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Learning the basics, part 4.

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“What,” you may ask, just is survival?” Reading the 1st 3 paragraphs of chapter 12: Survival Preparedness, here’s what we discover:

“Every day of our lives, we are engaged in surviving. Continually, we need air to breathe, food & water to nourish ourselves, and protection from the elements. As a society, we’ve created networks of food production, distribution, & storage that can put fresh fruits on our tables in the dead of winter and make eating ice cream an everyday occurrence, even where there are no cows or ice. Our water comes from public systems that are so convenient we seldom think about the wonder of having fresh, pure water piped into our homes. Our homes are sturdy and secure, insulated against heat and cold and kept comfortable by furnaces and air conditioners that may rely on energy sources hundreds of miles away.
“Most of the time we survive without much effort, but when we travel in the backcountry, down wild rivers and across rugged terrain, we remove ourselves from the familiar networks of society. For a while we are on our own, fully responsible for our comfort and safety. That responsibility means that we must do all we can to be prepared to survive.
“Survival preparedness is being able to cope in situations where your safety is not automatically assured by the resources to which you are accustomed. Suppose a ski breaks, stranding you miles from the nearest road or a vehicle in which you are traveling. You become injured or ill. On a hiking or boating trip, you are separated from your companions and become confused about your location. Bad weather disrupts your travel plans. To deal with unexpected circumstances you’ll need to understand the nature of the danger and know how to stay alive until you can get to safety.”

This is MY definition of Survival as is that of the author of these words: Robert Brown, Executive Director of the American Outdoor Safety League. Sarge’s 1st rule of thumb, always learn from your teachers, never try to “trump” them. Next we’ll see how we use these tools.

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