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#173331 - 05/14/09 11:04 PM Re: Tech vs Knowledge? Attitude? Determination? Luck? [Re: Susan]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Let me express this mathematically.

T + K + A + D + L = 98.6 +/- 1, where each of the five variables represent the five parameters outlined in the title of the post, and result is normal body temperature, give or take.

You can raise and lower them to a certain degree, but you can only go so far or the entire thing fails to work.

_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#173335 - 05/14/09 11:12 PM Re: Tech vs Knowledge? Attitude? Determination? Luck? [Re: unimogbert]
Jeff_M Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/18/07
Posts: 665
Loc: Northwest Florida
Luck, fate, chance, destiny, probability, call it what you will; some things are just beyond our power to influence, and a small but significant subset of these are also beyond over power to meaningfully mitigate, regardless of our knowledge, abilities, preparation or equipment. The universe does have a sense of humor, and abhors hubris.

An important part of the "wilderness experience" that many seek is precisely the challenge of the unfamiliar, the discomforting, and the not entirely safe. Wilderness merely reminds us what it is like not to be able to rely on the trappings of civilization. But we are, to some degree, kidding ourselves if we think we are, or ever can be, entirely "self-reliant." Nature, in the form of chance, always plays a part, and the best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley.

So, anybody may find himself overtaken by events and in want of a rescue (just ask Bear). I have to question, however, the widely held notion that neophytes disproportionately tend to get themselves into trouble because, in their mental calculations of risk, they have an expectation of readily available rescue. Or, stated in the reverse, they do things they otherwise would not if they knew that there was minimal possibility of rescue.

I'm just having trouble picturing that internal monologue. "Gee, this could be dangerous, too dangerous for someone like me. But I've got my cellphone, and I can always call for help if I need it, so I'll just go ahead and risk it." It seems far more likely that no such consideration ever occurs. The neophyte's error is not undue reliance on rescue, it is obliviousness of risk. A sunny morning, an inviting, seemingly well-marked trail leading off from the campground, and the thought of a pleasant stroll in the woods are the only things likely to be in the neophyte's mind.

Any thought of rescue just doesn't enter into it. Only later, when they are "lost," maybe wet, cold or tired, it's getting dark, and the woods don't seem so friendly anymore, does the first thought of rescue occur to them.

Fortunately, these are usually the easiest type of rescue, often little more than a hasty front-country search or an easy hoist back up to the overlook parking lot. But takes an "expert" to really screw things up. More complex, larger-scale back-country searches and many technical type rescues are for more experienced, presumably better trained and equipped "expert" outdoorsmen and women plucked from cliff faces and out of river gorges or the like.




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#173336 - 05/14/09 11:19 PM Re: Tech vs Knowledge? Attitude? Determination? Luck? [Re: JBMat]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Luck is always a variable. A minor one, to be sure, but it represents the possibility of a random event that can have a radical change in events. There are things that you can't plan for- you can make plans that will adapt and help mitigate them, but sometimes Murphy happens.

Theoretical case:

You've set up camp, and will be there for another five days. Your overdue is the evening after your trip is to end. You get stung by a bee while going to your cat hole 100m from your camp, where you left your gear. This is a new experience for you, quite novel, it has never happened before. And you didn't know you are quite allergic to bee stings. Your gear means doesn't mean much right now. Neither does your skill. And your plan for calling out the cavalry... yeah, meaningless right now.

There is a chance you'll survive. There is a chance you won't. Luck, pure and simple random chance. This is an extreme theoretical, but I can't imagine that it hasn't happened. I've never been stung by a bee, and I've accidentally stepped on them, sat on one, swatted at them with my hand, even found a hive in the wall of an old out building I was helping to tear down. I could get stung tomorrow, and keel over and turn blue five minutes later. Or I might not, don't know. *shrugs*

Luck.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#173341 - 05/15/09 01:05 AM Re: Tech vs Knowledge? Attitude? Determination? Luck? [Re: ironraven]
Erik_B Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/10/07
Posts: 315
Loc: Somewhere in my own little wor...
that's the spirit. wink
_________________________
Originally Posted By: scafool
Camping teaches us what things we can live without.


Originally Posted By: ironraven
...Shopping appeals to the soul of the hunter-gatherer.

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#173349 - 05/15/09 03:15 AM Re: Tech vs Knowledge? Attitude? Determination? Luck? [Re: Erik_B]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Luck may have another name for some people -- it's like a random number generator. Planning is all very fine and I recommend it highly, but planning doesn't cover everything. Bee sting, rock slide, one rock rolling under your foot, gopher hole, simple mistake, pilot forgets to drain condensation out of gas tank, weather change, trying to go another hundred yards can all change the equation, as can a million other things. Planning often puts you in a better position, but it doesn't nullify luck, chance, kismet or whatever else you call it.

It is ludicrous to think that you can plan for everything.

But luck is often what people depend on, and that's even crazier.


"The neophyte's error is not undue reliance on rescue, it is obliviousness of risk."

Sometimes that is true, but I think today's assumption of entitlement is also a big factor. I have actually heard people at a trailhead discussing their lack of an area map, and one of them shrugged and said that SAR could come out and find them. They weren't more than six feet from the car at the time, so please don't assume that it isn't actually considered.

Fools come with and without gear. Fools come with and without experience. Attitudes of It-won't-happen-to-me, I-can-get-back-before-dark, I-can-travel-faster-with-less-gear, etc, are all the mantra of people who lack common sense. Someone once said that television has indoctrinated many people with the sense that all problems are solved within sixty minutes (less commercial time), and that may be a factor, too.

Lack of judgment kills a lot of people, and luck is what saves others. Fate's random number generator. Or a crap shoot.

Sue

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#173350 - 05/15/09 03:51 AM Re: Tech vs Knowledge? Attitude? Determination? Luck? [Re: Susan]
Jeff_M Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/18/07
Posts: 665
Loc: Northwest Florida
Originally Posted By: Susan
...
Fools come with and without gear. Fools come with and without experience. ...


Well, thank God for fools. Without them, I might not have a job!

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#173352 - 05/15/09 11:27 AM Re: Tech vs Knowledge? Attitude? Determination? Luck? [Re: Jeff_M]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2698
Loc: La-USA
Luck is like the wind to a sailor,

You can make use of the wind,
But you can NEVER depend or trust the wind!!
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#173355 - 05/15/09 12:11 PM Re: Tech vs Knowledge? Attitude? Determination? Luck? [Re: Jeff_M]
airballrad Offline
Gear Junkie
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 233
Loc: Gulf Coast Florida, USA
Originally Posted By: Jeff_McCann
Well, thank God for fools. Without them, I might not have a job!

Amen! And yet, I often find myself wishing they weren't quite so foolish. Whether it is a computer program or a map and compass, I am amazed how poorly people prepare themselves with the tools they need in life. But they can show you all the features on their new iPhone. confused
_________________________
EDC Bag | PSK

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#173358 - 05/15/09 04:02 PM Re: Tech vs Knowledge? Attitude? Determination? Luck? [Re: airballrad]
Be_Prepared Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: airballrad
Originally Posted By: Jeff_McCann
Well, thank God for fools. Without them, I might not have a job!

Amen! And yet, I often find myself wishing they weren't quite so foolish. Whether it is a computer program or a map and compass, I am amazed how poorly people prepare themselves with the tools they need in life. But they can show you all the features on their new iPhone. confused


There are many "Iphone" types like you mention that head out with little more than a smile, even when seeing things like this:



I was a volunteer years ago trying to hunt them down out there and bring them back on the Presidential Range. They didn't have Iphone's then, they didn't have much of anything. While some of them get into trouble with an injury, most were just people who went into something beyond their ability and experience. It's a huge adreneline rush when you find someone and it's a rescue, not so much when it turns to recovery. A very high percentage were situations that would have been avoided with proper preparation, only a very small handfull ever turned out to be incidents that happened when there had been proper training, equipment, and preparation.
_________________________

- Ron

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#173360 - 05/15/09 04:10 PM Re: Tech vs Knowledge? Attitude? Determination? Luck? [Re: Be_Prepared]
Tyber Offline
Sheriff
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 292
Loc: ST. Paul MN
I always joke that you should procede and pack and train as if Murphy's law was a constant.

Anything that can go wrong, will.

Expect the worse and hope for the best. (not sure if that is Murphy)


Many people ribb me about what is on my belt, many people joke about the box in the back of my truck, the bag I bring with me. Intrestingly enough it is the people that ask me if I have a knife to cut something, a band-aid to cover there cut, rope to tie the gear down, ect..

It is those "I-phone" types that mock me,, then need me..


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