Background of how I came up with my outdoor gear ideas and Related Articles
The Tipi Experiment
Balancing Your Circadian Rhythms for the Sleep of Your Dreams
At Ease in the Cold (How to generate body heat and be comfortable in winter).
As part of my rewilding journey I lived in a tipi on and off during 2012-2015. I wanted to see what is was like to be right up against nature. The only way to do that was with natural fibers because otherwise I wouldn’t technically be right up against nature. I was curious just how did humans live that way without modern housing or heat. Yes, I could build a fire, but most of the time that wasn’t practical or worth it. So that was the main challenge of The Tipi Experiment—how to stay warm with only body heat and clothing/bedding. My basic hypothesis was that people can live without indoor heating even in winter if they have proper clothing and bedding and a good working metabolism and diet which generates body heat.
This particular creative process lead to several discoveries and inventions as I pursued research coming out regarding Circadian Rhythms and Cold Adaptation. I developed a curriculum At Ease In The Cold where I lay out the basics of how I did it. Here are the key points:
1—The BODY is the first gear when it comes to outdoor gear. The things we do with gear should support the health of the body at the mitochondrial level including synching with Circadian Rhythms.
2—There are four factors or DIMENSIONS which balance our CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS:
The body is better off experiencing the winter rather than hiding from it. When we overheat our indoor spaces, the body thinks it is a warmer time of year and can’t cold adapt.
b—Light (Day/Night Cycles)
Sleeping and waking with the day/night cycles. Not using artificial light.
c—Magnetism (exposure to Shumann’s Field a.k.a Earthing/Grounding)
d—Diet (The food which naturally is available in the region / season is the food which makes the body balanced with that season.)
e—Movement Natural low intensity movement all day long. If we are sedentary, our metabolism slows down. and even a short burst of high intensity exercise can’t fix it. (Barefoot Office Kits to the rescue!)
So when we cold adapt and balance our circadian rhythms it makes us super tough outdoor people
After about two weeks of living in the tipi in winter I achieved my goal. I did not cringe at the cold. I could go anywhere any time of year where I live in the Southern Appalachians and be happy…comfortable even. I call it At Ease in the Cold.
I developed a whole new take on outdoor gear. Instead of expecting the gear to protect me from the elements, I now saw that I should expect it to help me balance with the elements. That is, the gear should enhance my efforts to merge with nature and not protect me or separate me from nature. It was a basic philosophical difference which lead me in this direction in search of a more comfortable and satisfying and experience.
The Five criteria for outdoor clothing:
Weight is important because we can hike further, faster and with more ease. However other things also contribute to that same goal. Sleep quality is one of them. The better we sleep, the faster and further we are able to hike with more ease.