Home' The Backwoodsman Magazine : May-June 2019 Contents Thankfully, it’s late spring! This past winter was absolutely brutal with bitter
cold temperatures and storm after storm pounding us or at least it seemed that way
after experiencing several mild winters in a row where I live in the mountains of
Northern New Mexico. Summer is right around the corner and that always indi-
cates an influx of people will be heading for the hills if they’re not already living in
the thick of them like a good percentage of BW readers do.
It also means that some of those people will become lost while out in the wilder-
ness and will either find their own way out, require assistance to be saved or will
unfortunately perish. Some of us have our own tales of when we missed a turn on a
hike, misjudged distances or got caught in the dark. If you’re currently reading this
editorial, then you lived to tell the tale and hopefully you learned something valu-
able from your experience. I have a couple of those stories myself that happened
to me when I was a younger lad back in my 20’s, but the story that started it all was
when I was 5 years old. While on summer vacation at Mesa Verde National Park in
Colorado, myself and one of my older sisters got lost walking back to our campsite
after attending an evening park program. The darkness didn’t calm my fears much,
but we were able to make it back to camp before full panic mode set in.
That brings me to a story that was in the news cycle not too long ago involving
2 sisters (ages 5 & 8 years old) who got lost while walking around on their fam-
ily’s 80-acre piece of land in Northern California that neighbored right next to a
good size State Park. They followed a trail that they were familiar with and ended
up connecting with a trail they didn’t recognize at all. The girls then decided to
travel down an animal trail and began to realize that everything around them looked
unfamiliar. They decided to stop immediately, and by choosing to do so the sisters
did not make their situation any worse than it already was. That decision ended up
saving their lives by applying the most vital survival tip there is, not walking any
further and simply waiting for help. Some adults have made that mistake over and
over when faced with an emergency survival situation and some of them paid a
heavy price for it.
The girls ended up surviving 2 cold nights (44 hours total) while hundreds of
people were searching the dense forest for them. Huddling beneath a bush for
warmth and drinking fresh water droplets from the leaves were some of the survival
skills that they used. I’m very impressed with the fact that 2 young kids did not al-
low their fear and panic to cause them to make a crucial mistake. The sisters owed
it to their survival training that they had received from their parents. Their mom
and dad had been very proactive with them discussing potential survival scenarios
while on camping trips and walking around their property. They also practiced some
of the basic skills with them and it paid off big time.
This story should be a reminder to parents who are active outdoors with their kids
the importance of preparing them for a worst-case scenario in the woods. If you’re
not already doing so, it’s a really good idea to talk to them about what to do and not
to do if a situation arises, along with practicing some of the basic survival skills such
as fire, water, and shelters. If by chance a survival situation does take place and
you’re not around, it could be the difference between life and death for your child.
We got another great issue for you. Our amazing looking cover features a paint-
ing called “Rendezvous Rock” by renowned Montana-based Western Artist Gary
Lynn Roberts. It’s the first painting that we’ve used by Gary. We want to thank him
for allowing us to use his excellent painting that really allows the imagination to
roam. It definitely takes me there in my mind. We’re looking forward to featuring
more work by Gary in future issues of the Backwoodsman. Until next time, enjoy
this issue everyone!
Notes From Charlie JR.
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