A blog about a mildly fit 28 year old living in New Jersey via California with little time, less money, and equally clueless friends figuring out what it means to be a modern animal inside and out.
Why outside things?
In the non-blog-o-blog-o-sphere I do political non-profit work. I could probably write about that all day. Other blogs I’ve had have all (accidentally) inevitably turned into political commentary. I’m pretty sure that all of my friends – varied as they are – at the minimum fit one of these three criteria: (1) read the Huffington Post, (2) listen to NPR, or (3) watched the last presidential debate.
Occasionally, I think, “maybe it’s a problem that I live in an insular echo chamber of political wonkery..?” and on one of those days, I decided that I would start a blog about something else that I love. Everything outside! In Easytown (you know, that imaginary town where our democracy was responsive to the people) I would probably own a bike and board shop and mostly spend my time bike touring and climbing things (in addition to owning the local barcade).
I’m sure I’ll on occasion end up talking politics, not only because I have only so much self control, but also because ultimately outside things happen in the context of modern civilization, and civilization is built on functional political systems, so the two are inextricably intertwined.
There was a time in my life when I got really into biking. I bought a touring bike and I did centuries, I bought spandex and panniers. I even convinced a few of my friends to bike down the coast of California with me. While this was all very awesome and I was certainly more versed in bicycling than the average person, I never cared enough for training schedules, researching diets, or spending boatloads of money to get any good at cycling or be competitive at it. I was never a cyclist. Merely a person with a bicycle.
When I started thinking about this blog, I realized that this is the case for all the outside activities that I love. I am a person with a spelunking helmet and kneepads, but I am not a spelunker. I am a person with a nice pack for backpacking, a decent sleeping bag and pad, a mess kit, and river-safe shampoo, but most backpackers wonder at my amateurish gear and low daily mileage. I have snowboarding pants, a pair of goggles, and can proudly claim that I’ve taught almost a dozen people to connect their turns, but double black diamonds mostly seem terrifying and I’ve only done two jumps, and both were by accident (the first time I was trying to avoid a mess of people and ended up on a trick run, the second, I was cruising through some powder that ended in a ramp of ice!)
I am, in a sense, Europe between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. An outdoor gourmand as opposed to gourmet. A slightly better than beginner everything.
In an age of smart phones and highways, you would think that getting out into the wide world would be easier, but for many people without any experience in it, it’s mostly intimidating. So here’s a blog to all of those folks. A testament to endless possibilities, if only we would just go outside and do what our bodies were made for.
Who are you?
Definitely a human. Most likely, a stranger on the internet. Or maybe a figment of your imagination.
How do I use this blog?
Blogs are better when you’re not writing to the unlimited ether of the internet, but rather to real humans! So follow me, comment freely, and share what you like to your friends and fellow amateurs and I’ll do my best to do the same for you. Hopefully, we can build a community space for the countless other people in the world who appreciate the outdoors but aren’t experts in navigating it, and inspire them to go out and tromp, wander, and gaze in awe to their heart’s content.
Posts are listed chronologically, but hopefully their topics will be somewhat timeless. They’re all put in buckets in the categories section to your right.