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Why Cyclists Camp on Long Road Trips: Grounding, Earthing, Eudemonia

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By Frosty Wooldridge

When I grew up, during our travels, my father and mother camped because we were too poor to pay for a motel. Dad pitched the big tent, plus the pup tents for us kids. Mom cooked dinner over an old Coleman stove. Lots of times, dad started a fire, which brought out the marshmallows on sticks. Above us, the ink-black sky sparkled with stars. Dad would point out the constellations. The fire’s gray smoke curled into the pines above our heads. Crickets, owls and the waters of a lake or stream calmed our souls. We sang. In a few words, we lived fabulous childhoods in the woods.

(Camping in the wilds and grounding the spirit)

At the time, I never thought about it very much, because I always curled into my sleeping bag for a cozy night’s sleep. For some reason unbeknownst to me at the time, I felt something good in my soul from camping.

Then, college dominated my life for six years…essentially living in a dorm with walls, tiles, pavement, glass and steel. After that, the U.S. Army, and then a teaching job. While teaching kept me in penury, I started bicycle touring with my summers off. No chance for a motel on my salary! But, oh boy, did I love my summers off to explore the world!

Thus, in 1975, I started my first coast to coast ride with a tent, sleeping bag and air mattress. Somehow, I slept better. I felt better. I seemed to “reharmonize” my biorhythms with the vibrations of the planet. It didn’t dawn on me about any connection as to camping and enjoying a balance with “Nature.”

(Morning over Glacier National Park and St. Mary’s Lake)

Years later, I discovered that while camping, I was “grounding or earthing”, which meant I was allowing my negative charges in my body to flow into the planet, and the planet’s positive charges to flow into my body…like a battery in a car. Note that most of us live our lives with shoes, rubber soles, concrete floors and cars that separate our bodies from the vibrations of the planet. We starve our own biorhythms. It’s important to go barefoot to “retune” our bodies with the music of Nature.

“Grounding is currently an under-researched topic and there are very few scientific studies on the benefits. However, the most recent scientific research has explored grounding for inflammation, cardiovascular disease, muscle damage, chronic pain, and mood.

“The central theory from one review is that grounding affects your living matrix, which is the central connector between your living cells.

“Electrical conductivity exists within the matrix that functions as an immune system defense, similar to antioxidants. They believe that through grounding, the natural defenses of the body can be restored. Further research expands on this idea.”

So, while touring, you enjoy two choices: motels where you are disconnected from the planet’s vibrational frequencies along with watching the mindless TV with all its inane junk spewing into your brain, and/or sleeping in a tent where you are “grounding” all night long with the electrical frequencies of the planet.

As for me, I’ve enjoyed a lifetime of camping, campfires, star-lit night skies, shooting comets, smoke curling into the pines, hoot of a Great Horned Owl, crickets, cuckoo birds, frogs croaking, coyotes howling, great views of the Old Man in the Moon…and another dozen connections with the Natural World.

In the mornings, I’ve opened my tent flaps to Mount Everest, the Wall of China, the Nullarbor Plains, Amazon jungle, frilled lizards, Mount Denali, Machu Picchu, Galapagos Island, condors flying overhead in South America, Grand Canyon, Arctic Circle, South Pole and another 100 amazing sights that you can’t catch in a motel. Additionally, I always bring my shower bag, so I am cleaned, refreshed and ready for the new day.

Final note of perspective: sometimes it’s good to be poor so you’re forced to camp, so in the long run, you will be visually, spiritually and mentally filthy, filthy RICH! You can do the same in your tent, with air mattress, and sleeping bag as you nestle into your wilderness home for the night!

The Greeks call it “Eudemonia” or “the perfect connection to the planet and your being…pure bliss.”

Frosty Wooldridge, six continent world bicycle traveler, writing this vignette from his tent overlooking Glacier National Park.

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    • Anonymous

      i guess your just a superior human,way above the rest of us,enlighten i think they call it–excuse me while i fart,burp….

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