When a good day goes bad

Posted on July 22 2018, by Gladys Breckenridge

Summertime is when we escape into the fresh air. Unfortunately, our plans for a perfect day are occasionally foiled - a storm breaks, a canoe tips, we twist our ankle, the trail zigs when it was supposed to zag. It doesn’t take much to go from having fun, to a minor hassle, to a disaster in a matter of minutes. But a couple of very basic rules will dramatically increase the likelihood that your day turns into a story with a happy ending you can retell for years.

The first rule: Relax. Things are rarely as bad they seem. And our instinct to overreact will usually make things worse. This rule applies to almost every situation. A severe storm blows in? Take shelter until it blows over. You may be a little late for dinner, but in the big picture, that’s a small price to pay for getting home safe. Your canoe tips? Just hold on and wait – you’ll be rescued much faster that way, than you would be if you try and swim for shore. So, when things turn nasty, take a breath, calm down, sit put, and you’re already ahead of the game.

The second rule: Make it easy for people to help you. Make sure you are wearing something bright. Don’t wander off. And if you have to, leave an obvious trail or even notes about the direction you’re heading in.

You can learn more time-honored rules of woodcraft in the book Wildwood Wisdom. It’s a classic for a reason.

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