, as we research outdoor destinations in Arizona, we find a list of closed and partially closed parks among the many signs of budget cuts.

If there is one thing that’s crucial for an outdoorist, it’s public land. We still have a lot of it in the US, thankfully, but I don’t think we can afford let any of it slip away. I’d even put it on the same footing as health care, because I know my health depends on it. I wonder how many other people depend on public land for their physical fitness? No health care system can work without a healthy population, yet the debate doesn’t seem to focus much on the things that keep us healthy. Without public lands more of us will turn to gyms, and gym memberships may very well compete with health insurance in our budgets.

Is there any evidence to support this theory? I haven’t found any specific studies, but I think supporting statistics could be mined. Look at the American College of Sports Medicine’s fittest city list, and it compare it with CNN’s list of cities with the most parks. The top 20 entries in both lists have 11 cities in common. What other evidence is out there?

As an outdoorist just getting started on new path in these uncertain times, my prevailing thought is: public land is health insurance.

by dylan

Cartographer Bryan Conant

November 24, 2008 in Investigation, Weekend Warrior

Maps are a part of almost any outdoor lover’s life. For some of us, they grow from simple planning tools into an almost mystical art form. We start to feel the potential for endless new outdoor experiences when we look at the printed image of a map. As we use them, our maps can invoke an ever-deepening pool of rich memories. They become beautiful, and a few of us start to dream of creating them.

When I ran across Bryan Conant’s website, I knew I’d found a map-loving Outdoorist’s dream come true. Bryan has produced the definitive trail maps for the wilderness areas outside Santa Barbara, California. I arranged a phone interview with Bryan to find out how he accomplished this, and what it might mean to the rest of us.

Bryan Conant Interview mp3

Thanks to for the groovy intro music.

by dylan

Drawing Lifemaps

July 17, 2008 in Investigation

Outdoorists value the outdoors highly, so we naturally pursue an outdoor life. What are the options? As I meet and talk to outdoorists, I want to map those options out for others. To take a first step in that direction, I created a new Lifemaps page to contain my maps, and sketched out the first for the Weekend Warrior, which is the path I have chosen for much of my life. I look forward to seeing how they evolve, and incorporating any comments from outdoorists.

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