Ten common S/S of a Wilderness First Responder course

Me getting a traction splint

1. Automobile manufacturers are represented accordingly: Toyota, Subaru, Nissan and Volkswagen. You may come across the occasional government-issue Ford.
(Most vehicles will also boast some destination’s adhesive iteration of the really-not-all-that-clever “Everyone in this town is high” promotion. Wink wink. Nudge.)
2. Every person is wearing at least one article of clothing that has been patched.
3. No one complains about the price of an Arc’teryx shell.
4. No less than 75 percent of the men wear thick, unkempt facial hair. The remaining 25 percent, can’t.
5. Desk job?
6. There’s enough down insulation in the room to migrate from Canada.
7. One vegan for every three vegetarians.
8. Everyone knows the layman’s term for “avulsion.”
9. At least one person will always be adorned with fake blood; and it’s not always evident.
10. Discourse is most often initiated with, “I had a client who …”

Troublesome black bear with penchant for home improvement put down in Tahoe

I understand, but hate hearing about, the need for us to put down troublesome wildlife in national parks. It’s an unfortunate byproduct of decades of not knowing how to manage large predators (but implementing policy anyway) combined with vexing federal bureaucracy and a pinch of man’s intrinsic arrogance of existence.

We have inserted ourselves into the natural balance. Back out now, and only more hell will break loose.

In the Lake Tahoe area this week, up around Incline Village, a bear had to be killed after it ripped off some siding from a resident’s home. It also got into the trash. There was no comment about how this bear managed to outwit the critter-proof canister I’m certain the homeowner has in place. (Ahem.)

As is the case with just about every one of these bear euthanization tales, I can’t help but laugh when the folks in charge summarize the situation thusly: “It lost its fear of humans.”

Gasp. We can’t have that, can we?

I guess some folks in the Tahoe area only like their bears when they’re made of wood and nailed to their garage roofs as playful totems to remind tourists of just how wild and wonderful the Sierra Nevada can be.

Sarcasm aside, many in the Tahoe area are very bear aware and campaign regularly (albeit Ed Abbey style) for a more peaceful coexistence.



Spiders. Everywhere.

Spider webs frost a field in Wagga Wagga, Australia
I pretty much have no interest in spiders. I appreciate what they do for the natural world and like any wild creature, I admire all the creepy but wonderful traits that make them such a fascinating part of our planet.

But I would just assume have a rapid wolverine placed in my shorts than be dropped in the countryside of Wagga Wagga, Australia right now.

Just … ewww.

Photo from National Geographic.com. Click it for more.