Travel Safety and the 1st Rule of Bears
Lately I’ve seen a rash of travel blogs talking about Travel and Safety. I suggest that those two words should never be used in the same sentence. Saying “have a safe trip” is reminding us to not walk in front of buses and don’t try and pet a mountain lion. The no-brainer things (common sense). It should be “have a great time and don’t forget your Plan”. “Safety” is what we do every day, it’s the basics.
A “plan” is: I want to travel to so and so and what do I do if… This is where you do your homework. Your travel options can be unlimited if you have a good solid plan. “Safety” gets you to the airport, a plan is what brings you home.
Making a plan is about managing risk. This is how we can go anywhere, have a great experience and not be consumed by worry. You could go to Darfur, Sudan and get out alive if your plan is solid. Though It might need to include the 101st Airborne and a military tank. The plan should be equal to the risks of the desired destination.
FunFact: The “safest place” for most people is their home. Not! They hide there and tell ME to be safe. Yet, more people die each year in their home than do people who travel. Why? Accidents. People get careless at home. So much for safety and common sense.
A Traveler travels with a heightened sense of awareness, a level much higher than just safety. They’re prepared for problems, the unexpected. They have a plan.
I always have a plan. Today we are going to hike in the Rocky Mountains near Denver. My plan includes the what if’s and means bringing a map, water, sunscreen and a plan in case Mother Nature decides to get ugly. I later found that I did forgot one thing though…
We’re on the shuttle heading to the trailhead. I notice a couple who have large cans of bear repellent attached to their packs. Crap, I forgot about the bears!
What should we do? Cancel our hike? Running into a Bear can be a big problem, right?. No Way! We’re staying flexible.
I scan the shuttle and notice it’s a large group. There is an obnoxious boy who is pitching a fit and talking back to his parents, a few seasoned hikers and large group of senior citizens, all wearing sensible shoes, who really should re-think this expedition. I then remembered the 1st Rule of Bears and I like my odds. After some thought, I adjusted the plan and we’re off to the wilderness with no worries.
The First Rule of Bears:
- If pursued by a bear you need only remember to run faster than the slowest member of the group.
- If you are alone, haul-ass towards the group and see #1.
So remember, any destination is possible with a good solid plan… and a sense of humor. My luck, I’ll probably get plowed over by a bus, while lost in thought, planning the details of our next trip.