desert spirit wrote:The thread about the gentleman who died in the Superstitions recently got me thinking about death. (I know, I'm kinda morbid).
Regarding the hiker who died ... we all know it could have been us. Who among us hasn't walked along the edge of a cliff or trudged through the desert in the blazing sun, or done something where even a minor mishap could mean we are dead? What do you think about at such times?
I would think that I'm an idiot if I were dying out in the blazing sun, but I consider falling off of a cliff to be que sera sera: whatever will be will be. I try to avoid excessively hazarous situations like stepping on loose gravel on the edge of a cliff, but sometimes such situations are unavoidable or unknown beforehand.
What are your thoughts about dying in a wild place? Do you have the attitude that if it happened, it was fate and there was nothing you could have done? Is dying out on the trail "better" than being crunched by a drunk driver?
Dying out in nature sure sounds a lot better than due to a car crash. I'd rather die someplace beautiful than in some stupid car. I think that's the motivation of many of those who commit suicides in national parks. Being out in nature has a way of focusing one's senses. Smell is heightened. Vision is clearer. Thoughts are purer. It is easier to focus on a single course of action out in the woods: walking down the trail; looking for wildlife; seeing how trees are shaped. The list goes on and on. Someone who's planning on committing suicide may find it easier out in nature because may other nagging thoughts ("what about my family?" "what if my team actually goes to the Final Four next year?" "am I being selfish?") find it harder to intrude upon one's sense of purpose. I would hopefully be serene in my passing if it was fate, but I'm sure that I would fight.
Does it matter if your body was consumed by animals?
I don't care as long as I'm not buried in a coffin. Either scatter my ashes on Mount Lemmon, off Maui, or pour me into an urn and place me on top of your television so I can be close to football.
Would your thoughts be any different if we were talking about your spouse dying instead of you?
Most definitely. However, I have no spouse or anyone who's likely to become my wife, so I'm guesstimating here. I would hope that I'd replace my brother in harm's way if it came to that. If an angry bear confronted us, I would probably put myself between the bear and my brother, and I'm not sure what else I can say about the subject. The thought of a loved one dying alone in the woods is pretty painful. Much more painful than the thought of me dying by myself out in the boonies.
What do you think about people who commit suicide in National Parks? There was an article on MSNBC about this not long ago. Apparently, it happens a lot.
Suicide is the ultimate selfish act. Would-be suiciders (made up word of the day!) find it easier and more peaceful to kill themselves in a beautiful natural setting, or so it would seem that way. I think this is similar to why many people kill themselves with sleeping pills. It's easy to focus upon one's task (offing oneself), and easy to replace thoughts of guilt with the intake of the natural setting in a national park. Allegedly.
Ok, I guess that's enough of this topic ... back to nude hiking now ...
JamesLyding wrote:Maybe we can get a bigfoot thread going?
desert spirit wrote:The thread about the gentleman who died in the Superstitions recently got me thinking about death.
writelots wrote:I definitely would rather die on the trail than in a car - any day.
writelots wrote:Have any of you read the book "Over the Edge - Death in the Grand Canyon"? ...and even why people choose that as a place to kill someone. ...
desert spirit wrote:But it also deals with how making things so safe removes the reality of it - dilutes the experience and actually causes people to go further to recapture the danger
That's a fascinating theory and I rather believe it. I think when a species grows up in an environment that harbors dangers, such as the savannas of eastern Africa, then individuals of that species will develop a "danger psychology" ... they will have a mental/psychological capacity to deal with danger. In a sense, they "need" the danger.
Strand wrote:If I had a choice. I'd die of old age with a sharp mind full of wonderful memories from all the time I spent outdoors.
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