I have enjoyed the outdoors for as long as I can remember: from building "forts" all over the swamp near my grandparents' house, to paddling around the pond, or exploring the woods. Little has changed. I have taken several 100+ mile backpack trips and numerous multi-day raft, sea kayak, and canoe trips. I've hiked thousands of miles and summited over 100 peaks. I can even include one 90 mile, multi-day mountain bike trip to the thousands of miles I've spent in mountain bike saddles.
In addition to the pure joy of just being outside, the hours and exercise also provide for stress relief as well as opportunities to connect dots. Being able to step away from the beehive of activity that surrounds IT work provides opportunities to see situations with far more clarity than is possible from within the hive. Most, if not all of the truly transformative ideas that I have had happened outside of work and usually outside. Even as I backpack or row or paddle or pedal, my mind continuously searching for solutions to problems or ways to improve situations at work.
What's more, being outside teaches me to deal with failure. Whether it's a blown bike tube or broken chain, a zipper on a tent rainfly that has come apart, a leaky raft valve, a broken shoelace, swimming a class IV rapid in 40 degree water, or just uncooperative weather, failure happens outside. Dealing with failures outside is little different that dealing with failures in life and at work. And dealing with failures outside helps prepare me for dealing with failures inside- and being in IT, I am afforded a wide selection of failures.
Ultimately though, outside is beautiful. Connecting to nature is the perfect complimentary-contrast to IT. Doing technical work outdoors with PBT has been an incredible opportunity to combine my two worlds and I will sorely miss the project- for a multitude of reasons- when it ends.