The Importance Of A Bat Cave

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This morning I awoke to the telling white light shining through my window, indicating the reflection of freshly fallen snow. Hello world. And thank you for another day. How beautiful it is to look out the window to an untouched blanket of white, shining under the brilliance of the sun. Due to the weather, I was called out of work, and have been spending my time drinking strong cuban coffee and reading, stopping only to think and to write. It has been a remarkable winter, and a very educational year for me so far. I remember years ago when I lived in the wilderness for two months and almost forgot how beautiful the snow was. After spending many a night freezing beneath a tent, made with a simple blue tarp and some twine, huddled in a sleeping bag manufactured for summer weather at the mercy of wind and the direction it decided to blow, I wanted nothing to do with snow. I learned many lessons during that time, and it has given me a lot to reflect upon today. I recall one night there was a snow storm, and it was so cold that I truly believed I would lose my toes. I couldn’t even imagine making it until the next morning. After that experience, I learned alternative ways of setting up my tent and staying warm. The best way to stave off the wind and weather is to build a bat cave; a 5 point tent with a small opening at the front, and the back tied to trees very close to the ground. The only downside was the snow would build up by morning, and you would wake to a wet sleeping bag if the snow was heavy enough. I also learned to be the best bow driller in my group. I could bust a fire and blow it into flames in less than a minute. Another lesson I learned was to take a Nalgene bottle, fill it with water and place it near the fire. You could put this at your feet during the night and it would hold off the freezing temperatures for a few hours. My greatest lesson was that even though I spent  that one evening with a blizzard blowing through my tent, threatening to tear it down and making my sleeping bag so wet I thought surely I would get hypothermia, I adapted promptly and survived. I came to love the weather and bask in the glory of the daily snow falls. I have begun to apply this experience to my life, remembering that even though it can get so bad that you can’t fathom making it another day; if you become resourceful and learn to survive even the most bitter and coldest blizzards, you can survive anything. This is what I believe makes true success.

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