Six Backpacking Lessons you can apply everyday – part 1

Posted: February 29, 2012 by None Smith in English
Tags: , , , ,

Every once in a while I find myself in an urban environment and I have the sense that I’m just as alone or without a safety net as if I were miles away from civilization in the back country. While out in the wild, you begin to hone in on some skills that come naturally, and some that you have to work for. It is these skills that can help you change the tides in your favor in while out in the wilderness. Likewise, they can turn a potentially bad day in the city to a good one. Here are the first two of six things I learned from backpacking that have helped me in everyday matters.

Watch where you’re walking.

“Hey! Watch where you’re going you jerk!” Who, especially for those in New York City, hasn’t heard that pleasant little phrase before? You might have even said it yourself to that young teenager texting while he walked in a blind b-line straight for you.

A little more attention to your next footstep or to the next block can create a world of difference. By paying attention you’ll be able to navigate around that huge puddle that was waiting to ruin your new shoes. Or by looking the next block or two ahead you can quickly change your route instead of getting stuck at that road block up ahead.

This may seem basic, and your response might be: “I always watch where I’m going”. I know, I always ‘feel’ like I pay attention to where I’m going, but I still manage to do things that could be avoided. In the end, we’re all in some sort of rush and we all have to move quickly – paying a little more attention to your path can help you move more efficiently without getting frustrated.

Weather, Weather, Weather

Most people I know watch the weather on their phone or computer and have a vague idea of what a meteorologist said about the temperatures. That’s my default, too. Then I go about my day. 60% chance of rain? I’ll bring my umbrella. It’s great that we not only have that technology at our finger tips but the fact that it is updated to frequently as well. Don’t get me wrong, it’s helpful!

Great view, but the increasing clouds were a sign to get off the mountain

But what about when that freak storm rolls in? Or an unexpected confluence of cold and warm weather start to rub against each other and it’s happening right over where you are? Could that have been avoided? Unless there are minute by minute updates, and you are checking those updates (I imagine most aren’t following so closely), our phones can’t save us in these situations. What can save us however, is a little knowledge about the weather and being aware of it.

While we look at our phones, our greatest indicator is above our heads – just look to the sky to see what’s happening! Are the clouds turning dark and have a rolling feature to them? There’s a good chance for some wind and rain on the way. Do you see enormous, anvil type clouds with winds coming from that direction? You could be in for a thunderstorm. Perhaps your scope of vision is far less – but you notice that the sky is now gray and the temperature is dropping? I’d have an umbrella handy in that situation.

Sparse clouds - march onward! (Photo credit: Paul Amy)

Take a look at a couple of these websites and learn a little bit about clouds, weather and what certain changes mean – it might keep you dry right before your big client meeting.

Scienceray – Very visual and easy to understand

US Search and Rescue’s basic website on weather prediction

Instructables – Predicting the weather with clouds

Read on for more tips!

  1. sqirg says:

    The Lost Creek looks amazing! Is the weather that unpredictable all year round, though?

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