Monday, September 21, 2009

Good Advice: Be Prepared

(actual size 1.5" 1.75")

Often, I'll write what you see every morning on this blog the evening before. Even at times preparing several posts at one time if I'm especially busy - my effort to be prepared and ready for virtual visitors. A daily blog is a bit of an obligation that I did not consider at the time of it's inception (imagine that...). I wonder if I will be able to continue with it as a daily endeavor or not. I suppose time will tell.

Anyway, about this little traveling stamp: a while back I carved a series of hitchhikers* that feature particularly good letterboxing advice. They are completely off the radar, not being listed anywhere and not log-able (unless you are able to log unlisted finds, that is). It is most certainly good advice to be prepared anytime you are setting out on an adventure, especially when hiking and trail letterboxing. I figure most of us are not doing any real serious hiking in the back-country, but it is still good to be prepared with the essentials in case of some unforeseen situation.
The Ten Essentials is a list of essential items hiking authorities promote as recommended for safe travel in the back-country. The Ten Essentials were first described in the 1930s by The Mountaineers, a hiking and mountain climbing club. Many regional organizations and authors recommend that hikers, backpackers, and climbers rigorously ensure they have the ten essentials with them.

According to the Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, the ten essentials are:
  1. Map
  2. Compass (optionally supplemented with a GPS receiver)
  3. Sunglasses and sunscreen
  4. Extra food and water
  5. Extra clothes
  6. Headlamp/flashlight
  7. First aid kit
  8. Fire starter
  9. Matches
  10. Knife
Around the PNW we have a letterboxing series planted by some of my favorite letterboxers, Mike and Elaine, featuring these Ten Essentials. They are mountaineers and are always prepared, I'm sure!

"Be Prepared" has always been a personal motto for me, as well, since I was a Girl Scout for many years. Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the scouting movement, expressed his thoughts on being prepared:

The Scout Motto is: BE PREPARED which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY.
  • Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.
  • Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it. "To do the right thing at the right moment" can be extreme: "Where a man has gone so far as to attempt suicide, a Scout should know what to do with him."
  • BE PREPARED to die for your country if need be, so that when the moment arrives you may charge home with confidence, not caring whether you are going to be killed or not.
  • The motto of the Girl Guides is "Be Prepared". Why is this? It is because, like the other Guides, you have to be prepared at any moment to face difficulties and even dangers by knowing what to do and how to do it.
I couldn't agree more.

*A Hitchhiker letterbox is a letterbox without a home. A hitchhiker is hidden with another letterbox, and the person that finds it is expected to take the hitchhiker to another letterbox.


Ari C'rona said...

Cool! I'd forgotten about that stamp! :o)

I'm reminded of Jedi philosophy... :o)

Nitrocat said...

Never did GS, so pardon the ignorance, but what is the difference between 8&9?

Hendel D'bu said...

Fire starter could be any number of things, at least in my thinking: small kindling or newspaper, or perhaps a small fire-starter sticks that burn longer to accommodate getting a fire started easier than just using what you can find in the wild (especially if everything is wet). :-)

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