BWCA BWCA “Depression” Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
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PeaceFrog
distinguished member (326)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/28/2022 06:31AM  
Ever get it? Ever had it? Maybe you call it something else. You get back from a trip and you are tired, but still on a high and your mind is at a different place. Then you find yourself back at the daily grind.

I feel like I am suffering from BWCA Depression because I feel the need to go back. As soon as I got back to Ohio, I was ready to repack and head north. Finding it hard to be motivated with “normal” daily life. So sick of same old thing different day. If I could retire today and move north, I would.

Anyway, does anyone else get this lull after a trip to BW? I guess I will soothe my pain with planning and figuring ways to cut weight for the next trip. Hope everyone is enjoying their trips. Best!!

PF
 
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MidwestMan
senior member (88)senior membersenior member
 
06/28/2022 07:26AM  
Yep, no doubt. Tough to transition from the level of beauty and freedom that the BWCA provides back into the grind of daily life. It’s comparable to waking up from the best dream of your life.
 
papalambeau
distinguished member (214)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/28/2022 08:54AM  
I hear ya PeaceFrog. After a week in God's Country it is tough to come back and reenter our fast paced society. Bathe in the memories and pics of your time in the BW and start planning and enjoying your next outdoor adventure. For our crew it's some early summer fishing (finishing up in mid July) and then full speed ahead getting the bow gear and stands ready for the Fall.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1390)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/28/2022 09:19AM  
I felt it come on faster than usual this time, on the drive home. Creeping into the twin cities on I-35 and it hit me hard. So many people, so much rush, so little time for the things that bring me peace.
 
Minnesotian
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06/28/2022 10:10AM  

Yep, it is a common occurrence for me after every backpacking or canoeing trip. The key is to examine and recognize what makes you depressed about coming back to the daily grind.

For me, what I enjoy the most from my trips is that freedom of exploration. So, in my daily grind I try to incorporate that heightened excitement from exploration by checking out a nearby restaurant that I normally wouldn't go to, or to attend a festival that is outside of my static comfort zone, or to sign up for an exercise class that pushes my comfort limits.

The beauty of those trips, besides the views and landscape, is having the chance to remember who I am and what I like. Being reminded of that, I try to bring that back to my everyday life. By doing so, I keep extending the trips well past when I come back.

Or to put it better is this quote from T.H. White and "The Once and Future King":

“The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”



 
mgraber
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06/28/2022 11:58AM  
Yup, that is why I'm heading back for trip #2 today, and maybe one this fall. Helps to be retired. (: It is a magical and very soul healing place!
 
cyclones30
distinguished member(3987)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/28/2022 12:18PM  
I'm just wishing I could get back again at all.

I'm 2+ years into dealing w/ long haul c*vid and haven't been much of anywhere since. :(

So yeah BWCA depression is real....I haven't been up there since 2019
 
06/28/2022 12:49PM  
Absolutely!! I think we put so much passion into our trips that that even the trip itself can be a letdown.
Does this describe you? Do you haunt the BW forum, watch Youtube camping videos hoping to pickup some little tidbit of knowledge, pack and re-pack gear looking for a better, lighter, more efficient way to do things, pour over maps looking for the perfect route, does your canoe have a name? on and on etc etc. Thats me.
I live in ne Wisconsin minutes from hiking and canoeing and while nice it just doesn't satisfy like the BW. The BWCA is a very special place and is both a blessing and a curse because it is so unique and can capture your soul.
If I was up there now I wouldn't have been able to write such a maudlin post!
 
portagedog09
senior member (94)senior membersenior member
 
06/28/2022 04:27PM  
It's called withdrawal - it's a physical malady, not mental. Like any addiction, once the 'fix' is removed, the body's dependency reacts and you feel it come on. Depression is one of several withdrawal symptoms. The problem is that the cure is the addiction itself. For those severely addicted the only solution is relocation. See your realtor for the 12 step plan.

pd
 
06/28/2022 04:32PM  
Minnesotian: "
Yep, it is a common occurrence for me after every backpacking or canoeing trip. The key is to examine and recognize what makes you depressed about coming back to the daily grind.


For me, what I enjoy the most from my trips is that freedom of exploration. So, in my daily grind I try to incorporate that heightened excitement from exploration by checking out a nearby restaurant that I normally wouldn't go to, or to attend a festival that is outside of my static comfort zone, or to sign up for an exercise class that pushes my comfort limits.


The beauty of those trips, besides the views and landscape, is having the chance to remember who I am and what I like. Being reminded of that, I try to bring that back to my everyday life. By doing so, I keep extending the trips well past when I come back.


Or to put it better is this quote from T.H. White and "The Once and Future King":


“The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”



"

Absolutely the statement of a learned man, thanks for sharing. My anatomies are failing and I am saddened to think I cannot do as much. Coming home from my last trip with a shoulder wrenched putting on my pack at a portage I felt sad to think how much I must limit myself. I also learned the BWCA is a last clean place to camp and I can stlll do it, at a slower pace, and felt joy. I will be going again this September to learn something. And to get away from the lunatics who seem to be running the world.
 
06/28/2022 05:50PM  
I wouldn't call it depression but I sure do miss tripping in Canada, last done in June 2019. So that is why I am going back with a long-time tripping buddy to Canada in August for 3 weeks. We are both 74 yr olds and we have no time to waste. Hopefully this will not be our last trip to the Great White North.
 
06/28/2022 09:48PM  
Really good thoughts shared with these responses. Thank you, PeaceFrog, for starting the conversation. I have no wisdom to add just a deep respect for the wilderness and a longing to return, as others have expressed. I'm fortunate to be headed back next week with my family...very grateful.

Hopefully you can get back there sooner than you think, PeaceFrog.
 
06/29/2022 09:56AM  
I understand it completely. It's been 4 years since the last time I was there and I think about it daily. Planning for my trip on July 12th now! As excited as I am to get back, I know that it will just lead to more longing.

My wife and I felt something similar the last two weeks when taking my son to and from camp. It was in a rural area and it made me long for what seemed like a simpler life with more wild spaces and fewer people.
 
06/29/2022 10:36AM  
Absolutely feel the depression of returning to the "real world". I always try to concentrate on the things I appreciate, like flushing toilets, ice and chairs with backs. The crazy aspects of society are harder to come back to, so I try to put off checking news and media for as long as possible.
The lessons learned from wilderness tripping bring some solace since if there is a total collapse of society I feel more prepared to be self sufficient. I'm hoping squirrels and grubs are as edible as people say they are.
 
06/29/2022 09:45PM  
I just returned from 10 days in Alaska. I was very depressed on Sunday, knowing that I was going back to the grind on Monday. I took some solace in knowing that I was leaving again for the boundary waters on July 8th. But now my nephew hurt his elbow bouncing on a trampoline, and our trip has been canceled. I am depressed again. A well, I'll feel good that the twins just took a 6-3 lead in the top of the 10th on Cleveland.... hmmm, so much for that.

What I love most about the boundary waters, is the escape from the "real" world. No email, no traffic (vehicle), no politics, no gas prices, no inflation, and most importantly, no cell phone. I love when my wife has to shut it off and put it away. That didn't even happen in Alaska. She almost always had an internet connection.

With the way the economy/society is going, I crave getting off grid even more. Yes, I'm depressed.
 
JohnGalt
distinguished member (127)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/02/2022 01:19AM  
I would get that feeling the last day or two of every trip knowing it was going to end soon, too soon, & told myself one day I just wouldn't leave. A trip is never long enough.
 
PeaceFrog
distinguished member (326)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/04/2022 12:31PM  
JohnGalt: "I would get that feeling the last day or two of every trip knowing it was going to end soon, too soon, & told myself one day I just wouldn't leave. A trip is never long enough."

Agree. A trip is never long enough. I would like it to be everyday life
 
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