Morals and Lessons for Seniors on Hiking Alone

Jun 21st, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Once upon a time, there was a man who decided he would take a backpacking trip.  Taking seriously the counsel of those who had engaged in such an adventure, he  went to the Outpost to secure the necessary gear.  With both the help of well meaning friends and, of course, several of the customer service clerks he ended up with the largest back pack fully equipped with every conceivable eventuality he might encounter.   

Following on that he went into mapping out his trail he would encounter rugged territory, but with his trutsy top of the line Swiss Knife, his pack full of everything but a plasma tv, he would be well prepared, as in the Boy Scout motto song.

Because he wanted to be independent and rugged, he did not choose to invite anyone to join him. He loaded his backpack, tent, provisions, climbing boots, inflatable mattress, cooking gear, sterno packs, rain gear, wool socks, benadryl, and a myriad of other items which he had found useful in stores and catalogs and was convinced he might need. 

Off he went on his adventure of a lifetime, with everything he might need to face what lay ahead.  Upon arriving at his departure point, he found a number of Explorers and Excursions, Escalades and SUV’s of evry variety.  He even found a Motor Home blocking one of the paths.  This is not what he had in mind.  But, determined, he took off on one of the several trails.  He encountered a number of hikers, most of whom were dressed in shorts, carrying nothing but a plastic water bottle and enjoying a dog on a leash. 

Within less than a mile, he began shedding his gear.  It was warmer than he had anticipated.  He dropped off his pick ax, discarded several of the items from his pack, lessening the weight of the load. 

On he trudged.  More items fell by the way.  Further he walked, still not at an incline, but nevertheless strenuous for one so well heeled with everything he was told he would need.   Needing a break, he finally fell headlong into a shaded area where others had obviously stopped for a respite.  It was so shady and cool, he took a nap.  By the time he awoke  it was dusk.  He had never stayed out in the “wild” before, so he decided to walk further before it grew dark.  Just as he was about to round one more bend, he saw a sign directing hikers to the trailhead.  He took it and returned to his van, where he unloaded his remaining “had to have” stuff” and headed to the comfort of his home. 

Moral:  If you don’t know what you are doing, better bone up before taking on a new adventure; secondary moral, if you think you need all the stuff in life just to get through a day, better start choosing what is really essential and let the other crap go;  third moral:  don’t trust all the advice you get from others.  Just like you, they may not know what they are doing either!



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