Archive for July 2014

Are You Ready for a Challenge?

Anyone who regularly reads my blogs knows already that I am not a fan of “reality” television, particularly those focusing on wilderness survival.  After all, reality television is not reality.  At best, it’s entertainment, plain and simple.  At worst, it can get someone, who attempts to replicate what they have “learned” while watching it, hurt, even killed.  Sadly, this has already occurred in at least a few instances over the years because viewers sometimes don’t appreciate how reckless the so-called expert is being, or that the scenario presented has in fact been manipulated for effect.  Happily, though, there are exceptions. When created and presented in the proper spirit, television programs can be a wonderful supplement to actual hands-on learning, particularly from a qualified instructor.  For example, I must admit that I respect Les Stroud of Survivorman, and I especially like watching Animal Planet’s I Shouldn’t be Alive series, which provides a pretty fair account and analysis of […]

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Camping & Safety

I just spent a very nice morning with a group of wonderfully energetic children from Tender Care Learning Center in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.  The goal of the workshop was to provide them an introduction to camping and safety. Aged between 7 and 10 years old, the kids learned about the parts of a tent and how to set it up.  Then, they all spent some time crawling in and out … which I think they all thought was the best part of the program! Then we talked about what to do should they every become lost in the woods.  First and foremost, they learned about the importance of carrying a whistle and how to properly blow it.  They I should them how to use a plastic trash bag as shelter.  Hopefully, they will never need to use these skills, but should they ever become separated from there family, they’ll be better prepared.

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Lightning & Water Safety

The Summer is a particularly wonderful time to head out on to the water in a kayak or canoe, but it brings up a safety issue that confuses many … What do I do if I hear thunder, or, worse, see lighting? To start, get off of the water at the first sound of thunder or lightning.  Even if the storm looks to be far away, lightening can still be a real life threat.  After all, by the simple nature of your activity, you are most likely going to be the highest point around and as the National Weather Service reports the “vast majority of lightning injuries and deaths” that occur on boats involve small ones “with NO cabin.”  Also, while I’ve read studies that indicate that most lightning strikes occur within a 3-5 mile range, I’ve also read others that indicate that it is not unusual for lightning  to travel 10-20 miles […]

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