Interesting piece, Ryan. I would say that the wilderness is an escape from the mundane workplace, the heavy traffic, and the annoying neighbors. There is a genuine tranquility to be found Out There that cannot be replicated by any human means. I read in one of the Amazon reviews on the Planet Earth tv series how watching it was like a spa for the mind, and that's what nature does - it cleans one up from the inside out and helps to refresh our jaded perspectives.
It also helps to remind us that life is really a lot simpler than we typically make it out to be. When you realize that all you really need out there is shelter, a water source, and some hunting tools - if we bring it down to our most basic survival needs - it helps you either appreciate the daily creature comforts around you or, better yet, it helps you reject many of them and gets you to live a simpler life.
As you point out in the essay, the challenge of being on your own outdoors is also intriguing, and can help you to take better stock of your mundane life, and have a better handle on everyday problems.
I think nature just reminds us that we are human, and being human means we are also an animal species that is part of a much bigger and greater web of life.