Earlier this week, I had an interesting email exchange with a cousin of mine. Let's call him Seth for the sake of his privacy.
Seth's a bit younger than me, but what he had to say was unique, insightful and wise beyond his years.
I asked him if I could share some highlights from our conversation to loyal Survival Scout readers like you. He graciously obliged. I thanked him and told him that folks are always looking for a fresh perspective - especially when it comes to preparedness and self-reliance.
A journey into preparedness
Seth's preparedness journey started like a lot of folks - with a crisis. However, Seth's crisis was quite a bit different than what most folks encounter. Nonetheless, his journey to overcome that crisis has many great insights that can help you through your own journey.
THE AIR-CONDITIONED CRISIS: ONE MAN'S JOURNEY OUTSIDE HIS COMFORT ZONE
My cousin Seth was a smart kid from a really young age. Everybody, including his parents, nurtured those smarts as he grew from a kid into a young man. He went to college for industrial engineering, landed a great job and moved to a big city. Sounds perfect, right? Well, not quite.
"Growing up, I was an 'indoor kid,'" Seth told me in his email. He worked hard, and maybe played a video game or two to take a break from his studies.
But after a few months at his new job, he became unhappy. He couldn't understand why - he had worked so hard to get to this point. How could he be unsatisfied?
Seth searched deep for the answer, but couldn't find it. He actually loved his job, and was very successful at it. But something was still missing at the end of the day.
One day, a few of Seth's colleagues invited him to go "primitive camping" with them. Seth said: "Normally, I would've turned it down - not my thing." But something made him say yes without thinking.
"To be honest, the thought of 'primitive camping' terrified me. I spent my whole life living in a modern, 'sophisticated' world," Seth said. "But before I could process my fear, a part of me had already said yes."
Often some of the biggest obstacles in a journey - whether in preparedness or life in general - are overcome just by saying "yes."
Seth said that his first weekend in the wilderness was no walk in the park. "I looked like a total noob out there," he said (according to him, a noob is what they call a newbie these days). He couldn't start a fire, despite knowing all the laws of physics and chemistry that make fire work. But, with a little perseverance and a little help from his friends, he had mastered several new skills before the weekend was up.
When he came home, Seth noticed a change. He felt relieved, recharged, and happy. This was Seth's revelation:
I figured out the problem. I was having what I now call an 'air-conditioned crisis.' I needed to get outside - outside of my comfort zone, outside of the world I'd insulated myself in. Turns out, the best place to do that was literally outside.
From then on, Seth made it his mission to challenge himself in the great outdoors every chance he got.
He kept camping and hiking gear in his car, packed and ready to go. Inside his "Adventure Bag," Seth kept the necessities to survive: food, water filtration, shelter, fire-starters and more.
I pointed out to Seth that a lot of folks committed to preparedness keep similar "go-bags" in their homes and vehicles. In a later note, he shot this reply back:
"You know, at first I never thought about the everyday emergency uses of the stuff I kept packed at all times." Seth came to realize that being "prepared for adventure" meant being prepared for a whole lot more too. But it wasn't until a real emergency presented itself that he was grateful for his unintentional emergency preparedness.
Vehicle broke down
After a long day of hiking, Seth said goodbye to his friends and got into his own vehicle. Only a few minutes into the drive, his vehicle began to overheat. He was on an old backcountry road, his friends were long gone and he was at least a dozen miles from help. With no cell service, he left his vehicle and started his second big hike of the day. Luckily, a creek flowed alongside the road and Seth was able to filter water and stay hydrated as he searched for help.
15 miles later, Seth made it to a gas station and was able to call for help with his auto. By that time, it was a little after midnight. "It was scary, and I destroyed my feet, but I've never felt more confident since then."
Throughout his journey, my cousin Seth encountered many obstacles, emergencies, even small failures. Yet, he learned to treat them as opportunities.
Opportunities to challenge himself.
Opportunities to rely on himself, his intelligence.
Opportunities to grow.
One of the biggest insights I got out of conversing with my younger cousin was an affirmation of something I've believed for a long time. Seth's motto of being "prepared for adventure" really proves that preparedness transcends the doom and gloom scenarios many in the industry try to scare customers with.
Of course, we want to help everyone get prepared should something truly disastrous happen. But we also encourage everyone to build a preparedness mindset for the best in life too - adventure, family, friends, success and liberty, just to name a few.
What's your positive approach to preparedness?
We love to hear uplifting stories. Even better, we love being a part of them. That's why, if you ever need help in your preparedness journey, our experts are standing by. Call 866.229.0927 to get in touch.
In the meantime, have a great weekend, friends - and stay safe out there.