Episode 43 Finding Your Limits With Dan Solsman

"Rare are the times in life when you can feel yourself growing as a person. Some are obvious, children being born, joining the military, certainly major life events. This hike however snuck into that same category. I was tested, I was broken, mentally defeated by pain through a war of attrition. I had so little skin left on my feet after day 2 I wanted to quit, it was all I think about. I wrestled with it alone for hours. Each step felt like walking on broken glass. I won’t lie I actually broke down and cried at one point around mile 80 I was struggling so badly. The bottom line is I was able to pull from the guys around me when I was weak, I reached into a reserve tank I had never felt before. By mid morning day 3 I would’ve walked through fire to finish. I had to prove to myself and my guys I could do this, no matter what. EVERYONE should get to this level at some point and it doesn’t matter where or how far it takes. One line from the @jockowillink podcast bounced in my head and seemingly fit this situation like a glove. “Human will is a superpower when called upon.” Amen to that." - Dan Solsman


The above quote is what sparked this episode.  It was written by my guest Dan Solsman, shortly after his experience on the Exo Mountain Gear "Death Hike."  I found Dan when he came on the Hunt Backcountry Podcast to talk about this exact post and what it meant to him.  After getting a taste for where his thoughts were, I decided to reach out for a chat.  He kindly obliged and this podcast episode is the result.


On this episode we talk about pushing our personal limits and why it's important to do so.  This episode is dedicated to those of you who know what it's like to find your limits and hopefully it's an inspiration to those who are sitting back waiting for something to happen.  


Dan is a hell of a guy and has a straight forward way about him.  He's direct about why he does what he does and has a great personal story about how he came to enjoy finding his personal limits.  


Please enjoy this episode with Dan!


By Land,

Emory Ronald



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Show Notes

  • Introductions
  • Dan’s background and upbringing in the outdoors
  • Dan’s transition from hunting the midwest to the mountains of Idaho
  • Learning to hunt the mountains via backpacking
  • Pushing the limits and diving into solo backcountry hunting
  • What keeps Dan going back for more in the mountains
  • Intro do the Exo Mountain Gear Death Hike
  • Dan’s detailed mental and physical experience on the hike on days 1-3
  • Reflections of the Death Hike - how to digest all of these experiences
  •  What it means to push yourself so hard that you’re reaching a mental and physical line you’ve never been at before
  • How it feels to reach that “line” and how to deal with the desire to quit
  • How to push through deep dark mental and physical moments
  • The will to endure
  • Intentionally pushing your limits and finding that line
  • How Dan learned about NOT quitting in his childhood
  • How to encourage people to reach that “line”
  • Setting limitations on quitting
  • Thoughts on teaching children about quitting and pushing themselves
  • Incorporating the lessons learned in the outdoors into our daily lives
  • Building mental strength
  • Being the sum of the things we accomplish
  • When and how Dan decided to begin pushing himself
  • What “normal” looks like when you’re pushing the limits and reaching the “line”
  • Learning to push yourself is like exercising a muscle
  • Using a “failure” as fuel
  • Dan’s lessons learned and what he’d do differently next time
  • How to reach Dan online