As you contemplate whether to create a New Year's resolution — dig into these definitions first (via @google).
- is a firm decision to do or not to do something.
- The quality of being determined or resolute.
My resolution this year is "commitment". A more determined way to say that would be "self-reliance." I will commit to getting outdoors more, challenging my technical and physical skills, getting stronger, and generally spending more time outside.
My objective would be to become more competent outside—specifically, learning new technical climbing and camping skills. Why is that? I generally feel too comfortable. I feel too reliant on my home and would like to feel more capable of living outside the house.
You can find it here if you want to read Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self Reliance credo. I highly recommend it.
"Man is his own star; and the soul that can
Render an honest and a perfect man,
Commands all light, all influence, all fate;
Nothing to him falls early or too late.
Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,
Our fatal shadows that walk by us still."
Epilogue to Beaumont and Fletcher's Honest Man's Fortune
It's time to start planning, studying, researching, practicing, and training for what lies ahead.
And as long as I have your eyeballs, it is important to consider accurate planning for an outdoor adventure, such as climbing a mountain or camping in the wilderness. It requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are five crucial aspects to focus on:
- Research and Know Your Environment:
- Understand the terrain, weather conditions, and any potential hazards of the area you'll be exploring.
- Research the flora and fauna to be aware of any potential dangers or wildlife encounters.
- Know the rules and regulations of the area, including any permits required for camping or climbing.
- Create a Detailed Itinerary:
- Plan your route and establish a realistic timeline for your adventure.
- Identify key landmarks, water sources, and emergency exit points.
- Share your itinerary with someone reliable who is not joining the trip, so they can alert authorities if you don't return as planned.
- Pack Appropriately:
- Pack essential gear, considering the specific needs of your adventure (e.g., climbing gear, camping equipment, appropriate clothing). Be sure to use a packing list — without it you might waste valuable time worrying and/or losing sleep ahead of or during your trip.
- Ensure you have enough food and water for the duration of your trip, and consider options for water purification.
- Pack a basic first aid kit and any necessary medications.
- Safety Measures:
- Check and maintain your gear before the trip to ensure everything is in working order.
- Practice using your gear ahead of time. Consider using it in inclement weather so you feel you are stress-tested if such a similar occasions arises on your adventure.
- Familiarize yourself with basic outdoor safety and survival skills, such as navigation, signaling, and emergency shelter construction.
- Carry communication devices like a fully charged cell phone, radio, or satellite messenger for emergencies.
- Leave No Trace Principles:
- Follow the Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment.
- Properly dispose of waste and pack out all trash.
- Stay on designated trails to avoid damaging fragile ecosystems.
Remember, flexibility is crucial in outdoor adventures, and conditions can change rapidly. Always be prepared to adjust your plans based on unforeseen circumstances, and prioritize safety above all else. Additionally, staying informed about the latest weather forecasts and trail conditions is essential for a successful outdoor experience.
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Until the next time. Stay wild!