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Today in Dumbassery

I am a civilized man these days, but in my younger years I did a lot of backpacking around California and the Southwest. I was fortunate to learn as a teen from people who were serious about backwoods survival, and they were really, really hard on us about NO EXCEPTIONS EVER to survival rules. Even now, I won’t take Toby for even a short hike without plenty of water, First Aid kit, and a little extra food. And I always tell my wife where I am going and when to expect me (this would have saved that 127 hours dumbass from his horrific ordeal).


This story boils my blood, and I can hear one of my old guides cussing about going anywhere without being properly equipped. This kind of moron should just go to Disneyland so they won’t die or get anyone else killed. There are rules to backcountry survival and they need to be followed.

I am no longer prepared to pursue these types of adventures, so I don’t. We get a lot of lost hiker stories around here, and the moral of their stories is almost universally “don’t be a dumbass.” Also, take a map. Your phone is not enough. Maps are good. One would have kept Chris McCandless alive.

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