Psalm 104: 18-20 “The high mountains are for the wild goats; the cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers. He made the moon for the seasons; the sun knows the place of its setting. Thou appoint darkness and it becomes night, in which all the beasts of the forest prowl about.” (NAS)
Hiking is being in a natural place where you are not at home. Getting hurt or lost is never in our hiking plans, but sometimes it happens. Hikers know that it is always best to have a buddy hiker, tell people where you are going, and check in when you return. The little sign-in forest ranger books at the beginning of the wilderness trails are a reminder to be safe, not brave and stupid. There are many ways to prepare for a night in the woods where the wild animals come out if you are lost. Matches for light and fire, plastic covering for the ground, extra clothes including hats and gloves and of course nourishment and water are basics of every trip. Falling and hurting yourself are constant companions of many hikers, because we have done it.
When I have become lost or disoriented on my path, I always know I can stop and assess the situation, look to the sky for the sun’s guidance, and then decide if I am going to turn around or keeping going hoping that I will find my way out of the situation and back to safety. As in life, preparation for pain and loss comes in the days, weeks and months before you are ready to hike into the mountains. Getting lost or hurt comes with a decision and a price to pay.
What type of preparation are you making so that you are not hurt or lost in the future?