It is driven by a quest to test or prove oneself, or a need for peace and solitude.
However, many of us are firm believers in the buddy system—always have been, always will be. The only time we need solitude is when nature calls.
There are countless reasons to adhere to the buddy system. Here are five tried-and-true benefits of not going it alone:
- The safety factor. All too often, the nightly news airs tragic stories that might have turned out differently had another person gone along. A buddy can provide
assistance, go for help, or treat and comfort someone who gets sick or injured.
- Someone to share the load. Toting a canoe or hauling gear is always easier with more than one person. When backpacking, splitting up shared supplies and equipment—such as a tent, first-aid kit or cookware—lightens the load for everyone.
- An expanded skill set. Research shows multiple people possess more or better skills than an individual. Some people are good at fixing things. Others may be better at starting fires or cooking.
- A second opinion. Venturing outdoors often requires making choices and decisions, such as which trail to take, where to set up camp, or when to call it quits due to bad weather or extenuating circumstances. Having someone else to confer with can reduce the chances of errors.
Wash—Don’t Toss—a Dirty Backpack or Ditty Bag
Remove all contents, including pack stays. Dump out dirt and other debris. Dump pockets, too. Pretreat stains as needed. Wash in mild detergent. If machine washing, place in a pillowcase to keep straps from getting stuck or damaged by the machine’s inner workings. Hang to dry.
What’s Special About May?
- National Wildflower Week, May 6-12.
- National Bike Month.
- National Barbecue Month.
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A Second Life for Holey Wool Socks
Get extra miles from a holey pair of socks by cutting them off at the ankle. Wear the tops as ankle and wrist warmers, where blood flows close to the skin. Your hands and feet will stay warmer.
This tip was provided by Nancy Hummel of Fairbanks, Alaska.