Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Humans Outside

Sep 30, 2021

When the boredom first set in as he sat in the middle of nowhere for more than 30 days during a caribou hunt on the arctic tundra, Michael Easter looked for a way to entertain himself. He read the labels on his food. He made his Christmas lists. He wrote portions of his book by hand in a small notebook. And when that was done he did, well, nothing.

Looking back on the experience as part of his new book, The Comfort Crises: Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self, Michael has since discovered that boredom doesn’t just make you feel crazy or give you a perfect excuse for understanding the contents and labeling on every food package in your bag, it also does something actually useful: it makes you happier.

In this episode Michael discusses the experiences that brought about his book, boredom and what he discovered about happiness and nature along the way.

Warning to those listening with tender ears: there’s some salty language towards the end of this episode.


Some of the good stuff:

[2:31] Michael Easter’s favorite outdoor space

[4:47] How Michael became someone who likes to go outside

[7:18] What, exactly, the middle of nowhere in Alaska is like

[10:41] Why being open to stuff matters

[15:47] What it’s like to be out there for 33 days

[18:41] Why do we get bored?

[23:43] What does boredom do to your brain?

[27:47] What’s the intersection of discomfort, boredom and going outside?

[30:37] Why does it make us happier?

[33:05] Why do we shy away from risk and boredom?

[36:19] How do we insert boredom into our lives?

[38:52] How to get bored and stay bored

[44:07] Michael’s favorite and most essential outdoor gear

[50:37] Michael’s favorite outdoor moment


Connect with this episode:

Visit Michael Easter’s website:

Buy The Comfort Crises (affiliate link):

Follow Michael Easter on Instagram:

Register for the Humans Outside newsletter and win a free decal:

Find full show notes at