Ryan Jordan

Wild Places Breed Humility and Unselfishness


Big Wall Camp
Escalante, UT 2004

Wilderness has a way of making you feel really small, and insignificant.

It’s too bad that the natural tendencies of real people in the real world don’t tend to the same manifestations of humility.

In a Wild Place, it’s pretty easy to look around and be reminded that it’s not all about me.

But back here, in the real world, where there’s people, I’m reminded constantly that not only is it often about me (or at least, I want to think it is), but you also think that it’s often about you.

What a parasitic means of living, and interacting with people.

This is why I love hanging out with groups in Wild Places. Wild Places open eyes to something way bigger than me, or you, so we tend to want to serve others while we’re out there, and think of each other’s well being above our own.

Combine this with an ultralight pack, which requires less effort to carry and makes you less tired, and a simple kit, which means you have less to keep track of and fiddle with, and more time at your disposal, and you have some pretty important ingredients for fostering relationships. Woe to the family, or Scout Troop, or NOLS crew, that continues to carry heavy loads into the wilderness. “But it’s working for us!” is the common response.

“But it’s working for us?” That’s your standard?

There’s more, I promise. So, lighten up, OK? Start here.