Be Prepared

Be Prepared – Scouts BSA Motto

As a young Boy Scout, the phrase “Be Prepared” was ingrained into my mind, but I don’t believe that I fully appreciated the breadth and importance of that statement. As I have grown older, I have taken more time to ponder what exactly it means to be prepared and why it is so important to apply the simple principle of preparedness.

As an outdoors enthusiast and recreational advocate, I have learned from good and bad experiences that being prepared is critical to any successful adventure. Whether that is being prepared with enough food and water or being ready for adverse weather, preparation will allow you to face almost anything.

I often hear that it is important to learn from your mistakes, but I personally think that even more important is to learn from other’s mistakes so I’ll share a few of mine with you. Hopefully, you will be better prepared than I was.

The first experience that comes to mind is after going through a canyon for 7 hours. There was only about a mile left, but part of it was straight up a cliff! Right at the base of the ascent, I ran out of water, which had me a little worried because I probably hadn’t been drinking enough water to begin with. I knew I had no other choice than to buckle down and send it up. I pushed through it and nearly collapsed at the parking lot. I was fortunate enough to meet a kind man who offered me some water after seeing my condition. Lesson learned: carry way more water than you think you will need.

Another unfortunate learning experience occurred while on a several-hour bike ride and nature called. I had to take a dump but wasn’t anywhere near an outhouse or restroom. I had also not thought to bring a shovel or toilet paper so I found a sharp rock and started digging a hole. All the leaves were pretty skimpy, but fortunately, I found some Kleenex in my bag. I learned my lesson however and will always be prepared for when that call comes again.

Now, before you start to think that all of my stories are bad like this, I have had plenty of experiences of how being prepared has allowed me to help someone else who was underprepared. Whether it be having extra tissues, bandages, water, food, etc., being able to remedy a situation because I was prepared always feels incredible. Along with physical preparation, being prepared with skills and knowledge is also very important. Whatever you know can be useful if applied appropriately. With knots, there is a saying, “the knot you know is the knot you need”, which I believe is true for just about everything. In any situation you are in, the knowledge you have is the only knowledge that can benefit you at that time. So in preparation for any activity, gather as much information as you can on the subject. This will allow you to confidently act in any situation.

This website can be used as a resource for starting your search for knowledge. Make sure that you also talk with others near you who are experienced in the activity you would like to take part in. Chances are, they will have stories to share that will help you as you prepare for your adventure.

Remember, preparation is critical. If you are prepared, you can and will succeed.