Author Topic: A Lesson at 2:30 AM!  (Read 400 times)

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Offline woodsorrel

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A Lesson at 2:30 AM!
« on: March 24, 2019, 09:24:34 AM »

Things seem a little slow, so I thought I'd relate a funny story from last weekend.  Many of us are experienced outdoorsmen (and outdoorswomen).  So we take certain things for granted.  But I volunteer leading urban youth on hiking and backpacking trips.  They remind me that our experience is often built on silly mistakes.

Here's a link to what happened.

https://www.natureoutside.com/a-lesson-at-230-am/

Do you want to share one of your own silly mistakes?

- Woodsorrel
The best backpacks are named for national parks or mountain ranges. Steer clear of those named for landfills.
Bushcraft tips and tricks:  www.NatureOutside.c om

Offline Sarge

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Re: A Lesson at 2:30 AM!
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2019, 02:13:12 PM »
Good times! LOL.

I've caught a mouse exiting my backpack but never a raccoon.

Sounds like a great program getting kinds out in the woods.  :cheers:
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart (1862-1931)

Offline wsdstan

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Re: A Lesson at 2:30 AM!
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2019, 02:34:37 PM »
Good story, a bit of Murphy's Law thrown in.  Never had a critter get in my pack but have had some rodents in the tent over the years.  Raccoons are pretty smart and they can get into things better than anybody except another person.  We had few elk walk through our camp and knock the tents down when they hit the guy lines and stuff like that.  Once saw a bear climb into the back of a station wagon and proceed to eat up all the campers food.   

I will mention a Turkey hunting incident that occured down in southern Colorado about thirty years ago.  If you wrote it in a story you could call it "The Lion in Winter" (even though it was early Spring.)

A fellow and I were hunting Turkey in the spring of the year and it had snowed about six to eight inches  overnight.  We had risen from camp early and were moving along a ridge top towards a place we had put a few Turkeys to roost the night before.  As it was close to legal hunting time, a half hour before sunrise, we went to a place where there was a four foot cap of stone on the ridge.  It gave us a bit of relief from the wind and a bit of a backdrop so we didn't get silhouetted on the horizon.  I had on rain pants and just sat in the snow.  We called Turkeys starting right at sunrise.  There were a few gobbles below us, likely in the bigger trees that grew along the creek.  We worked them for about an hour but could not get any to come up the ridge.  Finally they stopped gobbling, came out of the roost, and moved off.   We decided we better go to another place.  We moved about twenty feet along the base of the cap and found a spot where it was only three feet high making it easy to climb up on the top of the cap.  We walked back towards the place we had climbed down in the dark and came to our tracks in the snow.  Beside them, right above where we had been sitting were fresh prints, some on top of ours, of a  mountain lion.  It had come along the ridge in response, perhaps, to our calls and stood just above where we were sitting.  You could see where it had sit down for a time and watched us from about six feet away and then moved off down the ridge we had come up earlier.  My memory of this is not as crisp as it was thirty years ago but it is still fun to think about.

I had hunted a lot in this area and bears and lions were fairly common.  You would see lots of tracks but only on rare occasions would you see one.  Usually quite a way off and moving away.   
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline woodsorrel

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Re: A Lesson at 2:30 AM!
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2019, 03:01:18 PM »
Wow, that's a great story wsdstan

Sarge, there are some places I've camped where they advise you to leave your pack zippers open.  It's better to satisfy the mice's curiosity than to have them chew a hole in your pack to get in.  But I've yet to catch one exiting my pack.  :)

- Woodsorrel
The best backpacks are named for national parks or mountain ranges. Steer clear of those named for landfills.
Bushcraft tips and tricks:  www.NatureOutside.c om

Offline madmax

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Re: A Lesson at 2:30 AM!
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2019, 02:58:00 PM »
Max and I were on a solo (?) SUP river trip.  The second day I fell asleep in camp.  Woke up with the sun going down.  Dumb, dumb, dumb I hurriedly packed up fast failing to seal and secure my dry bags. The sun went down.  I've paddled by moonlight here but there was heavy cloud cover.  Pitch black.  Max went after a monkey and tips us into the ONLY wrong turn I could make on this section.  Swept into a strainer I got Max up on the branches.  I collected what I could.  SUP.  Paddle.  Screen tent. Max.  We spent the night in the swamp with no hope of reaching dry land at night on the big board in the cypress knees. . Max's body heat kept me from hypothermia.  We fell off many times. Morning came and I paddled to the take out in 15 mins. I think.  The dumbest neophyte mistake you could make.  I've since spent extra nights on the safe side .
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson

Offline wsdstan

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Re: A Lesson at 2:30 AM!
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2019, 05:08:02 PM »
Wow Tony that is something.  I have a healthy respect for those strainers too. 
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline woodsorrel

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Re: A Lesson at 2:30 AM!
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2019, 09:48:07 PM »
Wow, madmax!  That could have ended poorly.  Glad you're around to share it with us.

- Woodsorrel
The best backpacks are named for national parks or mountain ranges. Steer clear of those named for landfills.
Bushcraft tips and tricks:  www.NatureOutside.c om

Offline madmax

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Re: A Lesson at 2:30 AM!
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2019, 12:35:10 PM »
Like a lot of us older fellers I've had many close calls and survived. 


Little River Spring, FL.  My "home" cave dive.  It was not really that popular when I was cave diving.  Ginnie Springs has always been ground zero for cave diving in FL.  But LRS has everything you could ask for.  I dove most of my cave dives solo after looking for a third diver that disappeared on a dive.  The only time I've violated the rule of 3's.  Air is 1/3 in.  1/3 out.  1/3 reserve.  It's a horrible experience to have to decompress looking at another diver knowing you just lost somebody.  The missing idiot panicked and turned around without signal us.  He was eating a PBJ on the bank when we surfaced.


Any hoo.  I was solo at LRS.  Well trained and literally hundreds of cave dives in my log.  I had 3 straight air tanks and an O2 tank at the deco depth to flush the nitrogen out of me.  I had 2 caving quality lights.  1 Diving light and a very small light.  I was just about at my turn around when my main light blinked out.  My second light worked for a few mins. then out.  Third light didn't come on.  I dug out my little light and it came on.  I'm thinking, "No problem." we train for this.  Then I dropped it into the thick silt.  Gone.  Now I had one thin line (Masons' line) and 2 junction to get out.  I made it to my O2 bottle and forced myself to do the proper deco time.  Lemme tell you.  That was the worst part of the exit.  I held it together all the way there, but laying there seeing just a teeny spot of light waaaay up there my adrenaline dump was epic. 

Training saved my ass.  Solo is dumb?  Maybe.  What about a panicked diver yanking gear off you 30 mins in and 140 ft down?  No thanks.  I had to know you very well to cave dive with you.



"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson

Offline wsdstan

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Re: A Lesson at 2:30 AM!
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2019, 05:22:33 PM »
I have never had the urge to get myself into a place where if my gear broke I would drown.  I raced motorcycles instead for my adrenaline.  I just broke body parts and had a lot of concussions.   :-X
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
(Mark Twain)

Offline madmax

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Re: A Lesson at 2:30 AM!
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2019, 11:42:36 AM »
I have never had the urge to get myself into a place where if my gear broke I would drown.  I raced motorcycles instead for my adrenaline.  I just broke body parts and had a lot of concussions.   :-X

Motorcycles?  Yup.  If you ride you will crash,  sooner or later.  Femur through the pelvis.   Compound fracture of the fibula and tibia.  3 months in the hospital.  3 months at home using a bedpan.  A year to learn how to walk without a limp.

When Hushnel laid his Harley down the last time Max and I visited him while he was in PT at the assisted living facility.  I felt weak in the knees the whole time looking at the stainless steel rods sticking out of his arm.  That brought a lot of hospital time and pain right to the forefront.


Gosh I miss riding.  No seriously I do.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson

Offline wolfy

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Re: A Lesson at 2:30 AM!
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2019, 11:55:09 AM »
I'm too claustrophobic to dive into a water-filled hole, but I do ride motorcycles.  Outside of a tip-over at a full stop on a gravel covered driveway apron when my foot slid out from under me, I've been pretty lucky....didn't even scratch the bike.  :thumbsup:    Moe's dire predictions have not occurred.....yet. :shrug:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: A Lesson at 2:30 AM!
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2019, 12:38:55 PM »
I'm too claustrophobic to dive into a water-filled hole, but I do ride motorcycles.  Outside of a tip-over at a full stop on a gravel covered driveway apron when my foot slid out from under me, I've been pretty lucky....didn't even scratch the bike.  :thumbsup:    Moe's dire predictions have not occurred.....yet. :shrug:

 LOL, like Max said, chances are that chances are it'll happen, I stared my motor cycle career at age nine riding an old Cushman scooter,  not long after that I hit some soft sand and ended up with the bike on top of me in a water filled drainage ditch, no damage to either of us, fast forward 20 years and my next fall was in Newport RI. right in front of the Mansions on a wet cobble stone street, I wore out the seat of a new pair of jeans and the side of one expensive pair of cowboy boots, the bike got bent up a little but still managed to limp home, the only other damage was to my marriage, seems my first wife took offense on my picking up the bike and getting it to the curb before going back to help her up and out of the middle of the road, that was the beginning of the end of that relationship,  some folks just don't understand bikers I guess, those were my only two incidents on a bike but I always figured I was luckier than most.   
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline madmax

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Re: A Lesson at 2:30 AM!
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2019, 01:34:32 PM »
The beginning for me was a '70 Honda Trail 70.  I loved that goofy heavy wonderful mini bike to death...literally.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson