Smoke Signals

Mar/Apr 2012

 

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HOWDY DAVIS

Staff Writer

From My Humble Home

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From My Humble Home

WHEN THE SPIRIT MOVES ME I SIT DOWN AND WRITE, GOING TO VOO AND I KNOW I WILL GET INTO TALKING ABOUT SURVIVAL SO WHILE IM THINKING READ THIS.

 

 

SOME OF US KNOW TOO MUCH AND ARE TOO WELL PREPARED AND RARELY GET LOST. YET BENEATH IT ALL WE HAVE A HIDDEN DESIRE OR MAYBE A SECRET GUILTY PLEASURE IS THAT ONE DAY WE WOULD HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PUT OUR SKILLS TO THE TEST WHEN LIFE HANGS IN THE BALANCE.
 

 

I CAN COME UP WITH A LIST OF ABOUT TEN PEOPLE WHO WERE LOST FOR MANY DAYS WITH NO EXPERIENCE, SOME KNOWLEDGE BUT THE WILL TO LIVE AND SURVIVED TO TELL AND WRITE ABOUT IT. WHAT THEY DID THEY REFER TO AS THE PHYSICAL SCIENCE OF SURVIVAL. KNOWLEDGE BEING TEN OR TWELVE PERCENT AND THE WILL TO LIVE BEING BEING THE REMAINING NINETY OR SO PERCENT.

 

WE WILL NEVER TRULY KNOW WHAT THESE PEOPLE WENT THROUGH. WE CAN ONLY IMAGINE, EVEN AFTER LISTENING AND READING THEIR STORIES. ABOUT HAVING WHAT IT TAKES TO COPE WITH OURSELVES BEING TRULY LOST. WE CAN GO OUT AND HAVE A PLANNED SURVIVAL TRIP. IN REALITY THERE IS NO SUCH THING. MOST OF US HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO TRIPS INTO THE WILDERNESS. READING EVERY SURVIVAL BOOK WE CAN GET OUR HANDS ON. SOME OF US GOT INVOLVED IN THE MEDICAL FIELD JUST BECAUSE OF SURVIVAL OR SOMETHING HAPPENED THAT MADE US TAKE MEDICAL COURSES AND BECOME CERTIFIED. EVERY ONE OF US HAS PUT INTO THEIR PACK'S EQUIPMENT THAT WILL AID US IN A SURVIVAL SITUATION. OUR VEHICLES ARE EQUIPPED JUST INCASE OF GETTING STRANDED. BEING PREPARED IS THE BOTTOM LINE.

 

MOST ALL OF US CAN RELATE TO A NEAR MISS. WE CAN ALL RELATE TO THE WILL TO LIVE, A RACE AGAINST DEATH. IT NOW BECOMES TOUGHER WHEN YOU ARE DRESSED AND EQUIPPED PRIMITIVE. ONE OF MY OWN SITUATIONS WAS THAT I KNEW WERE I WAS AND IT STARTED TO RAIN. THE WIND KICKED UP TOWARDS EVENING THE RAIN TURNED TO HAIL AND CONTINUED FOR THE BETTER PART OF THREE DAYS. I HAD A HORSE WITH ME THAT SPOOKED EVERY TIME THE LIGHTENING AND THUNDER STARTED. I HAD MINIMAL GEAR. THE STREAMS RAN WILD AND HIGH. FIRE WAS A BIG PROBLEM AFTER THE FIRST DAY I SEEMED TO HAVE MORE SMOKE THAN FIRE. FINALLY FOUND SOME OVERHANGING ROCKS THAT HAD SOME DRY WOOD AND PROTECTION FROM THE STORM. MY BIGGEST PROBLEM WAS GETTING TO FORAGE FOR MY HORSE. COVER UP AND STAND OUT IN THE RAIN WHICH WAS NEVER ENDING. WATER WAS NO PROBLEM. THE NIGHTS WERE EXTREMELY COLD, BONE CHILLING AND FINALLY TOWARDS EVENING ON THE THIRD DAY IT STARTED TO STOP RAINING BUT THE WIND NEVER LET UP. NOW I HAD HEAVY FOG THAT LASTED FOR ANOTHER DAY AND A HALF. I DID TAKE A SURVEY ALL MY EQUIPMENT SEVERAL TIMES. I HAD LEARNED EARLY ON TO GET MY THOUGHTS TOGETHER. THOUGHT THINGS THROUGH BEFORE I ACTED. I KNEW I WAS TOUGH, I KNEW I WAS SMART AND HAD TO BE CREATIVE. I FELT FORTUNATE THAT I HAD KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT COULD HAPPEN IN THIS TYPE OF A SITUATION. I WAS A DAY LATE GETTING OUT. I NEVER CONSIDERED THIS A LOST SITUATION BEING THAT I KNEW WHERE I WAS. I DID HOWEVER USE SURVIVAL SKILLS IN ORDER TO GET THROUGH SEVEN DAYS OF HELL.

 

THIS IS A LIST OF THINGS THAT CAN HAPPEN THAT WAS WRITTEN UP IN MY MEDICAL, MOUNTAINEERING BOOKS AND NOTES THAT I KEPT. SO TUCK THIS INTO THE BACK OF YOUR MIND AND MAYBE EVEN READ A LITTLE BIT ABOUT EACH SO THAT YOU ARE AT LEAST AWARE.

 

BONE CHILLING COLD, HORRIFIC DEHYDRATION, SLEEP DEPRIVATION, HALLUCINATION, DEBILITATING LONELINESS, PHYSICAL EXHAUSTION, FEAR OF THE FOREST PREDATORS, ENDLESS HUNGER PAINS, PROBLEMS CONCENTRATING, CONSTANT WORRIES. IF REALLY LOST YOU MAY HAVE TO DEAL WITH ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS, NOT TO MENTION INJURIES.

 

ONLY A TRUE SURVIVOR WILL BE ABLE TO REALLY RELATE TO THEIR STORIES. THE TRUE ORDEAL OF HAVING SURVIVED. THEY HAD TO FACE REALITY, BE IMMUNE TO THEIR FEARS, KEEP ABREAST OF WHAT WAS HAPPENING AND VERY AWARE OF THE QUESTION OF WHAT WAS NEXT.

 

TRUE SURVIVAL IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WILL FALL INTO. UNTIL THEN KEEP THINKING ABOUT IT, KEEP READING ABOUT THESE PEOPLE WHO TRULY SURVIVED AND MOST OF ALL YOU MUST PRACTICE DOING.

 

CHECK YOUR GEAR AND REMEMBER WHERE YOUR "MUST-TAKE" BAG IS.

Ken "Howdy" Davis

NAF #012

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