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Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Post trip depression on 04/27/2012 07:11:41 MDT Print View

anyone have post trip depression? i have been noticing that in the few days after a backpacking trip i'm feeling depressed - it takes a few days to wear off and then i'm back to normal. i feel this depression even after a quick overnight trip.

i can't be alone with this, can i?

Edited by asciibaron on 04/27/2012 07:12:36 MDT.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: post trip depression on 04/27/2012 07:27:02 MDT Print View

There's only one cure for this. Start planning the next one..

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Re: Post trip depression on 04/27/2012 08:53:48 MDT Print View

I never suffered from it when I lived in Ireland but did a bit when I lived in Belgium, moved to Michigan recently but only have 1 trip done so cannot comment yet.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Post trip depression on 04/27/2012 09:40:24 MDT Print View

Home is a great place to live but I wouldn't want to vacation there.

Ike's got the solution.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Post trip elation. on 04/27/2012 09:45:58 MDT Print View

Opposite for me. I enjoy getting back to my wife and kids if they weren't with me. Nothing like a coffee or beer in my own backyard after I've been gone, whether it was for a night or for a week.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Re: Re: Post trip depression on 04/27/2012 09:46:01 MDT Print View

Ike and Tim are right, I found organising my next trip helped.

In Ireland I was spoiled by having really good above treeline peaks an hour from my house and the ocean 10 minutes away.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
post trip elation on 04/27/2012 09:49:52 MDT Print View

I'm with Craig on this one. Nothing like a week in the mountains to make you appreciate all that's waiting at home!

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: post trip elation on 04/27/2012 13:24:20 MDT Print View

I think this calls for deeper examination.

Kier Selinsky
(Kieran) - F

Locale: Seattle, WA
Re: Post trip depression on 04/27/2012 15:41:10 MDT Print View

I used to, till I moved. When I lived in Ohio, I'd get post-trip depression because getting to go on a trip in the first place was difficult to pull off (at least 6 hours of driving to get to most destinations). Now in the PNW, I've got hundreds of trips within a few hours - I guess you could qualify my Ohio experience as more of an anxiety.

But I do really appreciate the re-entry. The first shower after nights in the backcountry is the best shower ever.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
great all the way around on 04/27/2012 15:51:35 MDT Print View

One of the things I love most about backpacking is that it's fun to plan for, fun to be out there, and then fun to come home and enjoy luxuries like a hot shower, pillow top mattress, Tivo, a cheeseburger, etc. It's even fun for me when I go back to work so I can show coworkers pictures and bore them with ultralight talk. :)

Maybe just look at it like that. Hope that helps. :/

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
depression on 04/27/2012 19:27:17 MDT Print View

"There's only one cure for this. Start planning the next one.."


AND...buy a new piece of gear you cant wait to try out.

Bradley Danyluk
(dasbin) - MLife
Chemistry on 04/27/2012 19:53:57 MDT Print View

Could potentially be simple chemistry.

If you're feeling euphoric on your trip, your brain is likely producing a lot of dopamine and endorphins. Come home, and you have depleted yourself of those chemicals (having used larger than normal amounts) for a while until everything stabilizes.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Post trip depression on 04/27/2012 20:22:01 MDT Print View

I think what you feel is not uncommon at all Steven. Maybe your calling it depression makes it sound like something different that people can't relate to. When we're out in the woods or mountains life is simple; walking, shelter, warmth, food, maybe a fire. A lot of people have lives that are much more complicated ( and beautiful too), and when they come back it takes a bit to get used to all that we wrap ourselves with these days. I don't think it has anything to do with not being happy to see your loved ones.

K C
(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
Go Bigger! on 04/27/2012 23:33:08 MDT Print View

It is sad when you get back and have to dry out and put away all your gear, wash your BP clothes. What I found is that you have to go BIG!!! I have been on many many small trips (I call small trips 3-7 days in the Sierra's or any National Park in the western US). Buy a ticket to Alaska, spend a week or 10 days there, take 500 pictures, get face to face with brown bears out deep in the wild, it will blow your mind! When you get back, look at the pictures, reflect, and tell yourself "the next trip will be bigger and better and more extreeme" Make goals every year, bigger and bigger. I have found this to quench my adventure thirst.

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Post trip depression on 04/28/2012 00:57:53 MDT Print View

I think it's worse for me after big trips - such as a thru hike. When it's over, you are often "ready" for it to be over - in the sense that it's a long, long journey and frankly, you are often a bit tired and ragged toward the end, especially if the weather is turning. But it's also depressing in the sense it's something you've planned and worked for a long time - and when it's over the goal of finishing seems something of a letdown, actually. I was excited to reach the northern terminus, but at the same time, rather sad a fun adventure was over.

But get back to "civilization" and go to work where you need to concentrate all day; that's far more tiresome than hiking. Backpacking is pretty simple - walking punctuated by the need for water/food, the occasional call of nature and sleep.

"Normal" life is far more complicated and aggravating - and depressing. While I was glad to be off trail for a day or two (the opportunity to spend time with my wife again was fantastic), I felt out of sync for a long time. I agree that planning another trip or going bigger are fantastic ideas - as is making a project of your photos.

Hiking is often that way - when I am out I often miss things back home but when I am at home, I miss the trail.

Dirk

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Post trip blues on 04/28/2012 08:47:06 MDT Print View

Steven,
Have you considered maybe you don't get out often enough? Your post trip depression blues may be a sign you are not fully satisfied and want more. Just a thought.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Re: Post trip depression on 04/28/2012 09:10:05 MDT Print View

Hiking is often that way - when I am out I often miss things back home but when I am at home, I miss the trail.
+1

Andy F
(AndyF) - M
Re: Post trip depression on 04/28/2012 11:53:16 MDT Print View

@Kier: I resemble those remarks!

@Steven: Maybe taking a day off at home before diving into work would help? I do that sometimes.

Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Re: Post trip blues on 04/28/2012 12:31:12 MDT Print View

"Have you considered maybe you don't get out often enough? Your post trip depression blues may be a sign you are not fully satisfied and want more."

This is me. For the last few years I seem to get out once a month for about 12-15 nights between mid May and Mid August, and maybe 2 more single overnights the other 9 months.

Regardless of the trip length, the first night home I really enjoy the shower, warm meal at my table, and a comfy bed, but the next day I wake up, all I want to do is shoulder my pack and get steppin' again. Kinda puts me in a funk thinking that I won't get out again for X amount of time.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Antidote... on 04/28/2012 21:35:40 MDT Print View

Ike may be right about planning the next trip as a cure for the dreaded "post-trip depression" but my solution IMMEDIATELY after a trip is mass quantities of craft beers.

Then your hangover will make post- trip depression seem nice by comparison.

(OK, OK, OK - maybe just a few craft beers will do the trick - a few every 3 hours.)