1. Jill
    Jill April 7, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Heck, I’m living proof of the ease of injuring yourself ON the trail. I’m one month into healing up from a broken ankle sustained on an easy trail, hiking with a whole group of people. I never saw the darn tree root that grabbed my foot, but the guy behind me said that was what happened. All I knew was that my ankle rolled and I went down. Then it became a matter of how I was going to get back to my car (I didn’t know it was broken until later either). In retrospect, hiking with the group was actually a detriment in one way because I was hiking much faster than I would have solo. Also my own ego – I decided not to use my hiking poles “because it was only a day hike.” Lessons learned.

  2. Fred Brockman
    Fred Brockman April 7, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Great blog post Ray. I have done lots of off-trail hiking for 35+ years, but you are right — you have to constantly remind yourself not to be cavalier. Off-trail, I pay particular attention to underlying rocks that are loose or have potential to teeter, to prevent/minimize fall or twist injuries.
    I had a humbling experience a month ago on my own property, which borders a wilderness area. I was working along the stream, and a 150-200 pound rock shifted a couple inches, crushing my hand between it and the overlying rocks. It was only with great effort that I was able to move the rock off my hand. Had the rock been much larger I would have been stuck.

  3. Karen Jensen
    Karen Jensen April 7, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Good post and always an interesting topic. I believe that it is ok to die. It’s ok when you’re 20, 50 or 100. It is ok to die at any age and at any time; many do. It is indeed sad for those left behind, but it’s not “tragic” to die in the wilderness; it’s a great place to go, far better than a hospital. I’m totally ok with dying out there. I’d rather die that way than never go out at all. But I’m at the age where I think about these things, having known a lot of friends and family to die recently, and I don’t feel entitled to live a long life.

    I’m *not* ok with putting others at risk however, either my rescuers or good samaritans, or even fellow hikers in my party. I’m more careful when hiking with others, because if I get injured the pressure is on them to help me.

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