Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dear Perimeter Hiker

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Dear Perimeter Hiker,

Has the BOSS survival course training helped you on this trip?

-Was It Worth It?

Dear WIWI,

When I participated in my survival course, I had originally envisioned it helping me in the western part of the state where the topography and climate would be more similar to that of Utah’s. I didn’t know if any of the knowledge would apply in my day-to-day living.

There are two answers to this question:

As per direct knowledge, the answer would have to be an excruciatingly painful ‘no.’ Sure, I use a knot or two that I learned in my survival course when setting up my tarp, but I don’t make fire from scratch, haven’t caught a fish with my bare hands, don’t make my own rope, haven’t tried trapping wild animals with a figure four, don’t eat out of a wooden burn bowl, and haven’t killed and processed a large animal.

However, there is a certain quality to the course which falls under the realm of experience. In this regard, the course has done me a great deal of good. I’m confident in ways I don’t think I was before. I’m more analytical when it comes to making decisions about where to sleep and how to sleep. It’s impossible to quantify this aspect of the experience. For example, if I have no supply of food or water and am two full days from either and my feet hurt and the weather is against me, I’ll still remain upbeat. It’s hard to imagine having that kind of confidence prior to the survival course.
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Dear Perimeter Hiker,

What are you eating out there?

-Get In My Belly

Dear GIMB,

I carry snacks and basically just skimp on my meals. I’m passing through so many communities that I’m not worried about having tons of food or a truly balanced diet. Put another way, I’m almost always a day or two away from a nice sit-down restaurant. So why carry food on my back?

When I happen to be on a multi-day stretch toward civilization, I eat peanut butter, raisins, and bread. Right now, I’ve switched out the peanut butter for some Nutella. It’s been decent, but I really think the chunky peanut butter is where it’s at.
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Dear Perimeter Hiker,

What tech & navigation gear do you have with you? What kind of phone, GPS, maps, etc?

-Geeked Out On Technology

Dear GOOT,

I am not using much in the way of navigation gear. I have a standard road map and a standard phone. I do not use GPS or specialized maps. I originally carried a compass with me but cut it out of my pack due to non-use.

I have heard of people using the SPOT device to track their movements on various trips. I considered this, even so far as asking SPOT to sponsor me, but ultimately decided against it. Furthermore, walking alone doesn’t lend itself to bulking up on expensive equipment.

The one area that I might re-evaluate is my map carrying. I walked on the most beautiful side road a few days ago. Trees stood right by the road (instead of being cut back), parts of the road were flooded (which I enjoyed since it wasn’t raining), dogs ran up on me, people waved. I wouldn’t have known about the side road had my host not had a county map.
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Until next time, hikers…

1 comment:

thorsowner said...

I really enjoy your blog. Have also been following you in the Wise County Messenger. Good luck to you.