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Backpacking as coping skill
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David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Backpacking as coping skill on 10/04/2010 10:54:47 MDT Print View

2010 has been a hard year for me. It's also been a brilliant year, especially since I finished graduate school in May. I've done at least four backpacking trips since then that easily make the lifetime top ten list.

There's a connection between the two. I left grad school feeling ambivalent. For all of April and May I was in full survial mode, and graduated feeling like I had rolled across the finish line in a heap, gravel down my shirt and under my skin. I would have prefered a more orderly, controlled end to the affair, but do give myself credit for making it at all.

I needed some centering after that, and my solo traverse of the Thorofare in May delivered. I was able to go into a summer internship, more adventures, and the job hunt with a much better demeanor. It took a while, but aside from a season of amazing trips, that calm has paid off. I (finally!) got a full time position last week, and will be moving a few hours north to Kalispell, Montana soon. It promises to be a great job at a great organization, and I'll have Glacier NP and the Bob at my doorstep.

I put this video together yesterday, as a way to review the year, organize my thoughts, and put some of the doubt and regret behind me. It was a nicely cathartic process.

Backpacking kept me mentally and physically healthy this year, and for that I am thankful.

To backpacking!

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Backpacking as coping skill on 10/04/2010 11:05:39 MDT Print View

Great video. Thanks Dave!

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Backpacking as coping skill on 10/04/2010 21:43:13 MDT Print View

Cool video. Congrats on graduating and on the new gig. I always enjoy reading your posts and blog--lot's of good, useful info and fuel for trip planning. Pat yourself on the back.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
cheers! on 10/04/2010 23:29:22 MDT Print View

Thanks guys. I foresee a good winter of backcountry in my future.

Andy Schill
(Aschill) - F
nice on 10/07/2010 18:18:37 MDT Print View

Great Video, Congrats on grad school.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Backpacking as coping skill on 10/07/2010 19:05:53 MDT Print View

Dave, that video was so good, I friggin' loved it. Your videos are always awesome. Congrats on your achievements.

Matt F
(matt_f) - MLife
fantastic on 10/07/2010 20:31:42 MDT Print View

Dave -

Fantastic video. It hit home in part because I'm in the midst of my fourth year of medical school and time spent in the backcountry has been an invaluable source of balance (sanity?), and you captured this in dramatic fashion. It looked like you were (successfully) defending a thesis - Congrats on graduation and on the new gig!

As long as we're heaping praise on you, thanks for your contributions to the forums. You provide a lot of sound advice for rugged, skill-heavy styles of travel...the sort of thing that makes reading these forums worthwhile. Thanks for taking the time to share your projects and insights.


Nick Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: SW Montana
coping -nice one Dave! on 10/07/2010 21:06:21 MDT Print View

Always a pleasure. Gongrats and much props to all of your endeavors!

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Backpacking as coping skill on 10/07/2010 22:30:41 MDT Print View

Yes, to backpacking!

Nice video and congratulations on the landing of a promising job!

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Thanks! on 10/08/2010 08:35:42 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone, I'm glad my stuff is useful for others.

Good luck finished med school Matt. My little sister is in her third year, and holy cow does it look like a stressful way to spend some time!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Backpacking as coping skill on 10/08/2010 08:46:46 MDT Print View

GO GRIZZLIES :) Congrats!

Travis Helton
(TJ_Hiker) - F

Locale: Pacific NorthWest
Congratulations! on 10/12/2010 09:38:12 MDT Print View

Nice job landing anything in Kalispell! I'm currently saving to move their myself. I have to have at least 6 months income saved up so I can cover rent and other expenses while job hunting their. Ive perused the CraigsList ads the last few months and a few other sites and Ive come to the conclusion that it is slim pickins over there right now. Cant wait though! Should have enough saved up by May.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Congratulations! on 10/12/2010 10:24:30 MDT Print View


Great video! After you get settled in in Kalispell PM me and I'll introduce you to my friends at the Bob Marshall Wilderness Organization, based in nearby Hungry Horse.