I stole these from another web site.
These are derived from a list of sayings called “Timeless Tactical Truths” in the firefighting world. Some humorous, some poignant. Paraphrased here to apply to backcountry crises, such as a serious injury, illness, sudden storm, finding yourself completely lost, etc.
BACKCOUNTRY EMERGENCIES GIVE THE TEST JUST AHEAD OF THE LESSON.
* The very worst plan is no plan (the next worse is two plans).
* The only safe backcountry assumption is to assume the worst.
* If you have lots of ideas, you will need lots of help.
* A little effort in the beginning can eliminate the need for lots of effort at the end.
* Move quickly--young conditions are easier to control than old ones.
* It is better to get out five minutes too soon than five seconds too late.
* Very little on a mountainside falls up.
* Don't ever let your inclination to gamble outdistance your fear.
* Safe backpackers are smart backpackers.
* Never confuse repeat hikes for routine hikes; the same basic deadly elements are present every trip into the backcountry--there are no routine hikes.
* Don't stand too close to people who are always bandaged up.
* If you panic, be certain to run in the correct direction.
* Safety prevents meetings, reviews, and investigations.
* Trust safety, not luck.
* When you're having problems take a partner.
* Don't spend all your chips--always have a tactical reserve.
* Losing your temper generally represents the incipient stage of rectal-
* Good procedures are so simple you don't need to write them down to remember them or use a dictionary to understand them.
* When someone screws up, yell at them -- they'll love it.
* Keep working on the basics -- most of us are not advanced enough to make advanced mistakes.
* Be careful of people who close their eyes and open their mouths.
* Educational times in the backcountry are not always fun times.
* If you don't have a plan, don't add additional gear or people.
* If you're gonna order, you gotta pay the check.
* Beware of Kamikaze pilots who have gone on 65 missions.
* Experience and education are like oregano--they must be mixed with a lot of other stuff to be good.
* Be careful around people who attach status to knowing things you don't.
* Never is a long time.
* Beware of the trip leader who says, "Don't do anything until I get there."
* If you think the cost of training is expensive, check out the cost of ignorance.
* There ain't no fair fights when it’s man against nature.
* It is difficult to get just a little bit excited.
* Some days in the backcountry the best it gets is so-so.
* When you lose your head, the next thing is your ass.
* If looking at a crisis makes you crazy, don't look at it.
* If you can't control yourself, you can't control anything.
* Surprises are nice on your birthday, not in the backcountry.
* Take wilderness hazards seriously but do not take yourself seriously.
* Always take care of people who are trying to make you look good and make it easy as possible for them to do so.
* Hope for the best -- plan for the worst.
* Everything in the backcountry is "too" something.
* If you aren't dressed to play, stay in the bleachers and off of the field.
* There are no credit cards in the backcountry -- you pay for everything you do at the time you do it.
* There aren't any "time outs" in the backcountry.
* The next tragedy will take the pressure off the last tragedy.
* If you are not willing to disagree with a decision and to really THINK, stay home and watch the Outdoor Channel on TV.
* Every backcountry emergency situation has a limited number of decisions -- they can be made by you or the emergency.
* Do not think that you are communicating just because you are talking.
* Most of the time the first five minutes are worth the next five hours.
* The longer you wait to make a decision, the fewer options you will have.
* Be careful of what you say in difficult situations--offhanded, dumb comments are like aluminum cans--they last forever in the environment.
* The further you are from the last crisis the closer you are to the next one.
* There is no correlation between the amount of gear in the pack and the preparedness of the hiker.
* Smart people in the backcountry can tell what is going to happen -- anyone can tell what has happened.
* The most important hike is the one you're on now.
* The more routine decisions you make prior to a crisis the more time you will have to make critical decisions during the crisis.
* Don't change the rules by breaking them.
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