Mark Childress

Mark Childress English 20 Editorial Paper (Peer Draft) 01/29/99 Nature Doesn’t Always Nurture Through today’s growing technology and a new generation of people, the sport and hobby of outdoor hiking is on the rise. The most rudimentary equipment for hiking is a backpack and, of course, your feet. However, to the more experienced hiker, there is an abundant amount of gear that proves very useful. The most important piece of gear an avid hiker can own would have to be his head. Common sense and a knack for direction and orientation are key to preventing a nightmarish voyage.

I know this through some of my own experiences and other peoples’ as well. Do you ever remember going to the shopping mall with your mom and after a couple of rounds through the women’s section in Dillards, you look up to find that you are following around some other woman? The very first thing you do is panic and think you are going to be lost the rest of your life and probably wind up dead in the broom closet. This is natural, it is human instinct to panic at first glance at an overwhelmingly bad situation. You then realize, after you take a short pause to calm down, that you have been taught what to do in situations like these. Go get help from a man in uniform or a nice old lady behind a counter.

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The big question is what do you do when you get lost from your mom when there is nothing but 200 square miles of wilderness around you? One hint is to follow rivers downstream because you’re bound to hit a town sooner or later. Another hint is to reach higher ground to get a better look at your surroundings. Sure, those are good ideas, but who wants to take that chance early on. As the boy scouts say “Be Prepared” and the six p’s of the air force, “Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance” are not well known theories, they are fact. Every hiker no matter where they are trekking should carry a map and compass and have at least minimal knowledge on how to use them.


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