Archive for November 2014

“Cotton Kills” … Truth or Exaggeration?

In any of the survival courses that I teach, very seldom do I make absolute statements to a client like “Definitely don’t do this,” or “Always do that.”  After all, if a client finds herself  in an emergency situation, it’s likely unique enough on some level that absolutes are not helpful, perhaps even detrimental.  And when it comes to buying clothing and gear, every client has his own guidelines based on various criteria including their particular outdoor activity and interests, perceived needs and wants, and size of pocketbook.  Instead, I generally try to offer recommendations, within a general range of possibilities and points to consider, supplemented with an explanation for context. Except in two cases.  One of them being … Don’t wear cotton. By this I mean, never, or at least be extremely reluctant to, wear cotton clothing during your outdoors adventures. This “absolute” is given with the best of recommendations as there is a very […]

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More About the Chris McCandless Story

Amazingly, at least in my mind, it has been 22 years since Christopher McCandless slowly starved to death, all alone in an abandoned school bus, in the Alaskan wilderness.  Many of you may have read about his story in the Jon Krakauer book, Into the Wild, or saw the movie of the same title.  Amazingly, he still remains to this day the subject of active, even fervent, discussions amongst those in the outdoors community. There is just something about McCandless’ story that touches something so visceral in so many.  The debate generally falls into two main camps.  The first tends to argue that his death was almost inevitable due to his selfish personality and reckless lack of preparedness.  The second tends to praise him for his free spirit and trust in the bounty of Nature, and views his death as an unfortunate accident.  For what it’s worth, my opinion tends to reflect those of the […]

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True North on CNN

After spending forty-eight days on the run after gunning down two Pennsylvania State Troopers, Eric Frein, an apparent “expert survivalist,” was finally arrested by U.S. Marshalls on October 30 at an abandoned airplane hanger in northeastern Pennsylvania.  Since then, law enforcement and media alike have been working hard to determine how Frein not only committed the crime, but how he was able to remain on the run for so long.  In as much, I continued to be interviewed this week by various journalists from such news organizations as The Morning Call, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and CNN who asked for some insight into Frein’s survival abilities. In fact, on Thursday, I was privileged to be interviewed live by CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin on her show Newsroom.  You can watch it for yourself as part of her report, “100+ Items Found at Frein’s Hideout.”  You can also read the transcript: BALDWIN: If you do not need a passport to access […]

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