Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job


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Nicholas Sweeting
(Mad_Musher) - F
A recommendation... on 05/08/2008 09:47:13 MDT Print View

I would recommend not boxing yourself into thinking around working for others (ie. a government agency, etc.). In my experience, working for another persons vision only ends up leading towards the feeling that you're experiencing now. In my opinion, the only way to feel entirely happy with ones 'career' is to craft one yourself. Not happy with something - then change it. That kind of freedom can only come from creating something yourself. If you have an idea, and the smarts, and motivation to make it happen, it will almost certainly be a success.

I'm 21 and well on my way to making my ideal life vision into a profitable career. One that I'm stoked about all the time.

The benefit to this is that you don't necessarily have to leave your current job either. Start it on the side, and simply build it up until you're sure that it could replace your current income.

Edited by Mad_Musher on 05/08/2008 09:48:37 MDT.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: A recommendation... on 05/08/2008 11:31:51 MDT Print View

NS,

Agree. You are living proof that wisdom is independent of age. Bearing North - wow!

It is all about having a vision - be it shared or not - but having one to live. Then acting on it.

Joel Barker on vision and action:
“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference.”

Brett,
You definitely walked the talk. Courageous changes!

Diana L
(mysticmoose) - F

Locale: Great Lakes region
Re: Re: Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job on 05/24/2008 15:36:41 MDT Print View

Here in Indiana, we have conservation officers. They enforce the fish and wildlife laws both inside and outside of state property. I don't have any idea what they make (maybe $40K), but I occasionally think that it's what I should be doing. They're issued a boat, snowmobile, ATV, and several other outdoor vehicles in order to patrol any terrain. They also spend time hiking, teaching classes, and conducting research. In Indiana, at least, the academy is brutal, but I've never heard any CO complain about their job. You also have to complete the regular law enforcement academy, or you can have it waived if you've completed an academy in another state. Maybe a state near yours has something similar?

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job on 09/04/2013 23:12:53 MDT Print View

reviving an old thread...

Took the summer off to do house repairs and honey do list.

Started a new job this week, this is really gonna cut into my tree hugging time.

Was grumbling because the last month has been frustrating for SoCal hiking. The summer heat wave, the forest fires, then the flash floods and now forest partial area closures.

I was hoping to squeeze in a couple of nights mid-week, but now I'm on lockdown with the new trabajo, and I really dislike hiking on the weekends with all the trail hoards and stampedes.

I suppose I can look forward to when the trail ice and freeze up, then the crowds thin out, but then I gotta deal with the weight of the slow moving crampons, winter clothes and short daylight hours. Whine Whine Whine. I wish I can get paid for whining, instead of wasting your time reading about my whining.

oh one more thing, 2 days on the job and I gain 3 lbs of body fat. WTF. Waking up early and blowing 2 hrs per day in traffic, then 8 hours staring at flowchart diagrams. By the end of the month I'm gonna double my cholesterol score.

Good night. I have to go to bed at 10PM like a child to wake up for work tomorrow. :(

At the end of every job I say to myself that this will be my last job ever, but through some Jedi mind trick I find myself in an Office Space movie nightmare.Office Space cubicle

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job on 09/05/2013 00:05:01 MDT Print View

Life sucks if you have a job you hate, even if you make 6 plus figures per year. Life sucks if you have a job you love and it pays $10 an hour and you have no way to provide for a secure future.

Life is great if you have a job you love and it pays well. The job doesn't have to be related to your hobby (for many of us that would be backpacking and all things outdoors).

For most of us (other than school teachers and firefighters) we have on average: two days a week off, 6 holidays, and two weeks of vacation. Do the math... That's ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY days off per year! So don't waste your inventory of free time.

I work full time and over the last 15 years have probably spent around 1,000 days camping or backpacking.

P.S. I have never worked in a cubicle and am sure it would suck too.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Re: Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job on 09/05/2013 05:54:08 MDT Print View

Weight gain is more tied to diet than exercise. You can be mostly sedentary and not gain weight IF you eat properly.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Re: Re: Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job on 09/05/2013 21:19:51 MDT Print View

when at a cubicle for 8 hrs, lunch +1, traffic for +2, staring into a monitor under grey neon, my eyes hurt. My head hurts. My butt is in the chair, my mind is at the Lookout tower.

When I was at home doing repairs, gardening, I'm moving around, burning mega calories, as well as on the trail, I have very little interest in eating. May be 1700 calories per day. I had a potential for the beginning of visible stomach abs.

But at work, the ecosystem changes. There is a social lunch group posse, there's lunch meetings, restaurant food, even those restaurant salads taste like cardboard and I'm at 2000 calories by lunch time. The cubicle trap and the constant unwelcome pop-ins from office dwellers makes me stress feed and graze. I try to drink no-sugar iced tea about 50 oz per day, but eventually I succumb to grazing from the stress hunger. So I bring in 4 oz of almonds, dense but reasonably better for cholesterol to get me through the day.

My dog misses me, he brought me his chew toy and left. May be he senses that I need to chew on it more than he does? :)

Funny thing... I started this job this week driving 2 hrs round trip, I had been interviewing at other places. Today I get a call from another place that would be 4 hrs round trip per day, and it pays 50% more. I used to do that daily commute in my youth, never again. As if the gods of greed are mocking me. I turned it down. I can't see myself spending 13 hrs (8 hrs @desk, 1 hr @ lunch, 4 hrs round trip) I'd go nuts (even more than the usual)

Wise man once said: Man has got to know his limitations.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job on 09/05/2013 21:31:29 MDT Print View

30 min round trip to the dungoen for me, spend 8 hours spent staring at 2 monitor split in the middle by going to the dungeon gym at lunch time, eat lunch in dungoen cell, go back to cave and dial back in to dungoen for an hour. bah humbug

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Inventory of Free time on 09/05/2013 21:32:38 MDT Print View

Nick,

I hear ya about the cumulative weekends and holidays.

For example this Saturday there's thunderstorm forecasted in the San Jac area. Usually the forecast is overly hyped, but lately it's been accurate, rain brings in the ashes in a flash flood, and I'm a wuss when it comes to lightning warnings in the Tahq mountain.

Mt Baldy is still too warm (I know, for you 99F is fresh air)

http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/12151:19

I suppose I can do a day trip to the mountain on Sunday or do 714 water sports instead.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Inventory of Free time on 09/14/2013 22:45:54 MDT Print View

I analyzed the potential days in the past year that I could have done an overnight among the trees. My conclusion is that it's about priorities and there is an opportunity cost (definition for non-business types:) the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.

I can sneak in an occasional day trip, but for an adventure, and wildlife spying I enjoy an overnight for a 2-3 days.

I generally work long term contracts, so I don't get paid vacation, PTO, paid time off. So to take 1 or 2 days off mid-week, has a high dollar income loss. See definition of Opportunity cost. I rather hoard my cash for when I get laid off and my contract assignment ends. but that's another topic. Weekends are more cost effective for me and my trail buddy.

Here are the priority choices I have made that compete with my tree time.
Starting with 52 weekends per year, and subtract along the way, although I occasionally get lucky with some that overlap.
52 weekends per year.
-26 weekends: Last year I was on-call every other weekend, this new job no on-call Yay.
-12 family birthdays: Parents are aging, nephews are growing, I stay tight with them.
-10 Wife or Fam gathering: valentines day, wedding anniv, mothers day, fathers day, Catholic Easter, Orthodox Easter, Yes I celebrate both) Halloween fam pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New years day.
-3 I avoid busy high density crowded holidays: Labor Day, Memorial day, 4th of July
-6 Friends invitations, dinner with friends, friends playing a concert
-5 dog related, dog bath, dog events, get together with friends with dogs.
-10 gardening flowers to make wife happy, I mow my own lawn.
-3 Occasionally I do feel tired, sick and no mental energy to pull off a trip.
-8 rain, winds, forest fire. Last year the weather was beautiful when I was at work and rained on MY weekend time. I don't enjoy muddy trips and I fear thunderstorms.
-3 heat wave with temps over 100F, I would rather go kayaking instead.
-8 house repairs, maintenance, plumbing, carpentry, drilling, hammering and caulking.
-4 Car maintenance
-6 really boring trips with the Mrs to museums or botanical gardens or tourist traps.
-3 events with the lame cub/tiger/bear scout troop, those are basically babysitting.

I have found a tiny window of opportunity during Superbowl Sunday, I start on Friday night, and return mid-day on Sunday to still catch the main event.

Edited by RogerDodger on 09/14/2013 23:01:23 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Re: Re: Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job on 09/14/2013 22:58:00 MDT Print View

"For most of us (other than school teachers and firefighters) we have on average: two days a week off, 6 holidays, and two weeks of vacation. Do the math... That's ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY days off per year! So don't waste your inventory of free time"

Nick, many of us need to drive 4-5 hours to get to a wilderness area. It's not always practical to drive all that distance on a friday after work, sleep at the trailhead, do an overnighter, and get back to the car sunday at a reasonable time. And it's often around $70 in gas. There have been times where I really wished that I could work 10 days straight and have 4 days off... but that would never happen.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job on 10/14/2013 20:15:35 MDT Print View

Well, When I was your age I had to drive far distances to hike. So when I was 26 I moved. It's all about priorities :)

Move while you are young.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job on 10/14/2013 21:49:45 MDT Print View

Have you looked into a 250 ninja or the like Justin? Gets really good gas mileage, especially if you learn to drive it in "eco mode". They use to be quite cheap even new, but in the last few years, i think got noticeably more expensive though still relatively cheap.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job on 10/14/2013 22:13:50 MDT Print View

Well that isn't an option because I'm not entirely supporting myself right now, but I generally agree. When I transfer humbolt or monterrey are at the top of the list.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job on 10/14/2013 23:27:45 MDT Print View

Justin: "There have been times where I really wished that I could work 10 days straight and have 4 days off... but that would never happen."

I know lots of people who work "2-on, 2-off" which means 14 12-hour days (they feed and house you) and then you get two weeks off. THIRTEEN TIMES A YEAR! Now, if you drive truck, weld, or operate oilfield equipment, you might also be earning $90,000-$130,000 in those North Slope oilfield positions. But if you can get by on $40,000-$60,000 then house keeping, office work and food service is an option, too.

A budget could look like:

$50,000 annual income.
Change your address to Mom & Dad's house (saves $20,000 rent right there).
13 round trips to Anchorage (where you report for work): $7,000
No food bill for half the time.
Those 13 round trips don't all have to be back to M&D's - might as well go someplace fun / outdoorsy.
Some of the 13 shifts (May-September) are obvious times to stay in Alaska and recreate here. Heck, don't even fly back to Anchorage - the Brooks Range and Gates of the Arctic would be on your doorstep.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Getting there cheaply on 10/14/2013 23:30:47 MDT Print View

>"Nick, many of us need to drive 4-5 hours to get to a wilderness area."

In my 20's and 30's I hung with a university outing club. Lots of college students who wanted to get to the mountains but didn't have wheels. The paradigm was "driver doesn't pay" for gas. And the trip was wherever the driver(s) wanted to go. If you've got a beater that breaks down a lot, there are still repair costs, but I had a Corolla and it went 490,000 km and was still running when I passed it on.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: west coast best coast
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job on 10/14/2013 23:48:21 MDT Print View

In a professional career, I can see that being possible. It's really difficult for someone in my position to get a job for more that 30hrs per week. There is overtime, legal issues, and of course obamacare.
My issue right now is I really need to pick up a part time job while I got to school 2 days a week. That means I'm probably going to be working weekends and I'm probably going to have no chances to go backpacking... it's going to be terrible. Unless I can find a job that is only mon-friday, but the only things I see available to me are miserable, pathetic service jobs.

My local community college doesn't have an outdoor club that I know of. I don't know about backpacking with other students, my idea of backpacking might be way too adventurous or extreme for casual backpackers. But hey if that's the only way to get out, then it's fine.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job on 10/15/2013 00:26:10 MDT Print View

Justin,

A good education usually opens doors for good job opportunities. It doesn't guarantee a good job, just the opportunity to prove yourself. Work on this. While it may seem it limits your backpacking time, you can be creative and do that too.

A great paying job doing something you love is ideal. It can happen, if you work at it. And great paying jobs often have ample time off.

One thing about a good education, no one can take that away from you. And in the big scheme of things, it doesn't take much time.

Good luck, stay in school and stay the course.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Help me leave the office for an "outdoor" job on 10/15/2013 10:30:59 MDT Print View

I looked at what I wrote in 2008 - I had one kid then, he was mostly free-range (he was 11). I was on the cusp of freedom - business was booming, then the recession hit. I made it through, but had the worst last 2 quarters of my business in 2008.

My husband left one place a week before it fell that fall - and bounced through a couple of tech jobs, with companies failing, till he came to his current job, that he has been with the past 4 years. It was trying but good for us. Is it fulfilling for him? No. But it pays well. We build retirement, pay down our house and save.

In that time I decided to have more kids. Jobs are time and soul sucking? No, kids are. I didn't backpack till this summer - it had been FOUR YEARS since I had. But I love my boys (I have 3 now) and I'd not trade it. Had one of my best hikes ever on Sunday with my 3.5 year old middle son. 3 miles with him is like the best summit/weekend/death march - I see so much through his eyes.

I found myself again, I re-invented myself, found new ways of work that fulfilled me - and paid decent enough. My goal was and still is I wouldn't work out of the house once I had more kids. It is hard - I work when they are asleep, I had to hire out the sewing of my FBC Cozies (don't worry, a hiker sews them!!)

And I even published another book this month - my first ebook. Made me proud I did it!

You just have to find a way and how is all - and go for it!