Tommy’s Outdoors end of year summary

The year is coming to an end, so it is a good time for a quick review. Even though Tommy’s Outdoors podcast online presence reaches back to late 2016, this is the first year that I did it right.

In 2018 I launched Tommy’s Outdoors website and Tommy’s Outdoors YouTube channel. I established a regular schedule for publishing podcast episodes and blog posts. I discussed a wide variety of topics ranging from hunting and angling to the benefits of the outdoors for mental health, from cycling and running to flying drones and horseback riding, from marine conservation to the development of native woodlands, and the list goes on and on.

I am especially thankful for all of my regular listeners and readers who engage with Tommy’s Outdoors content. Your voice is being heard and your feedback is invaluable in developing the Tommy’s Outdoors brand. Please keep your comments coming!

In the coming year I will continue to work tirelessly to bring you the best information and discussions about any and all outdoors related topics. I would like to thank all of you for suggesting guests for future episodes. Rest assured that I will do my best to get them on the podcast.

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
See you in the outdoors!

Podcasting controversy

Dear friends, it finally happened! I knew it would at some point, so I really shouldn’t be surprised. Someone who initially agreed to be my guest decided to pull out because he didn’t like one of the subjects previously discussed on the podcast. People are different and have different motivations for their actions. I respect his decision but thought this would be a good moment to make a short statement about the purpose of the podcast.

Tommy’s Outdoors is dedicated to everything outdoors. We discuss not only specific outdoor activities, like cycling and angling, but also issues related in any way to the outdoors, such as outdoors safety or wildlife conservation. The podcast is meant to be a conversational and educational platform. I welcome guests from all walks of life with a variety of different views. I encourage them to express their ideas. The more the merrier, as that will provide listeners with a wide spectrum of opinions on many different, often complex, subjects.

Being my guest doesn’t mean that you agree with or support the opinions expressed in any previous episodes of the podcast. Instead, it gives you an opportunity and platform to express your own views even if they are completely opposed to mine. That is okay and it has already happened more than once. I’m happy to have my opinions challenged and I welcome the discussion. This is how progress is made, this is how we get a better understanding of complex issues, and this how we enrich and educate listeners.

Thank you for your continuous support and I hope you will enjoy coming episodes of the podcast!

Extinction Rebellion

There is a lot of buzz, at the moment, around the activist group called Extinction Rebellion. The group is organizing direct action campaigns and acts of civil disobedience in a protest against governmental inaction on climate change and disappearing wildlife.

As concerned as I am about the environment and wildlife I have mixed feelings about that group and their actions. So let me break it down for you.

I do recognize the role of such campaigns in environmental advocacy. Showing dissatisfaction about governmental inaction has its place in democracy. It can raise awareness of an issue in the minds of the general public. However, actions like these don’t make a difference on their own. In addition, they can give ammunition to the opponents, making it easy to label legitimate NGOs, lobbying for the cause, as “extremist”. That is especially true, if peaceful demonstrations deteriorate into vandalism resulting in arrests and disruption of public order. That just annoys people.

Unfortunately, that turn of events is quite likely, when the group behind the campaign has a strong anarchist background. And that’s exactly the case with Extinction Rebellion. Their leaders actually speak openly about their previous involvement in the anarchist community in Britain. It is also hard to miss their carefully curated, parallel media campaigns and personal attacks on public figures to push a socialist political agenda. All that makes me question the real motivation behind their actions. Do they really care about the environment? Or are they merely puppets in the hands of higher level political actors, used to rally unsuspecting people to create confusion and weaken the political structure?

Because of these questions, I was deeply concerned to see a reputable conservation organization and even a political party getting behind such events. We should exercise great care to make sure we’re not helping push hidden agendas that would work against our cause in the long run.

As always, I welcome discussion and I am curious about your thoughts on the issue. I would be more than happy to be corrected. So if you would like to be my guest on the podcast and have a conversation on the subject, please get in touch. Leave your comment or contact me through the social media channel of your choice, and let’s talk.ex_sq

Benefits of the outdoors

This article was posted earlier this year as a guest entry on the DigiGranBiz travel blog. Unfortunately the aforementioned blog no longer exists, so I decided to publish a slightly refreshed version of the original text here on Tommy’s Outdoors website.

 

Taking on outdoor activities is like a cure for the damaging, sedentary lifestyle that most of us are living. Our bodies are fundamentally built for movement. Prolonged hours in the same, often unnatural position, are damaging to our musculoskeletal system. Similarly our minds are built for a challenge, but not for the persistent stress that we receive in microdoses daily.

The solution is not simply a matter of going to the gym and exercising. For proper functioning our bodies and minds also need fresh air, the sounds of nature, and the light that comes from the central star known as the sun. While in nature we can disconnect from our own entangled thoughts. We can start paying attention to our surroundings and how they influence us. We will quickly notice that our minds stabilize and become relaxed. The tension in our muscles goes away. Our mood lifts.

Getting into nature also lets us leave behind most of the pollution generated by civilization. Fossil fuel fumes, chemicals, overwhelming noise, excess of the blue light generated by ubiquitous screens, and electrosmog. The harmful effects of most of these are well known and documented. The effects of others are still unknown.

Staying in a natural environment for a few days offers further benefits. The circadian rhythm, unnaturally distorted by ever-present artificial lighting, resets and begins to work in its natural way. Our eating habits begin to return to their normal pattern of around 15 hours of fasting and 9 hours of feeding.

Finally, our spiritual side gets an enormous boost. Connection with the natural environment that surrounds us, a mountain, the sea, or a forest, is very real and almost palpable. It forces us to ask the timeless questions about our own existence and place on this earth.

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I hope that this short text encouraged you to spend more time in nature and to do so more consciously. The benefits are countless and the drawbacks are none. And if you feel like you are getting the bug, come back and visit this website more often and immerse yourself in the world of the outdoors. Also, subscribe to the podcast on the platform of your choice (Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, SoundCloud, TuneIn, Podbean and more). See you in the outdoors!