Wilderness Respect

In my early days of backpacking, back in the ’60s, we were instructed to be prepared for any and all weather the mountains could throw at us, from rain and hail to snow and blow.

We learned on our own forays, thereafter, that the mountains can be a cruel and inconsistent teacher with no mercy for the unprepared, when thunderstorms rose overhead to dump cold winds and hail or a snowstorm blew in to bury our little “pup-tents” in 8-inches of the white stuff.

We recognized through these sort of adverse conditions that “Nature” held a power that could affect ruin upon us – and we learned to respect it. We learned to keep an eye out for changes in our environment, like with the wind direction, air temperature, and humidity, for they were often harbingers of threatening weather to come that, if we weren’t ready and sheltered from it, could ruin our days or lives.

We realized that we weren’t as strong and powerful as we thought we were.

We all love our “blue-bird” days out hiking in the summer mountains, but out of respect for the greater force of Nature, we need to keep a watchful eye out all the time and venture prepared.

[photo: Beware that sudden gusts of wind might just blow your tent away!]