Terrifying thoughts can come to mind when you think about the question, “What if you are injured?” When we get up each day, we never imagine anything bad happening to us, that sudden shock that hits when we realize things are going all haywire, pain, disorientation, nausea. Nobody wants to have a bad day due to an injury, especially when it could possibly have been prevented. There are so many unknowns in the wilderness, things sometimes come out of nowhere. Not that nature is out to get you, as Mors Kochanski is fond of saying, “The bush is neither for you nor against you.”
So the reason for the blog is my slight injury the other day out shooting some video and messing around in the snow. The idea that day was to drive up the canyon, park, throw on the day pack and follow along the creek a ways looking for a good spot to set up the Nano Stove for some hot chocolate while working on video. I wanted to burn sticks in the stove that day instead of alcohol, I was feeling the need for fire in the stove. Somehow hot chocolate tastes better heated over wood fire, the flames licking up the side of the cup, the smell of the wisps of smoke livening the senses.
Well I headed up the creek edge, avoiding falling in the icy water. I found a spot on a north facing slope about 100 feet from the creek. There was a giant boulder with a little ledge on it that was perfect for setting up the little Nano Stove once I brushed off the two feet of snow on it. I got the fire going in the stove and headed back down to the creek to get water through the knee deep snow. when I was almost there my right leg fell through a deep spot in the snow and my foot hit a log causing my leg to twist at the knee, I felt a very sharp pain. Fortunately it wasn’t incapacitating, but it was quite painful. I was able to still get my water, make a couple delicious cups of hot chocolate, and shoot a dozen scenes of video.
Getting back out to the truck was a little more taxing with my knee hurting and having to pick my way back and forth over rocks in the creek, I wasn’t as nimble as when I came up. I got back to the truck and headed back to the shop in town. I limped around that day. That night I could not sleep for the throbbing pain. I took some pain killers and went to sleep eventually.
In all of course this story was not tragic, but it does illustrate how easily we can be injured when out. At the time I thought, “what if this happened to me way back in somewhere and were slightly worse so I could not walk?” You know that’s how it happens to folks, totally unexpected, out of the blue, all of the sudden the game has changed. We can’t always go uninjured, some things are practically unavoidable, we should never add to the risk by being foolish. I could have worn my snowshoes, I had them with me in the truck but didn’t want to bother with them.
I recall a trip of some scouts years ago in a very remote area, the boys did what boys do, crazy stuff, one boy jumping off boulders broke a leg, it was a real hassle getting him out, and very painful and unnerving for him, a shortened trip for everyone else.
Common sense should come into play, particularly when a person is located more remotely and help is hard to come by. Hope you enjoyed my story, take care, be safe. Until next time this is Perry Peacock, for “Simplifying Survival”