Like all young naïve adults I sometimes think I am invincible. I am currently 26 years old and trying to figure out how I haven’t died doing all of the REALLY dangerous things I used to do. I have been blessed enough to receive all of my past reality checks in a way that didn’t end with me being paralyzed or dead. Last week I had a similar reality check:
I work as a Paramedic. My partner and I responded to a call for a ~20 year old girl who was crushed by a horse. She was located in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere. When we arrived we found that she had been laying there for two hours unable to move because the pain was so debilitating (the neck of her femur snapped and her pelvis was fractured). Both of her parents were out of town and her cellphone was crushed. If it were not for a distant neighbor who heard her pleas for help this girl would have likely had a far different outcome.
As we listened to her gut wrenching screams (even after Morphine and Ketamine were given) I could not help but day dream about the same thing happening to me while I am on a solo tree camping trip. Imagine how impossible it would be to explain to your potential rescuers where you are located: “Drive a half mile down the dirt road, hike across the field to a weird shaped bush, head east until you hit a deer trail, follow the trail for a half hour, hike down into the gully on your right, hop over three downed trees, turn left after a big white oak, then hike about a half mile and start looking into the tree canopy for a man swing from a rope with two broken arms.” You do not want to be in that scenario!
In other words, don’t be stupid. Always climb with a partner! I can not stress this enough. Unfortunately, most recreational tree climbers that I know always climb solo, myself included, but this needs to change. Climbing with a friend means you will receive immediate care and you will have much better chances of being found quickly (and alive!). Plus climbing with friends is WAY more fun!