Saturday, 25 October 2014

Updating preparedness for life's changes and using your brain

As I've mentioned in a few posts recently, I've been completely overhauling my go bag - updating it to account for the fact that, in addition to becoming disabled, I am also ageing, have changed size, and, whilst I've been mired in some of my Luddite-like ways, technology has been moving right along, and actually coming up with some pretty awesome innovations!

I had already given up my little bottle of iodine (which was in my kit since the early 80s) in favour of a Lifestraw, and changed out the old white gas pack stove for something even more lightweight and not dependent on special fuel some years ago, as well as a few other changes over the years, but the last couple months, I've really been re-evaluating my entire setup and making some more drastic changes to get with the times.

The fact is, I can no longer do a marathon type trek, hunt, or anything else which requires the sort of stamina that I had when I was younger and hadn't broken my back. I've been in denial, and hanging on to old ideas because I didn't want to admit to myself that there are a lot of things that I just can't do anymore. And that sort of bullshit can get me, as well as anyone who depends on me, killed! 

 Yes, if I absolutely HAVE to, I can still do a lot of the things I could before, but the price is extremely high, and not worth the payoff, when, just by changing some of my pack contents, I can have a shelter up and fire started much more quickly and with WAY less energy expended - energy that I can use for other things, rather than being useless for the next several hours because I used up all my spoons trying to be Rambo, rather than being smart!

So, think about it, especially if you've been doing this preparedness thing for a while...
When's the last time you took a good, hard look at your supplies, without letting your ego or what you wish were still true get in the way of things?

Yes, there may be abundant flint rock in your locale, and you can totally find enough supplies in the wild to build a shelter, fire bow & drill, boil water in a leaf, carve your own spoon, make your own tools, etc, and you can hunt, trap, fish, forage, etc to get some food in your belly, but is that really the best use of your energy when you're stranded in the middle of nowhere? 
Even if you ARE still physically able to do all that stuff, why waste precious time and energy doing it in an emergency situation if you don't have to?
The answer is that there is no good reason for that. Yes, it is a very good thing to have those skills in case you do need them - in case you end up in a situation where you literally have nothing, but that should be your very last resort, not your main plan. 

The time to impress your buddies with how well you can survive in the wilderness with nothing is on a planned wilderness trip, where you have some options and people know where the hell you are and when you're expected back, NOT when the shit has just hit the fan and everyone is cold, tired, hungry, and possibly scared and/or injured. Trust me, people will be FAR more impressed at that point with how fast you can have shelter, fire, water, food, and ways to get rescued in place!

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