American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Book Club:What to Expect

In Chapter 2, Rustrum talks about what a novice should expect in the wilderness. He also reinforces some of the things I've always believed to be true and things I've been teaching my children about the outdoors. For example, I tell them to never panic and Rustrum says, "often courage and good judgment carry the inexperienced over many unpredictable hurdles." If you keep your head when in the wilderness you will be far better off than those who do not.

We, as humans, have an incredible ability to adapt to a situation and life in the cities and towns has allowed us to forget that to some extent. Rustrum strikes a chord with me when he writes, "It should be apparent, therefore, that apprehensions of youthful inexperience or old age, qualms common to the uninitiated, should not prevent anyone from enjoying the wilderness." Less than two years ago I was one of the uninitiated and now am confident in my ability to survive off the land for an extended period with a few basic tools, the strength of my back, and the knowledge in my head.

The author also touches on the backyard campsite, a personal favorite of mine, when he writes:
In expectation of wilderness living, we can certainly derive pleasure while we are learning and adjusting. Pitching a tent, swinging an ax, baking a bannock in the frypan before an open fire, and a dozen other camp functions can be practiced profitably in an urban backyard, if they are done by the best-known methods and with a zest for learning.
It is this controlled environment I find most suitable for teaching my daughter the basics of camping out. She is willing to be bold and take risks just as long as the house, and mommy, are within view.

Thanks for reading,



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