Archive for August 2012

Suggested Reading from Erik

Suggested Reading from Erik

It shouldn’t come as any surprise, I hope, that I am not exactly a fan of The Oprah Winfrey Show.  I am sure that Oprah, herself, is a wonderful person, and I have much respect for what she has achieved professionally and personally, but I am not a fan of commercial television in general, especially when it is used as a public confessional to provide mass therapy.  So the idea of reading a book recommended by “Oprah’s Book Club” had never even crossed my mind. That is, at least, until last month. That’s when my friend, Blair Capitano, recommended that I read Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. To be fair, though, to write that Blair “recommended” it is a bit of an understatement.  The simple reality is that Blair forced me to read the book!  She had been telling me for weeks how […]

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The Power of PMA

The Power of PMA

In all of his wilderness survival courses, True North instructor, Erik, repeatedly stresses the paramount importance of PMA … Positive Mental Attitude.  As he explains to his students, in a survival situation, it really doesn’t matter how much technical experience and training you have, or even what cool equipment you have in your backpack, that will help determine if you live or die.  Rather, it is what is in your head and heart that most counts.  A video-diary that Lexi Deforest, a Colorado college student, recently recorded when she became trapped in the mountains after her foot became detached from her leg in a climbing accident is an excellent example of the power of PMA. Thanks to Jake Griebe of SOWMAS, a Wisconsin based wilderness medicine and survival school, Erik just watched Lexi’s video which has since gone viral.  We’ve provided a video link below for you to watch.  But […]

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Janée’s Latest Race Report

Janée’s Latest Race Report

Janée filed this report as she prepared last minute details for her adventure race this weekend.  *          *          * A lot of time and energy has gone into preparing for those 24 long and grueling hours!  The race begins at 8:00 AM this morning and will end at 8:00 AM tomorrow. Because I have some final race preparations to complete before the race begins, I have reduced the last several weeks since my first post into a series of bullet points: I spent one weekend in Ohiopyle biking and running the same trails that I will be hitting this weekend. Lessons learned: #1: Wear high socks on race day to protect from the stinging nettle JUNGLES that I will be facing. #2: Blackberry thickets are everywhere in Ohiopyle, and can either be an excellent PMA-booster or the bane of my existence. #3: […]

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“Reality Television” is not Reality

"Reality Television" is not Reality

Learning to survive, even thrive, in harsh environmental conditions is definitely not easy.  As one might expect, I spend a lot of time and effort learning about the art and science of wilderness survival, but sometimes it never seems enough.  No matter how much I learn, sometimes even master, the more I only discover how much I don’t really know!  It is truly a Sisyphean task .  But, heck, just like the Tortoise, I try to focus on keeping my pace slow, but steady, so that one day … maybe, just maybe … I may actually feel like I have crossed the finish line. Lately, then, I have been giving a lot of thought to water.  After all, there are few things more elemental to life than water. So, here is a piece of environmental trivia for you to consider … What is the biggest desert in the world? That’s easy, […]

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