reply to post by semperfortis
I guess its a mindset thing.
I have never been in a military organisation, mostly because even at a very young age, I did not, and do not trust my government to utilise the men
it commands in war, in a way which is comensurate with the wishes and ideals held by the people, or in a way which honours those who have already
served, and/or fallen. Further to that, my experience in the Cub Scouts, was one of suspecting our leader of being a kiddie fiddler (which was later
proven, thankfully after I had left) and wanting to plunge our flag staff directly through most of the total morons I was in a group with. There is
something about teaching a bunch of kids like the ones which were in our "pack", how to survive in the wild, which runs counter to good sense,
because they were a total bunch of bastards.
However, neither the depravity of our leader, nor the overwhelming need to bludgeon my fellow cubs to death with their own shoes, was able to crush
my intrepidity. My family took a trip to Colchester, which is one of the more ancient settlements in England. It has a castle which is built on Roman
foundations. Its a pretty awesome edifice, simple now, but for its time no doubt impressive. I was twelve, and thought to myself upon seeing it "That
looks like it would be fun to climb!".
Half an hour later, I was on the roof. We went to Wales on one of our camping holidays (an annual habit when my parents were still together), and my
father and I decided to scale Snowden. Father took the pig tracks, the walking route. I, with a backpack which contained only a thermos of tea, and a
pack of corned beef sandwhiches, and wearing nothing but a t-shirt and a pair of shorts (aside of course from good walking boots), I decided that Dad
(who was, and is the biggest wuss I have ever met, and was none the less training for the Three Peaks Challenge
) could go fly a kite for all I cared, and I took a straight course from the begining of the walk, straight
up the side of the mountain, a route which required me to navigate my way up consecutive thirty foot plus, near vertical ascents, around several
pretty impassable areas of sharp rocks, and so on and so forth.
Roughly half way through the climb, I stopped, wedging myself against two sides of a cleft in a cliff, ate sandwhiches, drunk tea, and continued on
my way. I overtook the mountain rescue fellows on my way up, who shouted at me alot, which slowed me down not one bit, and I beat my father to the top
by an hour and three quarters. I had never done anything quite like that before, but even when there were thirty mile an hour gusts of cold mist up
the legs of my shorts, or rain smashing my face, I never felt more alive.
What I am getting at, is that while there is no replacement for training I am sure, there are people abroad in the world, who while having no
training in anything particularly useful for when the faeces hits the rotary airflow regulator, find themselves able to adapt to nearly any situation,
without having to be told what needs doing, or how. I taught myself several ways to make a fire, and how to cook without pans, how to collect water
from natural sources, and a whole plethora of other useful bits and bobs, including being able to knock up a half decent shelter built out of pretty
much any detritus I could lay my hands on (which I learned when I lived on the street).
I think its pretty important to gain these skills, but there are several routes by which one can come upon the information necessary to teach ones
self, and I think that it is equally important to recommend such information and experience to others. Frankly, one never knows what tomorrow might
bring, and things being what they are, the possibilities strike me as ever grimmer as the days wear on. That is why semperfortis, I think that its
worth my pointing out, that your efforts, and those of other initiated members of this site, to spread such information as you have, is possibly one
of the most important things you could be doing with your time, and I am grateful to you for that, as I am sure many other members are. This is all
information which our modern way of life has taken away from the majority of us, information which ought to be natural to us, but to many is now
alien, and correcting that is a goal most high and worthy.