Panel 3 Learning, part 1
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TABLE OF CONTENTS of this chain: 3/ Learning I <* THIS PANEL *> 4/ learning II (lists, "Ten Essentials," Chouinard comments) 5/ Summary of past topics 6/ Non-wisdom: fire-arms topic circular discussion 7/ Phone / address lists 8/ Fletcher's Law of Inverse Appreciation / Rachel Carson / Foreman and Hayduke 9/ Water Filter wisdom 10/ Volunteer Work 11/ Snake bite 12/ Netiquette 13/ Questions on conditions and travel 14/ Dedication to Aldo Leopold 15/ Leopold's lot. 16/ Morbid backcountry/memorial 17/ Information about bears 18/ Poison ivy, frequently ask, under question 19/ Lyme disease, frequently ask, under question 20/ "Telling questions" backcountry Turing test (under construction) 21/ AMS 22/ Babies and Kids 23/ A bit of song (like camp songs) 24/ What is natural? 25/ A romantic notion of high-tech employment 26/ Other news groups of related interest, networking 27/ Films/cinema references 28/ References (written) 1/ DISCLAIMER 2/ Ethics So you want to learn? A rabbi turns to another rabbi and said," "Why does a rabbi answer a question with a question?" "Is there a better way?" The joke you begin with should substitute "Jesuit" for "rabbi". For two rabbis the reply is "So, why not?". Gerry Wildenberg St. John Fisher College Rochester, NY 14618 email@example.com A person is an expert in a subject when he not only knows everything you can learn about it, he also knows which of that stuff is wrong. Marilyn vos Savant The standard first question most interviewers ask me is "What is the most dangerous thing in the world?" My answer is always "Ignorance." Many people make the assumption that they know the difference between dangerous and safe. --Robert Pelton, Fielding's Guide to the World's Most Dangerous Places 2nd ed. Without question, the best way to learn is to find a mentor. Then you can pick up all their mistakes. But seriously, it is true (both meanings). Good mentors are very hard to find these days. You can't expect instant learning. Apprenticeship takes years. There is no such thing as a bad mentor; a mentor is or isn't: you will only know after a period of time working with a person. Mentor is a term which only comes after a period of time. The information below are given as suggestions. REMEMBER THE DISCLAIMER two days ago. The activities you are about to begin upon are capable of DEATH or SEVERE INJURY. Liability is the major issue of coming years. Don't think you are just going to sample, if you want to do such as build character, then consider a short stint in the Armed Forces (very good way to learn about the outdoors of Washington, CA, the Alps, etc.). You will learn the value of life quickly. But back on track..... Expensive are Guide Services: Yosemite Mountaineering, Rainer Mountaineering, Exum Guides, Fantasy Ridge, PSOM [defunct, Palisades School of Mountaineering], Alpine Skills, Sobek, various European organization, and Alpine Consultants [defunct, specialists in climbing, computing, and environmental impact (with specialities in remote sensing and image processing 8^) ]. The point isn't to enumerate all; the point is the interested reader to get out of one's lofty ivory tower armchair and go seek out the possibilities. In the past, and to some degree today, you can take classes from large organized non-profit organizations: the Sierra Club, The Mazamas, The Mountaineers, the Colorado Mountain Club, the App. Mountain Club, and many other organizations. Best to find the ones local to you. And if you are not satisified, go make your own. Many companies have their own outing organizations. These organizations have the value of continuing wilderness values. It also gives a chance (just a chance) to meet like minded people. Local schools and colleges may have an outdoor education or PE program. Many of these are bad, but you have to find out such. A few are good. Check them out. In particular watch out for the liability problem here. The outdoors isn't first on their agenda. Consider also academic classes which may have field trips: geology, geography, surveying, biology, botany, etc. Outdoor "mills" (like degree mills) include: Outward Bound (1-800-243-8520, or 1-203-661-0797 in Conn. [not limited here] [and also cobs.edu]) National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) (Lander, Wyoming, [nols.edu, or http://www.nols.edu/LNT/LNTHome ]) These are not survival or outdoor skills schools. They are now personality development organizations including special programs for executives, the handicapped, the old, and the problem youth. They use the outdoors as a tool, hence, they are not skills or training organizations. [But they do give SOME training.] Perhaps one of the most rigorous for very young are the Devil Pups (not for the faint). Specifically AVOID the quickie outdoor classes given by some groups and one day short things like given by SAL. They have different motives entirely (the motivational). On just going on trips, there are a host of interesting and unusual opportunties distinct from the above. The expensive ones include such agencies as Mountain Travel (Berkeley) and REI. You can organize your own expeditions (you should be good enough by that point, that's a goal). Cheaper alternatives include the yearly Sierra Club trips, but consider some of the following: if you are in the private sector (have money), consider using your money to help fund a research endeavor while going on a trip: University Research Expeditions Program, UC Berkeley, (510)-642-6586. For younger people, be warned and be aware of Scouting and the Explorers. Some groups are good, seek these. But many are not good. Use good judgment. If you are in school, consider your general education requirements. Take classes with field trips: geology, biology, botany, etc. Find profs to work with on research projects which involved field world. Volunteer. Get experience. Use your imagination to do these things. Consider summer employment in the field. Equipment: The net has pluses and minus when it comes to asking about equipment. First, it's something beginners really get hung up on: avoid buying anything. Borrow or rent if at all possible. Be prepared to replace. Study up. Make certain what you read is current. Ask advice in a personal rather than broadcast way (If you are ever afraid of looking like a fool, this is the easiest chance to avoid it). Ask lots of questions. Remember this isn't the end, it's a means to an end. Smart people buy winter gear in summer, and summer gear in winter. Buying in season can be costly. Patience. Let's be really frank about the Net and equipment. Simply to get access to the net implies some amount of money. What's amazing are the discussions about things like Thermarest(tm) pads. These things are kind a expensive, but the vast majority of people don't use them, and don't need them. If you listen too close to the Net, you'd conclude going outdoors is expensive. It isn't. You're looking at a highly biased sample. You have to look upon the net with a very skeptical eye. As a start always remember that the American Indians didn't have most of this technology. Ask yourself how they survived? Muir didn't have most of this junk, nor Hermann Buhl. And when you answer this you will have learned something. Beware the gear freaks. You see it's kind a silly to learn most topics covered on the net because written literature in the field is generally so much better (but not perfect). CRTs are a very poor way to learn this stuff. A few topical exceptions exist because knowledge about them is changing rapidly. If you really want to go learn something, start with books, but keep in the back of your mind that those are highly limiting. Oh yes as noted on the net: RTFM (in general principal): Read the (original: fuckin'/MPAA: fine) manual. From a clothing manufacturer who asked that his name not be used: if you don't want to abuse your expensive outdoor clothing, remember to read your F care label typically on the inside of the clothing For caving--join a grotto of the NSS and learn how to "Take Nothing but Pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time". Contact: The National Speleological Society 2813 Cave Avenue Huntsville, AL 35810-4431 EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org I know your line. I was once a young man like you. Train yourself. Distinguish yourself in war. Become somebody, maybe a warlord. But time flies, before your dream materializes you get grey hair. By that time, your parents and friends are dead and gone. -- Kambei Shimada in S.S. Something's hidden, go and find it. -- Kipling TAG LINE -- Looking for an H-912 (container).
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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM