Saturday, October 29, 2011

What If ?

What if ?
My job sometimes requires me to spend a couple hours a day in my car.  One of the things I like to do as I'm driving is think about "What If's".  
Things such as "What if I am forced to spend an unexpected night in the woods with only what I have in my pockets?" or "What if I'm in the woods and need to purify water but have no container to boil it in?". It gets me thinking in creative ways and identifies skills I need to acquire. I also try to think of "What if's" when I have free time in camp, for example, I'll look around and think to myself "What if I had to build a shelter right now?.... Where and how would I build it and what's around that I could use?".  On a hike I may ask myself "What if a thunderstorm rolled in right now?" or "What if I wanted to setup camp right here... Where's the best spot for my tent?". If the answer to my question is "I don't know." or "I'm not sure." then I know I need to do some research and improve my skills. 
While driving up to the Adirondacks this summer, "What if I only had one match left and had to start a fire?" popped into my head.  I started thinking about what tinder to use, where to find the driest kindling and how to build the fire.  When we got to camp a couple of hours later, I was determined to start the evening campfire with one match. By following the plan I had been thinking about earlier, I had a nice fire going using a single match in just a few minutes. Then I got to thinking "What if I was out of matches and had to use the magnesium fire starter in my kit?". So the next day, using the same tinder, kindling and design, I started the fire with my mag bar, something I haven't used in awhile and needed some practice with. What I ended up with before the weekend was over, was a self taught refresher course in an essential outdoor skill... fire making. Something I had taken for granted and needed to revisit. So give it a shot, the next time you've got some free time in the car, start thinking "What if...?"... You might learn something you forgot you knew... Just like I did!

Hmmmm.... "What if I needed to start a fire, didn't have any matches and it was raining out?"..... 

Thanks for reading, 

1 comment:

  1. very good thought, but perhaps you should take it futher than your mag bar?!
    Regards, Keith.