Isn’t it funny how many things (and people) we trust everyday in our lives. Have you ever really thought about the blind trust you have with all the places you go and the individuals you HAVE to interact with to get to where you need to be. Have you ever made a list of ALL the things and people you need to trust each day? Here’s a few;
Drivers that drive beside you on the expressway
Cooks, preparing your food
Your City Water Utility
Your Auto Mechanic
The Airline Pilot flying you to a vacation or a business trip
And these are just a few. I’m sure you can think of hundreds more. This is the reality we live in every single day. However, when we go out into the Wilderness for a camping trip or a backpacking trip, some people freak out. Why? What is it about the woods that scare the begeebies out of people? Almost positive it has to do with every horror movie ever made starts with people getting lost in the woods.
Ariane and myself hear all the time from our new hikers about horror stories that have perceived in their mind. The most popular fear of course is the “I’m gonna get mauled by a Bear”. Really? Here are some stats:
The data from the CDC showed some revealing things. The first is that you’re far more likely to be injured than die in the outdoors and that some of the things we worry about the most, are the least likely to happen. For you math geeks out there—here are some of the numbers from 2005 and they’re pretty much average. – thealaskalife.com
# OF DEATHS IN THE UNITED STATES PER YEAR
Cause of death ………………… # dead
Cardiovascular disease …….. 856,030
Transportation accidents …. 48,441
Drowning ……………………….. 3,582
West Nile virus ……………….. 119
Hornet/bee/wasp stings ….. 48.5
Snake bites …………………….. 5.2
Bear attacks …………….. 2
As you can clearly see, you have a little more to be concerned about than a bear attack. Now that we’ve cleared up the fact, you will survive a night out in the woods, let’s look at why the FEAR FACTOR still plays into the psyche.
Generally, people fear what they can’t control. But how many of us are really in control over our lives anyway? I’m sure some of you would say “Alot”. I may argue that point a little. However, being out into the wilderness is a clear reality of being in control over nothing. It’s the thought of being out there with no where to go? No car, no couch, sometimes no internet. (AHHHHH)
You are out hiking on a trial that is clearly marked. You are camping overnight and there is a campsite ahead with a nice fire pit. You set up camp, get in your tent and get ready for bed. You are alone. There are the sounds of nature you can’t identify. Leaves brussling in the wind, and you hear howling of Coyotes. You have hung your food bag away from your campsite and have no food near you. You have only 3 miles to hike out the next day to get to your car.
You are driving on the expressway at an average speed of 75 mph. It’s rush hour and drivers are clearly speeding, weaving in and out of traffic. It’s starts raining heavy. You can barely see. You have the choice to pull over on the side of the expressway and wait out the rain.
Be honest, what makes you more fearful? We all know the stats. We are so much safer in Scenario 1. FEAR is spelled False, Evidence, Appearing, Real. It’s one thing to be cautious and aware. Absolutely we should. It’s another to be fearful and let it stop you from learning…there is nothing to fear. We actually Trust the Trail more than ever. By following basic common sense principals and LNT principals, you are going to have a beautiful experience. Now get out there and explore!!!1