Friday, March 27, 2015

Article Assignment #2 - Aidan G.

Bad Attitude Can Kill You
By: Allen Macartney
Rating: ****

          Being prepared for an adventure in the wild is extremely important. Although many people don't realize it, being prepared mentally and having the right attitude can arguably be the deciding factor when it comes to survival. You must know how to handle a wide variety of situations that could possibly occur and be one step ahead. Therefore if nature disagrees with your plans, you can easily cope and adapt to the outcome. 

          This article begins with a story about how one man was mentally unprepared for his adventure in Alberta's northern back-country. It also describes how he could not adapt to the obstacles of nature that he encountered which eventually threatened his life. This was due, not only to his poor trip planning, but his overconfidence and cocky mentality. The author then explains how the contemporary world of urban societies trains us to think that our lives are safe because we are in a secure environment with much less danger than in an unprotected wilderness environment. Therefore many people have a false sense of security when they go out into the wilderness. In reality the wilderness, far from urban society, is where you are always at your own risk and security is much more unreliable. This misconception can be the cause of a disastrous experience unless you prepare for the adventure properly. Then it can be an amazing venture.

          This article has really changed my perspective on planning for a wilderness experience. I have greater knowledge on the importance of mental preparation before entering the wild. I understand that being optimistic and preparing for the worst possible scenario is key because it allows one to have greater security in their mind. Greater security enhances your enjoyment because you are less worried about dangerous threats. This can be accomplished by becoming knowledgeable and preparing for possible danger, while maintaining a positive attitude.  For example, in preparing for a wilderness trek, one should be aware of the animal habitats in that area: what kind of dangerous animals might one come across, even on a hike? Such knowledge allows you to be less stressed which makes it easier to cope and handle unexpected challenges. I now understand that proper planning and preparations, along with solid research, can enhance my outdoor experience. How I handle a threatening situation can increase my chances for survival and safety.

          I understand that it is important to be prepared with the appropriate equipment, to be physically ready/capable, but it is most important to be prepared mentally and to realize the natural threats you are up against. This can make an experience so much more fulfilling.

      Macartney, Allen. "Bad Attitude Can Kill You." Ottawa Outdoors 2014: 27.          

1 comment: