Fun Divided by Three

As outdoor types, we love rating systems. We’ll rate anything. Rapids. Climbs. Ski runs. Now, we’ve gone and tried to rate the unrateable–fun. Fun divided by three–it’s this concept that has been floating around campfires for years. It dictates that there are three types of fun. There is type one fun and type two fun, but today, we are going to explore type three fun. This is the epic. The suffer fest. This is collarbone breaking,  giardia-getting, soaked-to-the-bone, carnage. If it sounds horrible, that’s because it probably is. What does type three fun entail? Why do some people seem particularly drawn to these types of adventures and what could possibly motivate us to embrace type three fun?  Today, we bring you answers.

Music: Heartilation by Andrew Jackson Jihad   •   I Want You to Keep Everything by These United States   •   Raid the Radio by General Elektriks   •   Whistle by The Morning Call   •   Going Home by Egadz!

Music provided by IODA Promonet.


One Comment on “Fun Divided by Three

  1.  by  Wesley Sand

    I just returned from a fishing trip and was telling the story in my local fly shop. They told me I had to listen to this podcast because it was a 3rd type of fun trip.
    I agree with everything except the suggestion that Adventure Racing could be a 3rd type of fun. I don’t think you can go into an experience that you know could be hellish, have it be hellish and then call it a “Type of Fun.” No, I think a critical component of the 3rd type of fun is that you go into it believing it will be a 1st type of fun experience. Your expectations are high and then disaster(s) strike. The fun originates deep within the contrast, not just the disaster.

    For example:
    Last year we did a fly out fishing trip to a remote river in Alaska. It was EPIC! 2 best friends land a SuperCub on the tundra, set up camp and proceed to have the best fishing of their lives. The biggest rainbow trout on the planet in numbers that are unimaginable. We coined a term, “The Epic Day!” to describe the best day when the sun shown, massive rainbows were jumping out of the water and we caught fish until we were tired and it was almost dark. Complete Type One Fun. We can tell the story of the Epic Day and never get tired of it. It will forever be a core definition of what an amazing day fishing is.

    This year we decided to do the trip again. It was so great we thought we would bring a couple of friends. We had access to a bigger, better plane, so we made things a bit more luxurious with a big car camping tent to cook and relax in. We brought better food. It was going to be amazing. We loaded the plane and prepared to take off…only it wouldn’t take off. We had too much gear. Tried 3 times and couldn’t get off the water. When we went to eliminate some gear and everything in the floats of the plane was wet including the mountaineering tent we planned to sleep in. We quickly decided to eliminate that tent because it was soaked, heavy and we had the “big tent” we could sleep in. We finally got the plane off the water.

    Arrived at our destination in the sunshine and calm skies and set up a “dream camp.” Big Tent to cook in and for 2 of us to sleep in, another couple of smaller tents for the rest of the crew. Fished a while, had dinner, went to bed and woke up to our first beautiful morning. Fishing was ok, not great, and the wind began to pick up…and pick up…and pick up. We had checked the weather reports so we were prepared for this, it was supposed to be 20 mph…nothing out of the ordinary. And the wind continued to pick up… Then the guide fishing with his clients came down and asked if we were planning to stay the night…because if the wind in the weather report is 30 mph it will be double that here. He doubted our tents could handle 60 mph and made several recommendations for how we might get out of there… Of course it was going to be a tough night, but you can’t trust guides. They want “campers” off their special pieces of water. And we are tough, outdoors types. At 1am the 3 guidelines of each of the leading poles of the Big Tent broke and the rainfly was ripped off. At 2am the tent collapsed and I had to lay in the corner as the human anchor to keep the entire tent from blowing away. In the other tent our friends spent the night standing holding tent poles to keep it from collapsing At daylight the weather was unchanged. We collapsed the other two tents and hiked up to fish. The wind was too strong. At noon we had to decide what to do. We couldn’t fly out, we didn’t relish the idea of a cold night on the tundra with one half destroyed tent for 6 men, but there was a cabin about a 2 mile hike away. We could hike there. The decision was made to hike, but we didn’t have backpacks. We flew here, there were dry bags, duffle bags and boxes of food. Carrying what we could we set out – across the river, across the tundra, across the marsh – with 50+mph wind driving droplets of spray off the lake into our faces like airsoft pellets.
    You get the picture.

    The next day was beautiful, but the fishing wasn’t very good.

    Everything that had been Epic! the year before was reversed. It was Type Three Fun. Extraordinary expectations for a amazing experience that becomes a descent into hell. Even in the moments when things are not getting worse…are even getting better, they fail to meet your expectations.

    What an amazing trip.

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