Outposting; escaping to a simple, remote location where you can focus and refine yourself. Free from distractions, you’re free to achieve your goals… or find them.

On the fringe of civilisation, that’s where you’ll discover your purpose.

How many of you are thinking of a hut in the bush right now? A cabin in the woods, or even a tent in the desert?

It’s probably a physical location that springs to mind, with a measurable remoteness from others. It’s a cliché that reappears time and time again in popular culture. And popular it is. Just try booking any small cabin or lodge on Airbnb for the next 72 weekends.

But what if I said you might not have to physically escape. That you should place less value on finding a physical ‘outpost’ and focus more on your state of mind. On removing your distractions.

Distractions are more prevalent now than at any point in history and unplugging is enormously satisfying. Have you ever gone out of reception? Ever ‘gone off grid’ intentionally? When we disconnect (opening-scene-of-the-Matrix-like) from the digital world, our immediate surroundings take on new value; as do the items we have with us and the people we engage with.

‘There’s a certain romance here that runs at the core of every outdoor pursuit.’

Outdoor Remedy

Take hiking for example: you have the trail, everything you need for the journey on your back and, if you’re lucky, you won’t see too many other people.

Bikepackingraftingcross-country skiing, most of what we do outdoors is deeply personal, an exercise in mental outposting helped along by beautiful locations and physical hardship.

These experiences cut us free and allow us to see ourselves as an individual, perhaps for the very first time.

Go Smaller

Head to the local crag, or go trail-running at sunset. Indulge in a 5-9 microadventure. But don’t do it for a photo or to tick it off your list. Do it with outposting in mind; remove your distractions and focus on real life. After all, it is the main event.

Go Smaller Still

Head to a café alone with just a book, a pen and paper or an article you want to read. Make that table your outpost. I started this post in a Columbian café across the road from my work. Sitting with my chair facing the road, my table became an island in a bustling CBD.

Outposting Is An Act

You don’t always need to go deep into nature, to a physical location, to find your outpost.

Outposting is a mental state that connects us to our natural origins. And the more you do it, the more enriching your adventures will become.

You might call outposting a form of meditation, or you might call it escapism.

I call it necessary.