Sunday, August 25, 2013

Outdoor Survival

"You know, I once read an interesting book which said that most people lost in the wilds die of shame. Yeah, they die of shame. 'What did I do wrong? How could I have gotten myself into this?' And so they sit there and they die. Because they didn't do the one thing that would save their lives—thinking."
—adapted from dialog from The Edge by David Mamet

So this class is about survival, which perhaps is about more than a set of learned skills. Undeniably, one’s chances of survival can be improved by a passing knowledge of some skills and a modicum of preparedness. Students in this class will practice building shelters, making fire, plant identification, and first aid. They will be taught the importance of material preparedness. But, without mental preparedness one is unlikely to apply the knowledge that one holds. Which implies a harder but arguably more important goal for the class—to slow these kids down long enough and to keep them quiet enough to see the world through calm eyes and open ears—to take in their surroundings, to begin to understand how the world functions and to find their places in it. In this way, the psychology of survival can apply as much to common daily life choices as it does to the much rarer event of needing to making it out of the wilderness alive in a critical situation. Oh, and the class is fun....

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BBC World News

  • S Korea leader condemns ferry crew
  • South Korean President Park Geun-hye condemns the conduct of some of the crew of the ferry that sank last week, calling it "akin to murder".
  • MH370 hunt 'still drawing blank'
  • A robotic submarine scanning for signs of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is two-thirds through its ocean scan but has yet to find any trace.
  • Boston set for emotional Marathon
  • Boston is set to hold an emotional annual marathon amid high security, a year after bombs near the finish killed three and injured hundreds.
  • Ukraine probes deaths in tense east
  • Ukraine says it will launch an investigation into a fatal shooting in the east of the country which has raised tension with Russia further.
  • Fresh violence erupts in Venezuela
  • Fresh violence erupts in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, between police and opponents of President Nicolas Maduro.
  • Myanmar democracy elder Win Tin dies
  • Win Tin, the journalist who helped found Myanmar's pro-democracy movement and served 19 years in prison for his activism, dies at the age of 85.