Recently, I naively thought I could use a Mercedes SUV to navigate a typical Canadian dirt/snow road, in the bush. Miles from anywhere, out of cell range… blown tire. No problem, spare! Well that ‘spare’, to save centimeters of trunk space, was NOT a true tire….one of those low velocity types not made for much use, to ‘just’ get you somewhere safe! This is why Survival Thinking is always relevant.
A Mercedes is fine in Vancouver city limits… Maybe something to do with its popularity as THE most attractive ‘foreign’ Asian city in world. But for an SUV to utilize this type of spare… absolute madness and inherently dangerous. City bound, no problem, park your car, grab your cell phone, take that cab or even a bike if it’s not raining or snowing!.. but on the road to Whistler (or elsewhere) depending on surface conditions? Where is that garage, how far to tow, how long to wait… flashlight… flares! In Alaska it’s common practice to always travel with safety supplies.
Personally I drive a 15 year Ford Explorer and am reluctant to part with it… why? When you drop that spare… it’s a real tire! It will get you out of trouble! That is Survival Thinking!
But a new Ford SUV… same problem as Mercedes! For this reason, wherever you are, if your vehicle has one of these ridiculous spares… make sure you use Survival Thinking! You do not have to be ‘off road’ by many miles in the Arizona desert, to become desperate. Survival reality shows take on relevance. My daughter’s favourite is a Jeep Wrangler when tackling those conditions! It comes down to several elemental concepts: temperature…make sure you have right clothes… if it is freezing, pack some serious winter clothing and the right foot wear. Rain gear if necessary… matches, fire starter, even kindling to get a fire going! Our bodies cannot survive lack of water… carry bottles! Particularly in the desert! Shade with a tarp as a car can get very hot! Dried Foods to maintain energy… try to leave an itinerary of where you are going with friends… hotel… similar to flight plans that may be cancelled! Car charger for mobiles… Fuel… try to keep the tank as full as possible before heading off road… even staying on the beaten path depending on conditions… example when road closed for hours like the Coquihalla highway recently experienced. Distractions for children… in sun… sun protection. We must think more intuitively! Survival Thinking!