Social Isolation

Apr. 12, 2020
This is a practice in response to the global pandemic. It is not new, for it weighs heavily in traditional backpacking procedure and ethics. It has two main goals as it pertains to the outbreak of Covid-19.

  1. To Foster a solitary Backcountry expedition.
  2. To mitigate the exposure to human contact.

The practice is comprised of two methodologies. The application of soft/interpersonal skills and the utilization of hard/technical backcountry skill sets. These are experiential learning processes that must be learned in the field through repetition.
Soft/Interpersonal Skillset

  • Spend weeks and months by oneself
  • Self assessment and diagnosis of ailments
  • Separation from the frontcountry
  • Not use any electronic devices including shooting photographs
  • Forgo family celebrations and crisis
  • Completely commit to said trek (this is especially important now, for you may not be able to safely travel back to your home if you decide to stop)
  • Speak clearly and nonviolently to non-trail communities
  • Hike for at least two days without food or water
  • Forgo any hitchhiking, restaurants, showers, laundry, stores, social media, contact to family and friends, and hot meals.

Hard/Technical Backcountry Skillset

  • Interpret a map, not just an app
  • Interpret a compass
  • Delineate between high/low, buggy/non-buggy, warm/cold, windy/not windy, wet/dry, topography, Flora and fauna, windward/leeward, solely based on the observations from a map.
  • Stay found using map and compass through bushwack and cross-country trails.
  • Find the purest water sources in the event a filter fails
  • Triangulate with map and compass
  • Sketch elevation profiles
  • Identify and harvest native plants
  • Field repair all gear
  • Rigging
  • Essentially avoid all human contact except for a once a week grab box at the post office with protective gear.

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