Have you ever seen a TV show in which somebody is camping out or living out in the woods and it looks easy but when you try it yourself you get cold, wet, hungry and have burnt fingers?
Camping and outdoor living comes naturally to most of us, it is our heritage as animals on the planet, this is how we have evolved to live so it is not surprising that it comes to us naturally however most of us have lived our lives so far removed from nature that we no longer have the slightest clue as to what we should be doing.
The single biggest factor to being comfortable and in control outdoors is your personal administration skills.
Personal Administration is the term given to how well organised you are. A person with bad Personal Admin is somebody who is dirty, unwashed, messy, never knows where their kit is, batteries never charged, always loosing things, disorganised and generally making life much harder for themselves and others through their own lack of attention to themselves.
A person with good Personal Admin will be prepared for anything, will always know where each and every item of kit they have is stored, they will have a fully charged battery in their flashlight, phone or radio and have some spares in a waterproof container too. They will be washed and finishing breakfast before the other guys have woken up and they will feel much better for it.
Being ready for anything in advance is a blessing, it takes a lot of the stress of being in a potentially uncomfortable or dangerous situation away because they can rest assured that they have already thought the situation through and done as much as they can do mitigate potential risks before they arise.
It can be as simple as packing your kit away properly when you come back home or to base camp after a few days out in the field. Instead of just throwing your backpack into the garage and forgetting about it until next time, a person who has good personal admin will
- unpack each item
- inspect for damage
- make repairs
- clean it
- polish, wax or oil it
- neatly repack it for next time
- Replenish single use items
Then when their kit is needed next time, they will just have to pick it up and go instead of discovering a rancid, rotten sandwich or water bottle than smells like satans morning breath or a tarp with burn holes in it and missing cordage.
When out in the field, the person with good admin skills will take care to not leave any knot´s in their cordage and to properly pack cordage away so that it will not tangle when used next.
In the mornings at camp, they will check their own clothing to look for any rips or buttons that might need to be repaired so that they don´t have to deal with it during the day when it might not be practical.
The camp will be kept organised, clean and tidy so that things are not misplaced, set fire to and that mice, rats, snakes or bears are not tempted to come food shopping in the camp.
They will wash in that cold river because they would rather be clean and healthy than dirty and lazy. Checking their feet and dealing with blisters and other injuries so that they do not fester and get infected is something that they do every day.
When on the move they will make sure all of their pockets are closed and done up so that nothing can fall out and be lost.
In the evening, they will have their flashlight or head torch ready before it gets dark.
When you attend to the details of yourself and the environment around you, you leave less to chance and it reduces the chances of you having an accident or loosing an essential item such as your compass or you knife.
If you are with people who keep leaving things lying around on the ground, it is only a matter of time before somebody stands on something, knocks something over or finds the sharp point of a knife appearing through the top of their foot. One minute it is somebody treading on a compass the next it could be standing on an unsheathed knife. It is a very important safety precaution to have a tidy campsite.
I once saw somebody fall into a campfire, they were tip toeing through a pile of junk that had been left around a fire, lost their balance and fell face first into the campfire. They got a nasty burn to the hand and it could have been much worse but if the camp had been tidy, it would never have happened.
I think it helps to think along the lines of life on board a ship. If you have every spent any time at sea then you will have noticed that there is an awful lot of cleaning going on. There seems to be somebody cleaning something all the time and there is a good reason for this. It has long be known that a clean ship is a happy ship.
Nature rewards the organised.
Are you ready for an adventure of your own? Are you ready to take a risk?
If you want to learn, take a course to learn some new skills and then go out and practise those new skills.
You can do so with me here
If you don´t see something that you like then contact me here and we will see what we can do for you.
Sign up for new of new course dates, new expeditions, discounts, free videos, free guides, and a new ebook coming soon