Let’s rewind, thousands of years ago before the birth of modern technology… hell before any technology existed that wasn’t crafted by stone or bone. As prehistoric men and women we were able to brave the elements and survive without fire, without electricity, without any of the “necessities” that most people claim in present day. Give our ancestors a cave and a large stick and they were able to take care of themselves.
We look at our age and marvel at the advances we have made as a species. The new medical technology and exploration we have undertaken makes a lot of us feel like we have evolved ever so far from our predecessors but when you look at the news and find out about people who have gone missing in the snow or lost in the woods, more often than not we hear about a body discovered days, weeks, sometimes months later.
This may be a bit of a sore topic for a number of people who I know because of the recent incident with Jason Matchem, the 26-year-old snowmobiler that was missing until recently when officials found his body. Of course after the autopsy it discovered that he died due to many injuries when he hit a utility pole, so it’s not exactly the same.
This thought came into my head as my twitter updated with a story from VOCM, Man Survives Night Outdoors, I was reading this story and was fascinated by the foresight that this Labrador man had to make sure he had the proper gear to survive a night with the elements. This is truly a remarkable story because as I mentioned earlier a lot of the time when you hear about someone going missing it is because they are lost and will usually be found dead due to exposure or they already passed away somewhere. It is not as common as it should be to hear stories like this.
Hell I mean, it made the news so clearly this behavior is not the norm. This is the part where I stopped myself for a moment and pondered. “Wait a minute… Why is this news?” Really when you think about it, we should lower our heads in shame on behalf of the human race at this fact. A man is missing merely overnight, and doesn’t die because he was prepared. This is an uncommon story…
We went from the ability to life off of absolutely nothing, to being absolutely amazed that someone was able to survive a night away from his home without the aid of a log-cabin. This is slightly embarrassing. Kudos to the man because he ensured his survival, but really is this not something that we should all be doing anyway. When we leave for long excursions on ski-doo, shouldn’t we have some kind of back up plan in case of mechanical trouble, injury, or some other circumstance that will leave us vulnerable to the harsh elements?
We have evolved into such superior beings, and improved our living conditions so well and yet surviving a night without our technology is considering remarkable.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a public cry to return to the days were we would have to dig holes in the ground, laying leaves over the top to give us shelter. That would just be foolish… but if we are so improved by our newly developed intellect and the toys we’ve come to love then how come it isn’t more common that we are actually prepared for our worst case scenarios? If you’re going hunting, why not take every precaution you can muster in the event you get stranded or lost? If you’re going ice fishing, why not bring a medical kit and a thermal blanket in case someone does fall in?
Surviving the night in the great outdoors should be business as usual, not newsworthy material (no matter how slow the news day)