Looking back on our trips we’ve realized that our minds are always the sharpest and most focused when we were in the middle of nowhere. It’s the absence of instant connectivity to the world that allows you to give more attention to deeper thoughts, resulting in higher productivity and a healthier state of mind.
Sometimes we left hikes with clear decisions or new ideas and other times with questions we didn’t even think to ask before. Either way, we found these experiences necessary and decided to indulge in two hikes per month dedicated to keeping the mind just as healthy as our physical health. After a handful of mind hikes, we compiled a list of five essential items to enhance the overall experience.
There’s something about sitting in a hammock that instantly puts us in a relaxed state of mind. What makes it even more enjoyable is hiking around our location trying to find the perfect spot to hang. If our location has water we’ll always hang near or even above it as the sound adds to the experience of a calm mind. The type of hammock you have will determine where you can hang though. There are a variety of hammocks, but our current favorite is the cocoon. Not only does it feel great to sit in, but it allows us to hang in locations a traditional hammock would not. However, when we travel internationally we grab our super portable hammock, which happens to be fairly affordable. Take a look at what the guys from Hammock Town have for sale or pick one up option on Amazon.
We were always guitar fans and still have them around, but we’re able to take our ukulele anywhere. We’ll make up songs, strum random chords, and unleash our creative forces onto that ukulele. Messing around and practicing randomness usually results in some sort of progression, whether personally or for business. Ukulele’s can be purchased for around $50 and learning the most popular chords doesn’t usually take more than a few hours. Want to take care of this step quickly? Order a ukulele , download a tuner on your phone (we use Simple Ukulele Tuner), learn the four basic chords that can help you play almost any song and then practice a few popular songs from this list.
We use journals on a daily basis, but writing in the middle of nowhere is an experience that really upstarts the mind. In fact, that’s how this article started. Somewhere along Bull Creek in Austin, TX we took a break, hung up our hammock and started writing while one of the guys played “Lose Yourself” by Eminem on the ukulele. It was a good, productive time. We use several different sized journals to make sure we have one in all of our bags and camera cases. You can find a variety of journals at your local bookstore or online. We currently use journals made by Moleskine.
We have solid cologne in all of our backpacks, briefcases, camera cases, glove boxes and most of the time in our pockets. Smelling good anywhere we go is the main purpose of solid cologne, or pocket cologne as some would call it, but we’ll take it out while sitting in the hammock and just smell it right out of the tin. Aromas relax us and we turned Aviator into a solid cologne because we couldn’t get enough of the scent. This type of hike is made to help us relax the mind and promote deep thinking. The scents we bring along help us do just that.
When we’re not talking or writing during these types of hikes, we’re reading. It’s a completely different experience than a lot of our other hikes which usually include finding places to climb and jump off of (are we starting to sound like a Huckleberry Finn novel? Good.). However, we know that taking care of the mind is just as important as the body. So, we read. While reading is already part of our daily routine, taking a book into the wild is a completely different experience than you get at home. Our advice: get outside, try it.
We bring the above five items on every mind hike. You might sound a little weird telling people you’re going on a mind hike; we get it… but our philosophy is, who cares… some of your most prized real estate is the seven inches between your ears, take care of it. These hikes will improve mental stability, sharpness and overall health. Plus, we’re guys that go out and do, not sit back and watch.