These Colors Don't Run - Remember 9.11.2001 Equipped To Survive
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Survival Stories Are Key To ETS Goal - Saving Lives
Commentary by
Doug Ritter

This recent brouhaha involving Aron Ralston serves as a reminder as to why I do this; why I started Equipped To Survive and why I continue with it despite the difficulties and sacrifices it demands. For all our occasional bluster, for all the fiction that flows from Hollywood or the fertile minds of novelists, for all the real life stories such as Ralston's that show ordinary people performing beyond the pale, the fact is that we humans are pretty fragile. We are relatively easily killed, maimed and injured. Our natural defenses are no match for wild animals or the wild environment of our planet. Our fundamental survival tool that gives us the edge is our mind and the tools we fashion using it allow us to survive in an otherwise inhospitable world.

Our minds arrive empty, to be filled as we grow and mature. If we are lucky, we are able to avail ourselves of the experience of others so we don't have to learn every lesson the hard way. An awful lot of people died so we might learn these difficult lessons. Others have survived what might easily have killed them so that we can also learn from their successful experiences. Sometimes we learn from what they did; sometimes from what they didn't do. Sometimes the lesson is to emulate them; sometimes the lesson is to not emulate them. Sometimes, and Ralston is an example, we learn both lessons.

Our job here at Equipped To Survive, and the principle goals of the Equipped To Survive Foundation as enumerated in its Mission Statement, are to save lives by:

  1. Raising awareness of potential survival emergencies
  2. Promoting preparedness as the key to surviving life-threatening circumstances
  3. Performing research and offering objective information to allow intelligent selection of effective survival equipment and supplies
  4. Providing education in practical survival techniques and procedures
  5. Encouraging development of new and improved survival equipment, supplies and techniques

Few things are as effective a basis for accomplishing most of these goals as are the stories we read about in the news on a daily basis and which serve as fodder here on Equipped To Survive.

Equipped To Survive publishes a good deal of material regarding real life survival stories. The Survival Forum is filled with discussions of such events. When I give presentations to groups about survival subjects, as part of the outreach program that helps support the Foundations goals and finances, survival stories are always part of the program. These stories are critically important for a number of purposes, one of the most vital being to remind people how important preparation is, because damn near anything can happen out there. Ralston's survival experience, being a recent and well-publicized event, serves as a wake up call to everybody to take action to avoid this ever happening to them or to their loved ones, or to those for whom they are responsible. The information we provide helps those who visit and partake of what they find here to accomplish exactly that.

Stories such as Ralston's give us pause, cause us to question what we do or how we do it and encourage us to do better, to prepare better, to be Equipped To Survive.

Doug Ritter

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Publisher and Editor: Doug Ritter
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First Published: June 9, 2003
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