Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Definitions: Bearing

(1) Bearing is the way you hold your body.

If you're a traditional (classic, or heavyweight) backpacker, your bearing will resemble a question mark. This will be due to years of trudging around underneath a great weight which will permanently deform your body.

If you are a lightweight or ultralight backpacker, however, your bearing will resemble a question mark. This will be due to years of bending over to hector absolutely everyone you meet about why you are so much smarter than they are, while they stupidly (as you see it) sit on the ground, munch snacks, rest, and enjoy the scenery.

True, you will eventually be just another old, weird, angry bent guy, but you'll be able to feel smug about it.

(2) Bearing is a compass heading, or if you are walking where the compass has told you to go, your direction of travel.

The great thing about carrying a compass is that if you end up walking off a cliff you can always blame the compass and not your own stupidity.

The most experienced outdoor enthusiasts always carry a compass for this reason, and absolutely always back it up with a map. In the off chance that the compass is right, they may get lucky and have a misprinted map to blame.

Redundancy pays.

In a pinch, without either compass or map to blame, you can point to your companions. So the moral of this story is: never hike alone.

You heard it here.

Source: How to talk in the woods.

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