The Preparation Game (Check off all five for a rewarding back country experience!)
1. Physical Preparation: Outdoor activities are synonymous with physical stress and unique sanitary conditions. Sleep deprivation can compound other limitations. Maintaining a proper level of physical fitness, health, rest and hygiene is strongly recommended.
2. Mental and Emotional Preparation: Self-confidence is the key and results directly from proper prior planning, skills practice, personal belief systems and your over all back country experience.
3. Material Preparation: Pack the right equipment for the job, maintained and in proper working order, and know how to use it. Having back up equipment for critical goods in case of loss or failure is wise.
4. Problem Anticipation: Weird stuff happens. Play out possible nightmare scenarios with others in your party, including travel routes, leadership roles and relevant environmental emergencies before the inevitable.
5. Spiritual Preparation: A strong grounding in a presence larger than oneself is an extremely powerful force and imparts the gift of a positive, holistic eagles eye view of the current situation and life in general. I have been fortunate enough to witness “atheists” pray during a compromised wilderness scenario and it is a profound sight indeed.
Note: Outside of an ever changing Mother Nature, the proverbial “wild card” lies in human nature and how it reacts to stress. Make every effort to get to know the other people in your tribe before crisis strikes.
By Cody Lundin 2012 All Rights Reserved