Adrift

Steven Callahan's book Adrift: Seventy-six days lost at sea is fascinating, powerful, thoughtful, and at times also frustrating. In many ways it's much like Joe Simpson's true mountaineering story Touching the Void. Both men survived, against huge odds, after deliberately putting themselves into risky situations for the thrill of adventure. Both made mistakes. Both emerged injured and ultimately stronger. Both achieved significant insights. Both write reasonably well, albeit with flaws.

Should Callahan and Simpson be listened to and learned from? Probably yes. Should they be emulated? With great likelihood, for the most part, no. What are the biggest common take-aways from both? Perhaps in dire situations:

But above all, before getting into trouble, remember the Scout motto: Be Prepared. Boy Scout founder Robert Baden-Powell said in the 1908 Scouting for Boys:

Be Prepared in Mind ... by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.

Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.

Good advice for all, at all times!

(full disclosure: the above quote from Wikipedia's article "Scout Motto" omits Baden-Powell's admonition, "... by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order ..."; cf Touching the Void (2004-06-02), Re-Touching the Void (2009-11-11), ...) - ^z - 2020-08-01