How has Overlanding made you a better person?

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grubworm

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I think overlanding has made me a better person, I don't mean better than anyone else, but "better" as in a better version of myself. I just started roughly a year ago and have noticed a LOT of benefits already. One big benefit I noticed is that I handle discomfort better now. Used to, I would put a lot of work into not being uncomfortable. A few months back, the wife and I were tent camping in Arkansas and around 2-3am, rain hit and flooded the tent. I didn't put the rain guard on and we got soaked. There is nowhere to go, so we climbed into the Tundra and dozed intermittantly until the sun came up. I was tired and my neck hurt, but I got some coffee going and in a short while we were on the road heading to a hiking trail. We had a great day and I realized that something that seemed horrible, really wasn't that bad. As we camp more and run into more "problems", the more I realized that things are really not that big a deal. This has made its way into my everyday way of living and my stress and worry has decreased big time!
 

Road

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Most all my wandering 'round North America is called overlanding by somebody or another, as I use my vehicle for both urban and rural exploration/adventure. Like explorers of old did, I choose to immerse myself in local culture I encounter along the way, though spend more time en-route, exploring the willow-wacks and staying backcountry. And, like explorers of old, I tend to stay out for several months at a time.

I really notice the difference in myself when traveling and exploring and when I'm not. It's one reason I choose to camp and road-trip far more of the year than I don't. I haven't kept a regular place of my own for almost twenty years because of it.

Being on the road and exploring keeps me far more exercised and healthy, mentally stimulated, and engaged with both nature and those I encounter along the way.

When you increase your level of daily exercise, mental stimulation, and engage more with your environment, your body releases more seratonin, dopamine, and endorphins than it would otherwise. That means, generally, you are happier about life, your senses are sharpened, you have a larger appetite and food tastes better, and you're better equipped to cope with stressful situations. You're generally a more pleasant human to be around. A camper I ran across in the borderlands said "You seem to always put a positive spin on everything!"

It also usually means, as you've noticed, @grubworm, that you can handle adversity and discomfort more than you used to. I think about that all the time when something goes awry; that years ago I'd have been wound up or upset about it, and that now I can much more easily take it in stride. I think the more one travels past two weeks, the more this happens. I've noticed a two-week stretch that happens for a lot of folks not used to traveling, to adopt a new routine, get over the homesick blues, and make it more than just a camping trip.

It's all part of the adventure of being out here wandering. Nothing is making us feel negative or positive. It is our choice to be one way or another.

.
 
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smritte

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I wouldn't say "Overlanding" made me better but, getting out and away has. In my youth, I did quite a bit of backpacking. Came home very relaxed and was good until my next trip. My camping trips now, as before are generally remote. I almost never stay in a public camp ground. When I have been forced to, I cant wait to leave. Even now, sitting in the shade by a creek, reading or sitting by a campfire watching the star's is and will be my favorite things to do.
 

Codebeagle

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Overlanding has taught me a lot about being self-reliant, having greater respect for the natural resources around us, and having enough humility to work in teams. I grew up as a Boy Scout and found that overlanding teaches a lot of the same things, like being prepared, being thrifty, and courtesy to others.

I think these things help me be a better citizen, husband, and dad.
 

Road

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This thread, my post, and recent comments on insta and in private about the way I keep my gear, got me thinking more about how my life affects the way I camp and how the way I camp affects my life.

I know that staying on the road and backcountry camping three times as much as I stay in a house, I've learned how little I need to not only get by, but be happy and content. I am far more conservative with the amount of water and power I use, far more informed in practice about diet and exercise, and much more organized in my life because of having primarily an outdoor, mobile, lifestyle.

All of these things, for me, mean I am more approachable, happier, and feel like a much more well-rounded individual.

Here's what I posted on insta about good habits transferring to the rest of one's life:

 

Roots66

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Overlanding gets me and my family far away from all of the daily stress. When it's just us and the amazing countryside, it reminds me of what really matters.

“Watch the sunrise at least once a year, put a lot of marshmallows in your hot chocolate, lie on your back and look at the stars, never buy a coffee table you can't put your feet on, never pass up a chance to jump on a trampoline, don't overlook life's small joys while searching for the big ones.”
--H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
 

MidOH

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Nope. I blame backpacking though.

It's nice knowing that if I run out of food on the AT.............
 

grubworm

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This thread, my post, and recent comments on insta and in private about the way I keep my gear, got me thinking more about how my life affects the way I camp and how the way I camp affects my life.

I know that staying on the road and backcountry camping three times as much as I stay in a house, I've learned how little I need to not only get by, but be happy and content. I am far more conservative with the amount of water and power I use, far more informed in practice about diet and exercise, and much more organized in my life because of having primarily an outdoor, mobile, lifestyle.

All of these things, for me, mean I am more approachable, happier, and feel like a much more well-rounded individual.

Here's what I posted on insta about good habits transferring to the rest of one's life:

VERY inspirational...especially your instagram post, appreciate you sharing that.
 
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GoldenStateAdv

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Oh where to start.....ah....back story.

When I was a kid I was raised mainly by my Father, who always enjoyed the outdoors. We would regularly go on hikes, and mini excursions...with camping every now and then. Flash-forward to becoming an adult; always stuck working, very little time off, I had become a perfectionist and mildly OCD. Things always had to have a plan, order, and flawless execution. Always high stress, high anxiety, but everything was planned and in order. Now, the turning point; 2010; separation from my wife--ending in a divorce, and in the middle.....losing my job, car, house. During this time I had no plan, no order, no execution - I had lost all my stability. I was able to pick up a part-time job and bought a beater 1999 Dakota 2wd to get me by. Due to the large amount of time I had on my hands I would regularly go visit the spots my Dad and I used to frequent as a kid, and I would just sit and reflect. Doing this would calm me, slow me down, and wash away all my stress and anxiety, and then it dawned on me. Nothing else was important, My comfort, my mental health, my happiness. I scraped together a few bucks and bought the cheapest basics I could find; $20 tent, $15 sleeping bag, and a basic Coleman stove. I started camping regularly, and finding myself again, except without the stress and anxiety. I landed a better job, got a better truck, acquired better gear. I rebuilt myself and my life. I was able to shed the structure and order I had always needed. I found myself able to except things for the way they were, and the ability to take leaps of faith into the unknown. Taking trips without planning a route, visiting places I was unfamiliar with, becoming spontaneous. Each adventure I went on I would grow, adding more and more to each of listed before- taking longer trips, further away, bigger chances. I grew more self confidence, more self reliance, and the ability to just be and enjoy the ride that is life.

Now here I am -- 9 years later. Owner of a built Power Wagon overland rig. An amazing new wife, beautiful step-children and a baby on the way. I went from losing my job as a detailer at a car dealership to becoming GM of several automotive business, to becoming a Firefighter, Fire Captain, and now, a Federal Law Enforcement Officer. Camping and Overlanding saved me. Saved me from myself. Saved me from my rock bottom, and rebuilt me into a better person.
 

Road

Not into ranks, titles or points.
Member

Advocate III

4,149
On the road in North America
Member #

6589

Oh where to start.....ah....back story.

When I was a kid I was raised mainly by my Father, who always enjoyed the outdoors. We would regularly go on hikes, and mini excursions...with camping every now and then. Flash-forward to becoming an adult; always stuck working, very little time off, I had become a perfectionist and mildly OCD. Things always had to have a plan, order, and flawless execution. Always high stress, high anxiety, but everything was planned and in order. Now, the turning point; 2010; separation from my wife--ending in a divorce, and in the middle.....losing my job, car, house. During this time I had no plan, no order, no execution - I had lost all my stability. I was able to pick up a part-time job and bought a beater 1999 Dakota 2wd to get me by. Due to the large amount of time I had on my hands I would regularly go visit the spots my Dad and I used to frequent as a kid, and I would just sit and reflect. Doing this would calm me, slow me down, and wash away all my stress and anxiety, and then it dawned on me. Nothing else was important, My comfort, my mental health, my happiness. I scraped together a few bucks and bought the cheapest basics I could find; $20 tent, $15 sleeping bag, and a basic Coleman stove. I started camping regularly, and finding myself again, except without the stress and anxiety. I landed a better job, got a better truck, acquired better gear. I rebuilt myself and my life. I was able to shed the structure and order I had always needed. I found myself able to except things for the way they were, and the ability to take leaps of faith into the unknown. Taking trips without planning a route, visiting places I was unfamiliar with, becoming spontaneous. Each adventure I went on I would grow, adding more and more to each of listed before- taking longer trips, further away, bigger chances. I grew more self confidence, more self reliance, and the ability to just be and enjoy the ride that is life.

Now here I am -- 9 years later. Owner of a built Power Wagon overland rig. An amazing new wife, beautiful step-children and a baby on the way. I went from losing my job as a detailer at a car dealership to becoming GM of several automotive business, to becoming a Firefighter, Fire Captain, and now, a Federal Law Enforcement Officer. Camping and Overlanding saved me. Saved me from myself. Saved me from my rock bottom, and rebuilt me into a better person.
.
Cool story, man.

I especially like this: "I found myself able to except things for the way they were, and the ability to take leaps of faith into the unknown. Taking trips without planning a route, visiting places I was unfamiliar with, becoming spontaneous."

Accepting what lies before me, taking trips without planning a route, and letting the road and nature lead the way has always resulted in the best adventures, the best interactions with others, and my best sense of self-confidence and self-worth.

Very cool to see how it has helped shape who you have become.
.
 

Codebeagle

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This thread, my post, and recent comments on insta and in private about the way I keep my gear, got me thinking more about how my life affects the way I camp and how the way I camp affects my life.

I know that staying on the road and backcountry camping three times as much as I stay in a house, I've learned how little I need to not only get by, but be happy and content. I am far more conservative with the amount of water and power I use, far more informed in practice about diet and exercise, and much more organized in my life because of having primarily an outdoor, mobile, lifestyle.

All of these things, for me, mean I am more approachable, happier, and feel like a much more well-rounded individual.

Here's what I posted on insta about good habits transferring to the rest of one's life:

I love this. Excellent outlook and philosophy.
 

Kevin108

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I thought I didn't like to travel. Turns out I just don't like to travel the way most people do. I hate being crammed in some metal tube with wheels or wings, shoulder to shoulder with strangers. But when I'm in my own vehicle, with my own music, stuff, and schedule ...well, I could go anywhere like that.
 

grubworm

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I love this. Excellent outlook and philosophy.
Yeah, I'm glad I found this group. Up until now, I thought I was an oddball not wanting to be in large crowds doing what everyone else is doing. The saying that 'ignorance is bliss' is so true...I like to go to remote places and just be ignorant. Ignorant to social media and who's saying what about who...ignorant to the news and what ever political arguments that are CONSTANTLY going on and all that mess. When I get that out of my head, the world is actually a great place!
 

chuckoverland

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We go out just the two of us most trips. The self reliance and confidence that builds up has started bleeding into other areas of my life. Being brave and trying things i never have. Whether its customizing a car, cooking something ive never tried, growing vegetables and flowers. It has helped to be bold, fearless, and undeniable. I always had low self esteem and have been called a doormat, but all that has been changing as i feel like i am coming out of a shell that i built (with the help of our sick culture)
Plus meeting people that understand the drive to explore is heartening because so far we always click, despite our backgrounds and lifestyles. I get to hang out with a great group of OB people. A NASA scientist, computer programmer, a truck driver, another kitchen guy like me.
I love places that try to bring people together like here, rather than try to divide us like tv news and politics.
'Politics is hollywood for ugly people' - Clyde Lewis
 
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MOAK

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Diehl
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This thread, my post, and recent comments on insta and in private about the way I keep my gear, got me thinking more about how my life affects the way I camp and how the way I camp affects my life.

I know that staying on the road and backcountry camping three times as much as I stay in a house, I've learned how little I need to not only get by, but be happy and content. I am far more conservative with the amount of water and power I use, far more informed in practice about diet and exercise, and much more organized in my life because of having primarily an outdoor, mobile, lifestyle.

All of these things, for me, mean I am more approachable, happier, and feel like a much more well-rounded individual.

Here's what I posted on insta about good habits transferring to the rest of one's life:

yes, you are right. We keep a well organized camp as well and have been complimented for it by knowledgable back country folks and by more than a couple of back country rangers. Sloppy folks have remarked that we are somewhat anal retentive. It is my understanding that bears, racoons, ravens, etc, have often victimized those non-anal retentive folks. A clean organized camp is a happy contented camp.
 
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