HomePublicationsThe Tracker MagazineVol 1, No. 3, May 1982

The Tracker Magazine - Vol 1 No. 3, May 1982

Tom Brown Jr.

Dear Students,

So many times people find themselves in a situation where a survival experience becomes debilitating, becomes a strain, becomes a battle between them and the natural world. I find that there are a few main reasons for this type of attitude.

1. The person has probably pushed himself to his limits. In a survival experience it is not good to push oneself that far because it minimizes your chances for survival.

2. A person may leave his camp too frequently and push himself between campsites, walking for too long in the heat of the day, or in the cold of nights, thus draining his vital energy resources.

3. A person may have a debilitating experience because he cannot stand to get dirty, or cold feet may bother him, or hot temperatures, or cold winds, or any of the other natural forces.

4. A person may find himself debilitated because he is not living in the eternal now. He is living at some other time other than the present. It is a good idea to keep your eye on the future, but not so totally on the future that you forget about your now.



On the last Advanced Standard campout there was a young man who was totally debilitated by the weather. The night before, even though it was spring time, it had gone down 20 degrees and the skies dumped a healthy amount of cold wet snow on the camp area. The next morning broke sunny but cold with a strong wind, and my student sat there by the fire totally depressed, totally unable to do anything but nurse himself. He complained to me about being cold, tired, and hungry. I asked him, "How do you feel now? Right now?". He said, "Well, right now I'm warm from the fire, and I've just eaten something". Then I asked him, "When do you feel cold, tired, and hungry? Certainly not now". His problem was that he was living too far into the future. He was worried about what the weather was going to be like two hours from now, seven hours from now, instead of just checking himself and seeing how he was doing at that time. It is important that a person not lose sight of what he is in the woods for, especially if he is in an unplanned survival situation where he becomes lost or finds himself thrust into a survival situation. He should do all the necessary things to keep himself alive and then just enjoy himself. Stop fighting! Fighting is what causes most of the pain, aggravation and frustration that goes into what so many people think of as "survival" living.


I would like to sum up this survival-now living statement with the ending paragraph I wrote for Mother Earth News' cooking article about the power of now living in a survival situation, or for that matter, any type of life situation: "The survival experience can be a very difficult time for anyone that intentionally pushes himself to his limits, moves his camp frequently, or is bothered by cold feet, dirty hair, or the other rigors of survival living. If a person can separate his wants from his needs, blend with earth mother and see the beauties that surround him; if a person can meet the challenge of survival with well-honed skills and live as part of the natural world; and if a person can keep himself in good physical shape and is not bothered by a little cold, heat, dirt or pain, he will live in a full survival situation easily and come close to the oneness that the old prophets and ascetics found in the wilderness. For too long mankind has been fighting, resisting, and trying to control and destroy the pure and natural. If we can meet nature and not resist, we will all survive."


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