He'd tramp alone.
When he was young, his father would take him. His father never taught him anything. No use in talking to a man unless you were his jailer. Father showed him. It's all a man can do.
His father was long done with the business of this world. He'd got all that was his due, and surrendered without a fight. He didn't owe the world anything, and the world had given him all it had to offer a contemplative man. Now it was his turn.
The other fellows took it as an opportunity for cameraderie, and drinking and laughing and so forth. Civilization is for that. He wanted the wilderness.
As soon as the brambles gave up their passive fight, and he got in where the sun couldn't beat its way past the canopy of the trees, he could stand for a long minute and change himself. Back, back, back.
The animals do not trouble themselves about the future. It's all now with them. They feel pain and fear, but don't ever expect them. He must put himself in that place. He has to do that alone.
He's seen them like no other sees them; warm and dead in his arms. He sees the ticks dug in their hides, and the abscesses and scars of the world dragged along their flanks without caring. He sees the world reflected in their dull eyes. It's a harsh world, maybe; but it never troubled such as they, who lived right in it -- right to the end.