Survival Outdoors on the Journey

Daley Art 10 014

Risk vs Reward Is it worth it? Driving, flying, camping, hiking skiing, boating, the workplace and home all have dangers to be prepared for. A fall, accident, weather, wildlife, weird people, equipment failure, getting lost and any loss of money/ resources can threaten your health or even your life. Your awareness of the natural world around you, plus your attitude responding to that awareness is key to success, survival!
Planning a trip is essential. Know your route numbers, service stops and rest areas. Reduce the odds of getting lost by staying on the same through road, instead of exiting onto another road unnecessarily. Through Cleveland I had choices so I breezed through the city area on I-480 en route to Michigan. Seatbelts! Get enough sleep. Avoid confrontations with aggressive drivers. Be cooperative with the police. Keep to yourself, watch your money/personal security. A variety of interstate and smaller highways breaks the monotony. No GPS or high tech navigation here; I write out worksheets for my journeys.

Outdoor hazards: Winter brings cold wind chills and snow. Always equip your vehicle with clothing, sleeping bag, extra food and water plus the requisite shovel, a good flashlight and first aid kit. In any outdoor activity cold or hot a shelter, cooking source fire/ stove and access to water is a required routine. Wind can dehydrate you even in the cold. Don’t get stuck in mud, sand traps or flooding. Watch for rockslides. Clear the tailpipe of snow if stuck and STAY with your vehicle-it’s shelter until the storm abates. Summer lightning out in the open is very dangerous; crouch low away from trees, cliffs or towers of any kind.

Wildlife usually will be afraid of you retreating. But be wary in grizzly bear country; tie a bell onto your pack to avoid surprising a bear! Moose, bison and feral pig will charge, keep your distance. Elk, deer, and wild horses though more passive will kick if threatened. Be vigilant in snake country, the western diamondback rattlesnake injects 400mg venom more than fatal. Cottonmouth and coral snakes are also serious considerations. Watch your scorpions-keep your tent zipped closed and shoes off the ground. Nationwide Poison Hotline 1-800-222-1222 Southern states are alligator habitat; sharks, jelly fish stings and other fish species will bite while ocean swimming. Watch out for rip tide currents/ undertow.

Other dangers include high surf and rocks; using a axe or chainsaw, poking your eye in the woods, busy city streets with trolleys as in Munich or other urban distractions, pickpockets and petty theft. Know where you are, be observant of your surroundings, watch the sky, be outfitted for the occasion and be prepared. Enjoy the trip, you’ll get there. There is so much to see on the way!


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