#1 Building a log cabin deep in the woods would be a dream come true for most outdoors people - a place to find solitude and to launch adventures from. Canadian Shawn James, though, made it a reality. This short timelapse video from Adventure Journal shows James constructing the cabin from start to finish, all on his own and without using any power tools. If you're feeling inspired, check out his YouTube channel for practical advice. Even better, check out what happened when we headed into the Brecon Beacons to attempt a similar venture.
#2 If you're feeling good ahead of the weekend, smile; even if you're not, you should probably smile anyway. That's according to new research from Yale University demonstrating that good vibes are contagious - if the people around you are motivated and focused, there's a good chance that you will be too. Give it a try this weekend: attack each day with fervour and in good humour, and see how it affects the people around you.
#3 If you need any more inspiration to be an exemplar of goodwill, check out this short film about 'The Omelette Guy'. Basing himself in remote woodland partway along the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail in the USA, Carl provides omelettes, bananas and refreshments to weary travellers for free. He started after hearing about 'trail magic', i.e. random acts of kindness and generosity in wild settings, and is now a social media phenomenon for thru-hikers.
#4 Struggling to focus on a Friday afternoon is something we can all relate to but if you haven't got the option of jumping ship early, head outside for a brief walk. Researchers from Stanford University have found that walking induces a creative mental state that can help you overcome plateaus in developing new ideas, and we're already sure that getting outdoors is beneficial to mental health. Something to remind your boss of if they question why you're getting your coat on mid-afternoon.
#5 2018 saw a huge wealth of outdoor adventure stories, from Andrzej Bargiel skiing down K2 to David Lama finally climbing Lunag Ri after two unsuccessful attempts, becoming the first person in history to ascend the Nepalese mountain. National Geographic have compiled these achievements in their 2019 Adventurers of the Year list - perfect reading if you need some inspiration to get outside this weekend.
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