Welcome to the latest issue of the fortnightly GVP Newsletter!

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”

– Scott Adams

Since it had been too long since we were out in Wally, we decided to head for the coast for a couple of days. It was fun to get away, and we had some new experiences. We slept the first night at an alpaca farm near Salem, which was a hoot. And as it turned out later, it was another small world story, as Francie discovered that a friend of hers knew the owners of the farm quite well! Wally also got to drive on a beach, which was fun, and we got our fill of seafood.

One of the advantages of going someplace else is to shake up your schedule. Away from distractions and obligations, I had time to start reading Infectious Generosity by Chris Anderson (The ‘Head of TED’). Generosity is important to me (it kind of falls under take less as well as do more). The book is fascinating so far, with a lot of information I didn’t know. One of the interesting points was how generosity impacts your happiness, since happiness seems to be a big focus in the U.S. Anderson quotes studies that indicate most people believe that they would need a 20% increase in income to make a difference in their lives, to be happy. A Gallup poll showed that the impact of donating to charity was roughly equivalent to the happiness from a doubling of income!

The icing on the cake was that studies show that while the impacts of increases in income fade with time, due to hedonic adaptation, the happiness impacts from generosity do NOT fade with time. So if the goal is happiness, rather than trying to increase our income, we would be better off figuring out how to be more generous. The description in the book of the Mystery Experiment was the starting point for my latest blog post.

It was fun to record an REI podcast last week with my friend Shelby Stanger. It will probably be scheduled for the first half of April. I’m also recording a podcast this week on Hiking Thru Life. If you’re local to Bend, you can mark your calendar for an author event at Roundabout Books on May 2. As I book events, they’ll appear on my events page.

Hiker Pro Tip #13: To save weight on insulation, take a larger size rainjacket/shell that you would usually wear, and wrap your sleeping bag around you like a shawl, under the over-sized jacket, to keep you warm around camp.

take less. do more.

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