The following is an edited transcript of this episode of Humans Outside.
Amy Bushatz: You know that feeling you get when you spend even a little bit of time outside, no matter how challenging it is to get out there, spending time in nature is always worth it. I’m your host, Amy Bushatz and this is another episode of Humans Outside. Join me as we hear from fascinating outdoor minded guests and use the Humans Outside 365 Challenge to push us outside daily. Ready to hear from experts and outdoor lovers who make heading into nature just a part of who they are while we work to do the same? Let’s go.
Sure. Going outside makes us all feel better. We know that. I mean, all you have to do is head outside a few times and you start to notice it. But as you dive a little deeper into this outdoor journey, you might notice spending time outside makes you notice that you’re having better feelings focused on how you feel about you. Maybe you’re doing something solo for the first time and feel safe in a new way. Maybe you managed to walk or hike a distance you’ve never before done, and you’re feeling empowered. Maybe you have watched a mountain or a tree and found a fresh perspective on how you fit into the world. All of those things and more play into self-worth. And there’s something today’s guest, Scott Tatum, learned about himself through his own outdoor journey today. He shares those takeaways through his own podcast, the Self-Care Savage, through his social media where he posts self-worth messages and in his new related book Friendly Reminders. Today Scott is gonna talk about his own journey and self-worth, what it is, why it matters, and how we can find it outside. Scott, welcome to Humans Outside.
Scott Tatum: Hey Amy. Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Amy Bushatz: Well, we are so excited to have you. Thanks so much for doing this with us and sharing your journey and your insights. We start all of our episodes talking with our guests, imagining ourselves as if we’re together with them in their favorite outdoor space. So if we were hanging out with you somewhere outside that you love, where are we with you today?
Scott Tatum: Well, I tell you, so Colorado is my favorite state right now. I’ve spent the most time there. But, I travel and I’m a lot on National Forest lands, but one of my favorite spots is, around Leadville, Colorado and there’s lots of, um, national forest lands there. And, , I have some favorite camp sites, one in particular, and it’s close to the Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail, kind of where they intersect and traveled together. So, that is probably one of my favorite spots. It looks over the Twin Lakes area, and it’s, it’s not many people know about it. And it is very calm and it’s, I can park right underneath this tree and, depending on the weather, what’s happening, there’s a nice little fire. I can get going. And,it’s, it gives me everything that I need for the outdo, being in the outdoors and doing what I do mostly, which is a lot of solo activities. But I can do that anywhere. But that’s a very, very favorite spot.
Amy Bushatz: It is funny how you know you do, you can do these activities that you’re describing anywhere you are and, and find that close to home or far away from home, but there are places that just speak to us in a special way, whether it’s some experience you had there internally to yourself that you remember now that you go back or achieved something there, or it’s just you found a special moment there and now that place calls to you and you just really love it and feel connected to it. I totally get that.
Scott Tatum: Absolutely.
Amy Bushatz: So tell us, how did you become someone who likes to go outside and tell us about your outdoor journey.
Scott Tatum: Well my, my outdoor journey is, uh, probably a little bit different. In the sense that where I really got into what I’m doing now is hiking the outdoors, saved my life. There was a time, many years ago, 10 plus years ago, when I started on this journey of mine where I had given up on myself,I was living a pretty uh, Inappropriate, dysfunctional life and, uh, very victim mentality and just not taking responsibility and I had just gotten to a place, I was just tired, I was exhausted, and I was driving around one day, uh, fully engaged and feeling sorry for myself, again, and, but I went, I stopped by, there was a lake, so I pulled up to a lake, stopped and was kind of, checking things out and, but I, I saw a trail head.
I saw a, a sign and you know, the little map, there was a map up there and it was, around this lake and I was like, I’m, I’d be gonna walk. I just thought, well, you know, let’s go check this out. I was just gonna kind of walk up the trail a little bit and I ended up, uh, there for, I don’t even, I mean, it’s debatable how long I was there, but it did get dark and, but it, I started there and I never stopped.
And I always tell people I don’t, I, it’s not something like I was touched, it was just that every guy thing got quiet, other than what was around me to start with, which was I could hear the breeze through the trees and I could hear the birds, and I could hear the lake, and I could, you know, the water and I could hear myself walking.
And that’s all I was hearing. None of the world, none of all that noise, all that. And then as I kept going,I, I was getting tired and I was just, you know, it was, I was, not in shape to do any kinda long hike, hike at that time. And, uh, so I, I started getting tired, but, and I didn’t realize until a little bit later, but as I was getting tired is when I started then listening to what was in my head because I had it kind of exerted myself, and that leads into a lot of what I talk about, about the outdoors when I promote it. And then I started, I again, I started listening and I started understanding what was going on in my head, and I started being able to take it a little bit deeper.
It wasn’t pleasant and it wasn’t fun. But too bad, too late because it, I was already happening. I,I had to still continue to walk back to my truck or do whatever. And it wasn’t like I was, I was just in this, this situation. I didn’t have my phone. I’m all these things and I don’t even remember why. I don’t remember if I had it on me. It wasn’t on, there’s just some things I don’t remember about it. ’cause I got a little trad out. But that’s what started it, and again, I never, I never stopped because it, it for some reason, opened me up in so many different ways, and it’s what I needed.
So, I never stopped. I just kept, I kept seeking it out and,and increasing it and then to where I’ve eventually immersed myself in it, and I basically travel and live in it.
Amy Bushatz: You know, there’s lots of people who try to understand what that unlocking is, right? What the reason for that is scientifically or physiologically. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter why. It just matters that it is, and that you found that, and that you can chase that and then focus on that part of it.
Scott Tatum: 100%. This whole world for me was, it ended up for a long time just being about me and I, it’s what I had to do. Again, it was the unlock, the flipping of my thought processes of just giving up, not wanting to participate in anything anymore and going forward. And when I just, I knew, there’s so much my background I knew things I should have been doing or I needed to do. ‘Cause I have a very heavy psychological psychology background. and I, but I, and I just was never, would never flip it on myself. I was so stuck in this victim stuff every, I just didn’t wanna let go of that.
And, but it’s so ineffective. It’s, it’s from survival skills. I learned as a kid through my traumas. I was very skilled, uh, had a large repertoire of survival skills before I was age seven. And when you, don’t heal and you don’t forgive and go through these processes, even as you start getting into adulthood.
You start your adulthood, that’s how you handle things. It’s how you handle relationships, how you business with these survival skills that don’t transfer into that part of your life. and this, so again, it, all of these things connect for me and,and where it went. And I just there was a lot of things that happened at that time that moment, those hours, whatever they were, that just was like, this is, there’s something about this. And then it just started revealing itself as I continued.
Amy Bushatz: Yeah. Before we dive into finding self-care outside, maybe we can just define self-care, because that’s what you’re talking about. So what is self-care? Let’s define it.
Scott Tatum: Well, self-care is, for me, is doing anything and everything that I can do to make myself better and that means better mentally, locking my mind down to where, I control it. I, do again, everything I have to do to kill the demons, that, that were running wild in my brain and controlling my moves. Things that came into my head were just constantly reinforcing that I was, I was worthless. I had no self-worth. So self-care for me is putting myself in these positions now and that there’s a lot of other non-negotiables and outdoors and,and all of those things around it, are again, non-negotiables to build, continue to build and strengthen my self-worth. there’s, ’cause there’s a connection there. And it’s not –
Amy Bushatz: So what is that? What is that connection? How is that linked?
Scott Tatum: Self-care and self-worth?
Amy Bushatz: Yeah.
Scott Tatum: Well, you have no self-worth if you’re not working on it. Yeah, I mean, you have to engage in the things that bring you self-worth, put you again in those positions that give you confidence that you’re facing your fears, whatever is going on with you.
For me, it was, again, It was facing myself and taking full accountability for my life and myself, and understanding through that process, how I was in control of things, which made me, understand, the things that I needed to do. So, self care gets a little mixed up first, again, some people, it’s not a, this is not a criticism. And I think people see self-care as selfish. A lot of times it’s, you’re selfish or, or, I talk about,putting yourself on the top of your own list. taking care of yourself first. You teach people how to treat you, people are gonna put you in the back of the line if you keep allowing people to go in front of you.
All of these things are things that we’ve hold on to. Well, what do you mean? I have kids. They’re at the top of my list. I have to do that. But, you can’t. you just can’t build your self-worth without all the levels and the stages of self-care.
Amy Bushatz: So I’m wondering if the journey of self care and self worth, how that plays into the world around you. Like what is the point of that? How does this link with everything else?
Scott Tatum: So I can’t operate appropriately if I’m not taking care of myself and what happens with me is, is always been mostly in the most dramatic, in the mornings when I wake up and it’s, It’s because of the way I live my life constantly trying to, be in complete and total freak out mode. Waking up, trying to remember what I did the day before, a couple of days before that, that I need to cover up or make excuses for or do whatever I need to do, you know, to recover from that and then still get through the rest of the day. just, it’s just a cycle of just ridiculousness again. Which, anybody that’s in your life, what victims do, victim mentalities do, they spew it all over everybody else. So when I interacted with people, it was usually,if they pissed me off,I’d react outta anger. I would make sure that they, I was in a protective state do the best I could to get them to understand it’s their fault, not mine.
Just all of these ways of thinking and doing things. So, as I once started on this journey and with the outdoors and all these things started connecting, I started understanding that more. I couldn’t do that being in, in an environment like cities and in, in a house where you hear the air going off or the cars going down the street that the trash people that morning, and then just, all the constantness around that I could not do that.
Self-care for me is where the self-care “savage” that I added the savage to, which I, I feel like I’ve coined. it’s not anywhere I’ve been able to find it anywhere else, but it’s, I, this is, I protect this. I’m ferocious about it. Go look up Savage. It’s not a, it’s not,the most positive term, but if you pick out some words in there, it’s, ferocious is one of ’em. And I’m, I protect this. I’m ferocious about it. No non-negotiables. I have to do the things that I do every morning. I have to kill the demons before I can move on with my day to do the work to be better for myself.
So the ultimate goal is I can be better for everyone else. What parents do is they hold on to, well, I have to do this. I have to take care of my husband, my wife, my partner, my kids, my elderly parent. I have to do all these things. And so it’s selfish to take that stuff for yourself. No, it’s not. You know what’s selfish? Is when you don’t work on your self-care, you don’t put yourself in.
You know why? Because otherwise you’re not being your best. So if you’re a parent and that’s your excuse, fine. Then what your excuse is, I’m not gonna work on my self-care. I’m just gonna be a half-ass parent. I’m not gonna be the best I can be for myself. That’s how much it means to me, and that’s how much I promote this.
It’s not criticism. People can do whatever they want with their life. For me this is serious business. I do not wanna go back to living the kinda life I lived thinking the way I lived, benefited nobody, especially myself. I do not want to, exhibit these and continue to exhibit these behaviors to my adult kids or grandkids in the future, or business partners I have. Friends, whoever comes into my life now. I’m not interested in living it and doing that way. It doesn’t work. Never did. It was miserable and I didn’t even, I’m 62 now. Did not even start this journey until I was north of 50. That’s five decades of living that way.
Amy Bushatz: Yeah. You know, you mentioned people sometimes think self-care is selfish. Do you think that they have a misunderstanding of what self-care can or should be as opposed to like, I’m thinking like a narrow view, in the military spouse, I’m a military spouse in military caregiver space, we talk a lot about this particular problem that, oh, self-care, but we have visions of spa days and sort of these unachievable things. Um, you know, taking naps. And not that any of those things are wrong, but they’re limiting, to me. So do you find that people have that same limited perspective on that?
Scott Tatum: Yeah. Well, here’s the thing, I, when people ask me about this and people talk about that, so self-care is to me is how I just kind of explained it and went through it and how serious it’s serious business.
Amy Bushatz: Yeah.
Scott Tatum: You talking about spa days, naps, doing things like that, to me, that’s self-maintenance. That’s just hygiene, that’s feeling good because your nails are done or you like to, go to the gym and work out and you know, you like because it makes you have a better body image. All of those things are, there’s just a lot of maintenance. To that which is all very appropriate. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with any of that, but that’s not, to me, that’s not self-care. That’s not something that moves the needle. Now if you incorporate that and you incorporate the two and you’re mixing ’em up and it’s a lifestyle thing that then it can certainly become part of that.
And I guess that’s a lot the way it is for me. My self-care is,is my lifestyle. Being outside is my therapy. That’s a big part of my therapy. it’s, again, that’s how I, I promote it, say it all the time. It’s how I heal my mind, body and my soul. And,you know, they all connect for me, the physical part, all that.
But I see the spa days now, all that kind of stuff is self maintenance. And that’s how I’ve helped people try to understand what it is. it’s nothing wrong with it. A lot of it, it needs to happen for people to feel better to then get into maybe doing the work.
Self-care is doing the work. Self-care is,is connecting those dots about why you do this when you get stressed, which is detrimental to your relationship. Or your, whatever you’ve got going on in your life, well stop. What, where does it come from? Let’s maybe journal, let’s maybe try to connect the dots.
Let’s well, oh my gosh. It’s what my mom used to always say to me. Well, travel back for a minute. This is not about going back and reliving stuff. This is about what’s going on right now. And go back and say, you know what, that was my mom. You know, I can visualize and now see her. And I can understand that. You know what it was 25 years ago, it’s, it happened, it’s over with. Is any of that, that hanging on anger, not forgiving, feeling like a victim, blaming that way of your feeling- now you know where it comes from. Well, guess what? That’s all gone now. So if you want to hang onto it, now you’re choosing to.
Amy Bushatz: So self-care then in this framework is creating a space for a practice of consistently addressing and building your own value.
Scott Tatum: That’s right. That’s right. That’s, again, it’s, and again, the, that main core for me is the outdoors. That’s where I get it done, and nobody has to, I always tell people, You, of course you don’t have to do it like me.
My and what I have to deal with and what I need to do is gonna be different than what you need to do. It’s not gonna be better. What I do now is I talk to people and I talk about my, I use my platforms and do everything and say, here’s what I do, here’s what I’ve done, here’s what works for me. and I’m a firm believer in the outdoors for a lot of different reasons to try to get people to understand too, not just with what I’m saying, but take me out of the equation. Look at any of your medical professionals, I don’t care if it’s your, primary doctor, it’s a therapist, it’s a life coach, it’s a whatever it could be, any of those, and you’re working with them, you’re engaged with them or whatever level because you’re having some issues. You just, you want to get better or you’re having some challenges, or you need some motivation and need some help.
Every one of those in the top three, on the treatment plan, so to speak, and the top three things to help you move forward. One of those top three things in anything like that is gonna be go outside, get in nature, be active, breathe air, take a minute, do some self, like, meditate, whatever it is that works for you
and it’s always, it’s just that. It’s scary though. Look, there’s so many excuses to it, and I get it. I don’t challenge people on, on, on their excuses other than I try to give them things to think about it and take away, I just try to help people take away their excuses, Butyou know, the outdoors is scary to a lot of people. It’s the society now. there’s no promotion of it in, in, really, in schools. never any, again,I think it, there’s, we’re all, we’re missing something to where we come from. I don’t, again, I don’t pretend to know. I just know that it works.
Amy Bushatz: Time for a little break so I can tell you about the Humans Outside 365 Challenge One, help building your own outdoor habit. Some cool swag and even a finisher medal. The Humans Outside 365 Challenge is a great way to get started. Get outside every day for a year with exclusive help. All you need to do is visit humans outside.com/challenge. Don’t get left out. Go to humans outside.com/challenge to learn more now. Okay, back to the show. So here at Humans Outside, we know that going outside
works too. Uh, and of course we have a goal of building a daily outdoor habit to make space for this self-care and make space for whatever else it is that happens outside when you go there. It. All looks like self-care to me in the big picture, but it may look different everyday. And the beautiful thing about going outside for even just a little bit every single day is that every single day is a whole lot of time. So there’s a lot of space for whatever’s gonna happen. It’s literally every day.
And over time, that accumulates and you see start to see this preponderance and this collection of things that you’ve learned and experienced and had happened and felt and saw, and all of that sort of piles up into this overwhelming in a lot of ways. I mean, if you really step back and like how can I quantify this, overwhelming mountain of awesomeness that is just layers onto who you are.
But I would love to talk to you about what it is about going outside? If we can even articulate it, ’cause sometimes I think we can’t even
articulate It that Is creating space for you in this that maybe a different kind of activity doesn’t. So you know, some people, you said going to the gym is more like maintenance than self-care, but if you’ve made the gym into your, I don’t know,
sacred space kind of place where you find that meditativeness, it could be the gym, but for us it’s outside. So what is it about going outside? About the outdoors in general that creates this space for you and allows you to pursue this and allows other people who you’ve seen to pursue this.
Scott Tatum: Look, there’s a, lot of spirituality to some of these things, to, and, you know, being on the Appalachian Trail last year for and walking forever. and, then just, you know, being in a lot of social situations this year, and hiking more with people and with versus just doing so much solo stuff. You know, it’s a very spiritual thing for me, again, just speaking for me, the, one of the biggest things is, look there.It just lets me, it keeps reminding me there’s something way bigger than myself. There’s something way greater than me out there, and I’m just a small piece to this and, it’s just a draw. It, it’s for doing it so long. It’s just, it’s a comfort level. It’s, there’s no judgment outdoors, you know? It’s, it’s safe. People, you know, again, misconstrue the wilderness versus being outdoors, nature, and in control. More controlled environments If you’re, you’re feeling unsafe, it doesn’t have to be any specific way, but it’s like anything else. You have to do it. and a lot of times it’s what you’ve been exposed to and what you have available to you and, and around you. But it’s one of those missing pieces in which I try to trail back what I said a minute ago. Yeah. I don’t care what professional you go talk to around anything around your whether it be mental, physical or whatever, that’s gonna be up there. start moving, go outside, do these things because the benefits are and across the board, And again, for me it’s, the combination of the spiritual that I talked about and how I feel being more connectedwith something out there. And it’s not, that I’m out there seeking it, it’s just that I know it’s there. It’s just, you know, again, maybe, maybe two years from now, you and I can talk and I’ve done gone some spiritual walk and and kind of figured out where it’s coming from, but that’s not, that’s not where I’m at right now.
But, you know, and then the physical, I, I can’t stress enoughthat you, if you’re not exerting yourself, you’re not challenging yourself. And if you’re not challenging yourself, you’re losing a lot of the connection that you’d be able to get because when you put yourself in, especially when you go on a trail, that’s why sopromote the hiking and doing a little bit of it solo, learning how to do that if you can, is because it, it’s the best place,safest place. the place that is so big and, and there’s so many options that you you can go again, deplete your tank, because the work doesn’t start until you deplete the tank. Just like going to work out, you know, people are under the, hey let’s go do 12 reps, you know, and then the 12th rep, you know, it, starts getting a little difficult and they’ve done their 12 reps. You talk to any serious person that you know around the body and things like that. and whether it’s a bodybuilder or a coach or, or even your doctor, whatever, you don’t build anything unless you continue with the resistance. The work starts at 12, you know, and, it’s just like going outside and doing things like that. You’ve gotta break yourself down to allow yourself to get the bigger benefits from it.
Amy Bushatz: The thing I love about this word challenge, and you know, you said you have to challenge yourself, is that it’s so individual. So, for me, a challenge looks much different today, all this time on from going outside every day that it did for me when I started doing this. It’s a much, much different kind of thing.
When I started doing this, 20 minutes a day sounded like a challenge, and now it happens almost without thinking almost every day. There are some days, in the coldest part of the winter where that is still a challenge, but the rest of the time it just happens.
But that is my challenge. It doesn’t have to be anyone else’s challenge. I suggest 20 minutes because it’s a pretty good amount of time. There’s some science to back it up, and it is, it feels like it’s enough time to make it, like an effort, but not enough time to make it super big burden. It’s enough time to make putting on all the clothes that you have to do sometimes when the weather’s real bad, or finding your rain jacket, worth it, but not enough time that it really puts a major hitch in your day. So that’s why we picked 20 minutes, But it doesn’t have to be a challenge, is whatever to you is just. that little tiny step outside, whatever your comfort zone is, right now, and if your challenge is spending time on your porch every day, awesome, go for it. If your challenge is taking a long hike, because you’ve done short hikes, now long hike is the next thing. Go for it. But it doesn’t have to be anything that you and I are telling people. It’s so and there are no rules about it. It’s just, you know, what is, what is out there, what speaks to you? What do you want to seek? And taking that time, that self-care that you’re talking about, to understand what that is, and then go for it.
Scott Tatum: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. and you know, the other piece of that is, I’m not into comfort. I don’t see comfort right now. I’m very minimal. a lot of people, misconstrue being minimal as shying away from money or,doing specific things. I’m just not, a consumer right now. And so, a lot of my growth has come from not seeking comfort. So if I, if, if the weather turns somewhere and I’m out, I’m on, you know, national forest land, 14 miles back from the nearest road and, and I don’t have the, gear that would make me be more comfortable or I’ve run out of propane from a heater or anything like that. I’ve learned and evolved intonot putting myself in dangerous situations, but I’m not gonna allow things to because it’s not comfortable, to take me out of that situation. So if people. are traveling or or for work, or, the weather does something, changes, you know, if it’s raining or, or whatever. Go outside anyways, you’re just gonna get wet
Amy Bushatz: Yeah so we’ve been talking about, what we find when we’re out there. Can you give three or four just really practical steps for finding self-worth and pursuing that self-care and creating that space through outdoor experiences?
Scott Tatum: Yeah, I think that I, I think first of all in starting the whole process is again, taking the pressure off of yourself as much as I’m gonna get out there, take baby steps, it’s okay to, look if you’re not familiar with a lot of it. And you’re not familiar with, walking long periods or doing things like that you don’t need to do that.
Like you were talking about the stress. And I think that’s very important to set that up. You know, you can’t do anything unless you do something. And to do something, you have to maybe break it down to bite-size pieces. So take a short walk, just have, have goals. Do that, for a week, and move on and on. Again, I think it’s allowing yourself to listen to yourself. And you can only do that when you’re in places that, that there’s the noise isn’t there anymore. And that’s when you can really start understanding what is important to you, what’s not important to you, what’s really bothering you. And sometimes you’re gonna be very and things like that, but again, I, I think it’s, it’s just a, a big part of the the process. Look, all of your senses when you go outdoors and do those things, and you put yourself in that environment again, whether you’re meditating or you want to do the forest bathing and just go to look at a tree for an hour. What you’re doing is you’re igniting all those things that are dead now. Your sight, your vision, all of our senses, the smell, the taste, everything is different.
Amy Bushatz: it’s all tied together. That’s the problem or the benefit.
Scott Tatum: It’s, it’s just doingI mean, again, I can’t, there’s so many excuses for it. I mean, I guess we can address, you know, go through the list of excuses, but none of it really doesn’t matter. You have to take the initiative and do it, and It is not working for you now, you’re, you’re looking for something. Now you’re either unhealthy this way or that way. People are not seeking, how to be better if they’re better. And you have to put yourself in those spaces create that space for you, like you were talking about, so that you can, again, figure out what that is. And maybe figuring out what that is, is just making your gym space out on your back patio versus it being in the house. Who, who knows what it is but it, what happens is all this stagnation and just all of that. I just, just go, figure out what that is for you It’s just like, you, wanna know something, you know, Google it. So if you want to know about the outdoors, you’re gonna have to go outside. You just, you’re gonna have to go do it. And you’re gonna have to look, what are you attracted to? You can make a list. Look, journaling is very important. Again, I promote the journalism for everything. So if you wanna understand about write journal about it, try to connect the dots or do you like water? Are you attracted to water? Does it make make you feel good? Does it make calm you down? All of these things like that. And then you, then that’s what you do. Maybe, maybe get a kayak or maybe get a paddleboard or anything and just you know,try it, try it, try it. Just go, go, go,
Amy Bushatz: Well, so many of your, so much of your advice is in your book Friendly Reminders and you know, as just little tidbits and information about self-care. And so people can look to your new book friendly reminders for that. They can also listen to your podcast, Self-Care Savage. And we’re just so grateful that you joined us today.
We close out our episodes listening to our guests tell us About one of their favorite outdoor moments, somewhere that you just close your eyes and you’re back there and you can visualize it and it’s this visceral, heartwarming, or inspiring experience and we would just be so honored if you would share that with us.
Scott Tatum: If you wanna take onemoment that probably will never get recreated, but it’s something that happened that is one of the most amazing things for me was on the Appalachian Trail last year. I was probably six weeks in of being on trail already, and I stayed on trail most of the time, but I started getting a couple of text messages and they were like, hey there’s some guy, a couple of guys looking for you on Trail. And I’m like, well, what are they looking for me for? And they’re like, they, brought hamburgers for you.
So these were two kids, and when I say kids 19, I think 19,20, 21. They were li coming from Florida, they were heading to Ohio and they were for summer camp count they, were gonna be summer camp counselors, but they were the one that wasn’t driving, was flipping,through Instagram And, they came across one of my posts and I had on the trail, on Appalachian Trail, I posted every single day about the trail and, you know, did a friendly reminder. But one of the things I was, after about six weeks, seven weeks, I was losing a lot of weight and I was doing a little whining, Hey, you know, trying to keep his weight on, I really want hamburgers and just all this kind of stuff. So and then they went through my stuff and they kind of connected with, everything and, and they were like, we need to go find him. We need to take a stop and, and go find him. So these boys went to Walmart, bought all this stuff. They bought a little cook stove, uh, pans. They bought all the hamburger fresh stuff.
So I started getting these messages and they were showing everybody my picture. So when you get on trail for a while, you start getting known by your trail name.So my trail name that was given to me was Rooster. So, so they they kept going around and they, they’d show it to people and people go, yeah, we saw Rooster yesterday, or he was past us over here.
So these, and look, I never posted where I was at, uh, you know exactly, but these kids are smart. They went back and they looked at everything and they realized, I made a post that, hey, I hit the 400 mile mark a couple of days before or something. So they tried to calculate where I was the best they couldand, and, so, and these kids were in sandals.
I’m trying to set this up, how amazing this was, for me. They were in sandals. Anyways, they, they not only got all they hamburger stuff, all the fresh stuff, all the makings, everything, they got a watermelon, they got strawberries, they got fudge. They did all this stuff to make, just to make, this stuff. So these guys,you know I’d get a text and one of the first one I got, was hey, the watermelon boys are looking for you. So they were, they were anointed very quickly the Watermelon Boys, ’cause they were carrying a watermelon in sandals on trail looking for this goober head Rooster.
It ended up being something like 13 hours these boys walked, and I don’t even remember how far it was. It was quite a ways,but by the time they found me, it was dusk.
I was in this campsite. There was other campers around. There was this, it was a bear area. So, and, and they had all this food, but here’s one of the things that came out of it. They had to start shedding some of this weight. And so what the great thing was, there’s things called Trail Magic. It usually comes from people, it’s from Trail Angels who set up and, you know, give people food at a trail head or things like that and kind of gift things, and which helps the morale of somebody on trail a long time too. Well, they had to gift the watermelon to a group of people at a shelter, that’s why they got anointed to the watermelon boys, but that’s amazing. I mean, these, for a gift of a watermelon to be for a bunch of hikers that are probably hungry and they’re at a shelter is like, you know, oh my God. Then they gave fudge away. They had to give the fudge away and the strawberries. All these things, as they’re going down line trying to find me, they’re having to give away. But by the time they find me, they still have all this other stuff. It was, it was incredible just going through this. And after them going through all this, they had nothing but these amazing smiles on their face. And and I’m like worried about the food. I’m like, look guys, we gotta get this hung in the tree, you know, because this is, you know, it’s raw meat. But this one boy, he, his family were missionaries, so they lived in Africa quite a bit. He’s like, no problem. He says, uh, where, where do I need to hang it up? And he just shimmied up the tree like it was nothing. You know, just, just like absolutely nothing. And, so it’s all these little things, but nothing was a problem. They were hungry. They didn’t, bring anything other than this.
We couldn’t cook it because again, it was too late. Other campers were around, things like that. So we had to get everything sorted. I, I gave them my, my food bag and said, you guys eat whatever you need to. And then we bedded them down. And then the next morning we got up and we, we went down about two or three miles down trail. And we set up at this great little opening and they literally set up and made at eight o’clock in the morning by the time we got there, made me on the Appalachian Trail in the middle of nowhere. They made me, bacon cheeseburgers with everything on it.
These boys made like three or four other people hamburgers as well at eight o’clock in the morning on Appalachian Trail and it, it was just amazing for somebody to do something like that for me. And was all connected to everything that we’re talking about. And it not just being about me. It ended up being about everybody.So anyways, that is the best story that I ever have. It’s not probably exactly like, you know, what moment I go back to, but that’s a memory that I always go back to.
Amy Bushatz: And I love that your memory is the humans part of being a human who’s outside, because that’s really, that’s what we’re talking about.
So Scott, thank you so much for joining us today on Humans Outside, so appreciate your time and your insight and everything you’ve offered us today. Thank you.
Scott Tatum: You are welcome. Thank you.
Amy Bushatz: That’s a wrap on this episode of Humans Outside, but hey, I need your help. Enjoy this show. Leave a five star rating or review or vote wherever you get your podcasts. It makes me feel good, but it also helps others find a show too. Now, go get outside. Until next time, we’ll see you out there.