200 Miles by Paddle and How We Survived as Teenagers
Over the years we have traveled hundreds of miles down rivers and across lakes. Along our journeys we have faced numerous perils and while sometimes these perils were unavoidable, other times they were caused by us. Storms and unpredictable currents have made for interesting stories and these events have forced us to learn and think on our feet. There are a handful of things we have learned but the following writing highlights the first and most important: Your team.
The people you choose to form your company of adventurers is by far the most important of things. Having one in the group who is at least moderately experienced can make a difference in the quality and safety of an expedition. However experience alone can not be the only deciding factor when choosing a crew. Certain qualities are valuable when a boat is swept into a dam or a fallen tree sweeps boat up and sinks it. Elements of bravery, courage and perception are crucial when out in the midst of true adventure. Just anyone won't do, you should be able to count on your friends to rush in and pump out a sinking boat or pull you up from the water if need be. Are they able to handle themselves when things don't go quite as planned. Sometimes even small things can become straining on a trip. A sudden rainstorm might soak gear or eyeglasses might break under a huge dam right as warning sirens sound (this happened). How does your group handle the challenges? Can someone lead if a decision needs to be made? If plans change, do they consider it part of the fun or will it hurt morale?
While this article was written with adventures and expeditions in mind, the principle can be applied to life. Surround yourself with people who have your back, and you can trust to get you out of a pinch. Life, like a river adventure, has many twists, turns, and troubles. And true friends are the ones who stick through the easy moments and the tough.