Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sierra Magazine-A Review

I'm working my way through the July/August 2009 issue of Sierra, the magazine put out by Sierra Club.
There's a website, which is a relatively new social network promoted in it, as well as very interesting articles.
One, How Not to Die in the Woods, written by Paul Rauber,a senior editor at Serra, left me pondering many things.
Paul talks about the wilderness clinic he took sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Game. Everyone was supposed to bring their personal survival kit to class. He threw together some stuff so he didn't arrive empty handed.
I loved his honesty. Refreshing.
How many times I've headed out in the woods with nothing but my hiking poles, and maybe a bottle of water. Then, taking a notion to explore some back area I realize how important it is not to get lost because all my "survival stuff" is at home. Well, not everything. My brain is my biggest asset. I've been practicing, some call it playing, in the woods for many years.
Back to the article. Paul really describes the class, or clinic very well and the instructors key advice when you feel, or really are, lost : "Sit down, breathe deeply. Think things over. Fear is like being hot or cold. You just learn how to deal with it."
I love that. My partner used to tell me true courage is when you are afraid. If you weren't afraid, there would be no need for courage.
Fear is a survival instinct. It wakes us up from nonchalance. Our senses give us necessary clues to survive if we know how to utilize them. Panic, not fear, is the enemy.
His Survival Pack Checklist :
Cell Phone
Lighter, flint and steel, waterproof matches
Duct Tape
First Aide supplies
Parachute cord
Signaling mirror
Garbage bags
Space blanket
Water purification Tablets
Pictures of Loved ones
Dryer Lint
Paul goes onto remind us that these survival skills used to be taught to children by their parents, and now they are learned from reality shows, books, and Department of Fish and Game. I'll add that we learn from the Internet. I do a lot of research online.
Sierra Magazine is a great read, and I recommend it for enthusiasts regardless of which coast they live on.

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