For you "Survivor Man" fans

7:37 p.m. on March 8, 2010 (EST)
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There's a "Man Vs. Wild" thread, so here's one for the Les Stroud fans:

9:18 p.m. on March 8, 2010 (EST)
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Jason Pede-

"My truck slid off the edge of the road and into a big snowdrift, which held the truck at an even keel," Pede told CBS News. "I found myself with no cell phone service and no Internet."

No cell phone, no internet!

In all fairness I fully understand how he must have felt, that was his connection to civilization, and his family. If that is how you are used to functioning it could be quite a shock to be in his predicament with no way to communicate, or ask for help.

I think this is a good reason for young kids to learn some outdoor skills, and to have some confidence in their own ability to be self reliant. I have great respect for BSA, and other groups, including certain summer camps who teach these skills. I went to a summer camp in Rosman NC three summers in a row that among other things taught outdoor skills, we went hiking, backpacking, swimming, canoeing, built fires, and studied basic skills. I wouldn't trade that time for anything!

Sure, you don't remember everything you learn, but if you can learn the basics, plus have actually gone out and practiced those outdoor skills so that you have that confidence you only get from practical application in the field you will be much better off than those who have never ventured out I think.

Maybe you wouldn't ever need to use those skills, and if not, then you still have fond memories of camping, hiking, and making friends.

When I was living in TN. one thing we used to do in winter was to always have a duffel bag in the truck that had extra clothing, a sleeping bag, food, water, and several cans of Sterno, flashlight, etc.

Most of the guys I worked with also kept an extra, hot car battery, and we all had mobile radios because cell service at the time was not very reliable in terms of coverage.

I am very glad Mr. Pede was safely reunited with his family! It is very unsettling to be broke down or stuck out in the middle of nowhere with no one in sight. Been there, done that. You just wish you had stayed home!

I would also commend Mr. Pede on his work with dogs.

10:53 p.m. on March 8, 2010 (EST)
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Well, while I am more likely to post to a SM thread as opposed to a MVW, I have to agree with Trout. The real issue here isn't that someone had learned something from a TV show, but that they HADN'T learned it earlier in life. Not only is there so much to be gained in the realm of skills, but there is so much else to be learned (leadership, communication, social).

We've become overly dependent on mass media to educate us... whether it be outdoor skills, relationship skills (shudder), or just Sesame Street.

9:14 a.m. on March 9, 2010 (EST)
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Good points, Trout and Cleric-

I also think it is quite revealing to notice how fragile his mindset had become, as evidenced in his reactions when he was "rescued":

"I turned into a blubbering little girl and fell on the ground because it was too much to take in at that point." - "As soon as I'd seen those people, that's just what I thought: You're rescued, you don’t need to fight no more"

Really I have to commend Mr Pede for acting wisely or at least nothing rash that got him killed. My impression however is that most of the people we meet in life are even less mentally and emotionally prepared for such a situation. I am always impressed those who spend time helping equip young people with the mental, emotional, and physical tools to be more prepared for whatever life, nature, or culture may throw at them. I strongly believe that learning outdoor skills has significant positive impact on a person beyond of their ability to function outdoors.

I know I've said it before, but I would highly recommend reading "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales. It sheds much light on the physiology, psychology, and emotional factors that tend to determine how we respond in stressful or survival situations. Great Read.

5:41 p.m. on March 9, 2010 (EST)
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I know I've said it before, but I would highly recommend reading "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales. It sheds much light on the physiology, psychology, and emotional factors that tend to determine how we respond in stressful or survival situations. Great Read.

That book has been recommended enough that it is time for me to read it. I believe I'll probably find much to enjoy in it.

Another fundamental problem is the prevalence of "victim" mentalities (as I see the world). We all know people who are consistently claiming to be the brunt of whatever situation in which they are. Now, what happens when these people are actually faced with a "survival" situation where they truly are the victim of their circumstances? 9 times out of 10... they'll freak out and be totally worthless. The depth of coping skills (and, well, character) just isn't there to handle a real crisis. And, regretfully, there are a PACK of these kind of people running around these days.

(Back on topic... a bit) One of the things I admire about Stroud is that the guy is usually pretty chill. He gets his feathers ruffled a bit from time to time (puma in the South American jungle), but his level of calm is quite high. That's something we all can incorporate, even into daily life. The better we cope with the everyday circumstances, the more likely we will remain closer to functional when things go really south.

Off to the book store... thanks for recommending it again Gonzan!

5:43 p.m. on March 9, 2010 (EST)
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And, of course, children learn the "victim" behaviors from their environment. Just another reason for solid outdoor education! Make those puppies cope! :)

10:29 p.m. on March 9, 2010 (EST)
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One of the things I've always considered if I got stuck in the snow far from help was that I could take the foam from the seatbacks of the back seats and use them as an insulation layer under my jacket and pants (and tape some foam around my feet).

I could sleep that way IF I had a hat.

Having been a Nordic ski patroller for 10 years and taught Army ROTC cadets winter survival I can say that I always carry emergency clothing, gear and food in my vehicle, winter or summer. But my passengers may have taken no precautions so I have to have enough for them as well.


2:37 a.m. on March 18, 2010 (EDT)
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Les Stroud is at least twice as cool as Bear Grylls.

10:16 a.m. on March 18, 2010 (EDT)
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As for books that treat the subject of survival well I recommend Cody Lundin's "98.6 The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive" and his "When All Hell Breaks Out".

No matter what you think of Cody, his books are Good Stuff.


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