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An Once Of Cure. . .After Years Of Prevention

April 25, 2017

Car seats, seat belts, smoke alarms and first aid kits

Stuff we hope we never have to use but we keep anyway.

The people I go hiking and camping with are all experienced backpackers and outdoorsmen. Each of us approaches a night out in Utah’s backcountry, especially when given charge of a group of boy scouts, as an important charge. We try to make sure the boys have a chance to grow and explore, but stay safe.

Last weekend we were in central Utah up Maple Canyon.

Our campsite was at about 7,000 feet in elevation and it was a brilliantly clear night. As the sun slipped behind the mountain peaks to the West, the temperature, which had been a comfortable 75 degrees started to fall quickly. Scrub oak gave us a warm fire that would last well into the night.

Two of our boys opted to use hammocks, strung between trees near our well established fire pit, instead of tents.

If you get too cold in the night, build up the fire, or come and find one of us.

The temperatures were going to drop into the teens. The night sky was amazing, but the cold eventually drove all of us to our sleeping bags and tents.

The following morning, a water bottle that one of the hammock-using boys had dropped was frozen solid. But, the boys themselves were none the worse for wear.

We spent Saturday morning exploring the numerous canyons that make up the greater Maple Canyon area.


As we started down from “The Arch,” one of the leaders lost his footing and slipped and slid down the rock trail about 50 feet before he managed to stop. The only injury were some gashes on his hand. He triaged them on the trail and did a proper job once he got back to the vehicles.

You know, I’ve carried that first aid kit for years. . .this is the first time I’ve ever used it and it was to treat myself instead of one of the boys.

Just one more day in Utah’s back country.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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