Social media guides – Magician vs Wizard

How two kinds of social media experts might take on very different roles along the digital trails of tomorrow

By Frits Ahlefeldt, – Technology

On the hiking trails social media is booming, and in a time when everybody becomes social media experts or at least users, it seems that calling someone an expert is not exact enough any more, instead we need to differ between different kinds of social media experts. And sketching up ideas for that I stumbled across the classic difference between being a magician and a Wizard

Sketching up local eating ideas

Edible landscapes and wildfood

Drawing up concepts for edible trails and local food supplies as a path to better relationships between locals and hikers

By Frits Ahlefeldt,

New innovative movement are working to reconnect people to the local landscapes in many ways. One of them is through what has been called “The local food movement”

Drawing of hiking trail with food
Food can help locals and hikers relate along the trails
Drawing of watercolor sketching gear

How to make a drawn logbook while hiking

Using a sketchbook to draw stories when hiking can be an alternative to taking photos

By Frits Ahlefeldt.

Drawing from a moleskine sketchbook, from a hike
Drawn logbook, sketching along the trails


Video, photos and notebooks, there are many ways of recording and making a logbook from the trails. One of them is making a drawn logbook, with sketches from the adventure. I’ve been working with drawn logbooks for many years, and here are a few of the things I have learned. And I few examples from the drawn notes I’ve done along the trails

Drawing of watercolor sketching gear
Classic logbook sketching gear: watercolors and brushes

Drawing gear – keep it light and fast

Group of people becoming a bridge helping a man in the water

Seven bridges over troubled water

Strategies to get from A to B in the best way

Drawings and text by Frits Ahlefeldt;

From diets to disruption – A collection of strategies and bridge metaphors we use to get across a difficult place or gap.

Drawing of two bridge builders
The Practical Bridge – getting things done
Drawing of a man looking at his digital twin, as a mirror image on a screen

Meet your digital twin

The intelligence of your phone is beyond what you hold in your hand, your phone is just the surface of something much larger, and closer to you – Get ready to meet your digital twin… Your twin who is a smarter than you, faster, more connected and know you better, version of yourself

Three fishermen walking, granddad, dad and son

Things you can’t do with your smartphone

Technology can’t connect you like nature can

Text and drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt,

Going fishing together – Strolling along a river, laughing, enjoying walking for that special place, where the fish often can be caught. Teaching your kid about the places along the stream, that you learned from your dad, walking right behind you, even though he moved on and became one with how the eddies show where the fish hide, how once a huge tree blocked the flow,  how beavers and otters slip out of sight…  and into the slow flow of water and time – all this our smartphones, apps and digital social networks can’t grasp…

Wood Wide Web Circle

Walking along the Wood Wide Web

Drawing and text by Frits Ahlefeldt.

My drawing about the circle of trees, amazing creatures we share this planet with, here is one of the drawings I did about it:

Giving up the outdated solutions of yesterday for a smarter tomorrow

Solar power is so much smarter

Factory chimney with smoke blocking the sun of tomorrow illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt
Today we can either create the technology for tomorrow, or the limitations for it.

Text and drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt,

Solar power and solar technology is now both cheaper, more advanced and easier to install and use to store energy than the old, extremely polluting and cumbersome coal and oil energy sources. With good reason a lot of countries are speeding up to switch to solar, but also wind and other alternative sources.  Some countries are unfortunately going in the other direction…

The tragedy is that this scared run for yesterday, risk to destroy the future for everybody, to favor a few, that are too conservative to make the necessary changes. Fortunately it look like in most of the world, new solar harvesting structures are being build on a scale never seen before, energy structures that can soon support and nurture both new technologies, locals, food and thrive

Hikers and hiking is here on pushing the edge, new solar technologies, ultra-light and effective panels, batteries and less power hungry flashlights, phones and other technologies are tested to their most extreme by hikers on the trails, and what works for hiking – will very likely work everywhere… to the benefit of everybody

Can hiking solve global problems?

If you wonder what to do – start walking

Stop fighting – start hiking drawing and text by Frits Ahlefeldt,

There are many challenges to our small blue planet right now. From armed conflicts, to global threats of epidemics, population growth, culture clash and lack of resources – and a very, very strange distribution of them – First step to solve any challenge is most often to get a different perspective on everything. And to my experience the best and fastest way to get that is to start walking

When you walk, you can only carry a little, and only take one step at the time – just those two things can really make a great difference to anybody’s understanding, after a few days. First you start realize that it is actually not that scary to spend the nights under the sky. Second you realize how little – and much you have to lose, when what you got, is more about who you are, and how you handle challenges, than about fancy stuff you can buy to strap to your back.

drawing of two dogs fighting over a planet

First step in solving conflicts and challenges is most often to let go, to understand them from a different perspectiveWhen you let go and start walking, then you start to change perspective, you meet people way different from you, and realize, when everybody get out of their comfort zones, conflicts, cars, houses and suits, we are all a lot alike – and share more than divide us – and more than anything we share life.

And Life is so much more important than anything, anybody can ever buy or claim. But it is not something you can realize from behind walls or wheels or screens, or by holding tight unto what you claim to be yours, but much more something you can understand from walking and sharing trails and stories, while walking.

Elves hiking

The Elves Hiker Creatures – Hikertypes collection

Drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt,

Sometimes on the trails you get a glimpse of something you can’t believe, look back, was it really? 

Drawing of an elver hiking, walking very llightly
Elves often pass you by very swiftly

See all the hiker types here


Give up bullet points to watch the stars instead

PowerPoint vs Nature – what give the best understanding?

Text and drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt,

Global reality today is mostly flat and presented in bullet points, using a software program from 1990 called Microsoft PowerPoint. If it’s science, culture, art, global warming, sustainability, design, innovation or business management, or strategy – the presentation of it, where-ever this take place, can be spelled ppt –  short for PowerPoint

Drawing of a presentation about the amount of powerpoint presentations
PowerPoint about PowerPoint about…

PowerPoint could easily qualify to be the most boring kind of theater ever developed during the last 100.000 years. A form of mono-storytelling, shown in repeat, in endless hours, in endless meeting rooms, dim-lit conference rooms and hotels all over the globe.

Could it be that at any given moment today, more people on this planet look at boring PowerPoint presentations, than at nature, including sunsets, mountains, trees, rivers and drifting clouds?

30.000.000 PowerPoint presentations every day in 2001

In 2001 a conservative estimate by Microsoft itself, calculated the global daily dose of PowerPoint presentations to be around 30 millions. Since then there is good reason to believe that this number has exploded. Because if we look at the accumulated amount of smart-boards, projectors, PowerPoint fancy communication-specialists, and ppt software distributed to everything from kindergartens to universities, to companies,  to community houses… smartphones and tablets, it adds up in a very scary way.

Amount of PowerPoint Presentations in 2017

Today nobody really seems to know, care or have enough guts to estimate a 2017 number of how many or much time we humans spend looking at a PowerPoint based reality. The real reason might be that it will simply be to scary for us to realize how most of the global decisions and understandings today are framed by and into this extremely simplified and distorted flat reality.

Back to the Community Campfire

drawing of a camp fire
The camp fire

But there is an alternative, a very old alternative, using one or more of three magical ingredients: a fireside, a community and storytelling. It is a technique where imagination, twilight and improvisation combine under the stars to make stories come alive in a very different way.

It works, but unfortunately very few places still keep these storytelling traditions alive today. Very few of us can still listen to stories under the stars and even fewer can scramble together and light up a few pieces of wood at night, without either getting busted by the local fire-patrol, because the danger of all engulfing climate-change sparked wildfires, or simply because the cabin’s fireside has been replaced by a microwave oven, for speed, safety and convenience.

“But why – isn’t it better to connect to each other and the planet? ” – Well there is most likely a PowerPoint presentation you can watch close by, that will go over it, step by step, using words like win-win, lean, core competence and performance optimization – explaining it all, till you give up in bullet points.

Replacing bullet points with stars

The solution instead, could simply be to leave the screens and projects, at least sometimes, to go outdoors and replace every bullet point with a star – a real one, many times larger than the sun, ten thousand light years away – and right over our heads.

Don’t worry quote

Worrying seldom make the best option for action

Drawing and text by Frits Ahlefeldt

Walking are often prescribed as one of the best and fastest cures against worry, when you walk you de-stress, stimulate your creativity and take action in ways that can get you away from worry and onto more constructive paths – Finding new and better ways to act on the challenges

Man walking with umbrella under a cloud with the text: Worrying is stupid. it's like walking around with an umbrella, waiting for it to rain"

Quote about worry ( Wiz Khalifa)

Drawing is part of my quotes about walking, here is one about worrying from Wiz Khalifa: 

“Worrying is stupid. It’s like walking around

with an umbrella waiting for it

to rain”




Combining hiking with local eating

We need to get much better at connecting hikers to locals and the landscapes – and food is a great way

Text and drawings by Frits Ahlefeldt,

Just came back from a food fair, watching people connect over food. Is there any more genuine way for hikers to both connect to the locals and the land, without words? – simple by follow the old saying: “you become what you eat” sharing food experiences. And, instead of relying on freeze dried food from nowhere, in the backpack,  relate through tasting the land and the local ways of eating, together with people who live their lives along the trails 

Drawing live from a food fair
Eating together is a way hikers and locals can use much more
drawing of people celebrating food together
Eating is a wordless way of relating both to the land and to each other
hiker and farmer talking food along a trail
Hiker and farmer relating over food

Paths and storylines

Hiking storytelling trails and lines

Note on storylines, songlines and trails. By Frits Ahlefeldt,

There is a strange connection between storytelling and walking, a strange connection between how we follow lines of words through the landscapes in books and in stories, and the lines of trails, that connect the places of meaning out in the landscapes

The aboriginals ( Australia ) Should still have one of the most advanced human understandings of this connection, an very ancient understanding that maybe is more like a poetic, 4D dimension, that has been largely erased elsewhere in modern times. The aboriginal stories, their movement through them, and along their trails and the recreation of their landscapes are apparently one, or somehow connected and need to be reconnected constantly in this dimension, through song, dances and poetry, that only few, if any outsiders understand.

The English writer Bruce Chatwin did his best, he traveled for years all over the world, and researched nomadic cultures and their ancient narrated trail-storylines and traditions, in a research project he called “The Songlines” , and he scribbled it all down as a moleskine wrapped matrix of notes on walking,  ley-lines, nomads, their trails and their storymaps of understanding, written into the trails and places as landscapes of poetry.

In 1987 Chatwin published his legendary book about walking and these lines, it’s called The Songlines.

This quote about how the Aboriginal Ancestors made these story-trail-lines should be from it ( I lost my own worn out copy of Chatwin’s Songlines book, somewhere long ago ) so I’m not 100% sure, but here it is :

“He went on to explain how each totemic ancestor, while traveling around the country, was thought to have scattered a trail of words and musical notes along the lines of his footprints, and how these Dreaming-tracks lay over the land as ‘ways’ of communication between the most far-flung tribes.”  

Bruce Chatwin – The Songlines

Note to self: I need to find out much, much more about this, and get a new copy of the book…


Walk to think

Great thoughts come from walking

Text and drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt,

Drawing of a man walking while thinking I walk therefore I think
I walk therefore I think sketched thought from my drawn hiking notes today

“I think therefore I am” said the french philosopher Rene’ Descartes, but other philosophers saw it differently: They walked to think

A few examples: The German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, (1844 –1900) wouldn’t trust any thought that didn’t come from walking, he walked for hours most days, sketching up his notes, and thoughts, as they appeared along the way. And as Nietzsche famously proclaimed:

“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking”
Friedrich Nietzsche

The Greek philosophers took it a step further… (A step further – our language and thoughts are filled with these walking metaphors – with good reason )

One of the first higher education institutions in the world – in ancient Greece, more than 2000 years ago (founded around 335  BCE by Aristotle )  were called: “Peripatetic schools” – which can be translated to “of walking” or “given to walking about” – and that is just what these wise old philosophers did more often than not, and how they tought: They walked to figure out reality and occasionally talked about their findings,  maybe because they realized it was the smartest and fastest way to understand and gain insight, beyond learning.

Diogenes was a more or less barking mad old Greek celebrity philosopher (412 or 404 BC – to 323 BC.) and one of the most famous  examples of how walking can be used as an answer.

Diogenes drifted around Greece and other places around the Mediterranean Sea most of his life, wondering about this world and what he experienced, sleeping and eating where-ever he happened to be – He even made up the word “Cosmopolitan” according to the legend, to describe himself.

When confronted with thoughts about what was real ( Zeno’s paradoxes )… Diogenes famously just got up and started to walk away… and maybe, seen as an answer, that might be considered one of the earliest documented examples of “Show it, don’t tell it”

Some conflicts can’t wait till tomorrow

New focus learning about conflicts through hiking

Text and drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt

hiker in a sleeping bag and a bear, hiker saying I will deal with you in the morning
Sometimes you need to sleep on it, sometimes not…

Sometimes you have to face and deal with tough decisions, other times it is better to sleep on it. The challenge is often to know when to do what. Sketching up a new focus on conflicts here on