Desert birder death

To: L&L Knight <>, Evan Beaver <>,
Subject: Desert birder death
From: Chris Charles <>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 21:07:51 +1100
I dare say Laurie that there was a fair bit of on-the-track learning happening. There is nothing like a near miss or a day spent backtracking to a known point to give you something to think about and learn like no amount of lecturing ever will.
This process made you who you are today.

Evan's climbing has its obvious risks vs consequences that are difficult to ignore, demand full concentration & the cerebral/ physical conquering of the danger is a good part of the allure. The taking on the risk & beating it is a very human pleasure.

However going out of town for a few hours in the 4WD does not have the same immediacy & it is the compounding smaller setbacks that can be just as catastrophic & so much harder to contemplate.

Johns thrill-of-the-chase must be familiar to many of us. The bushcraft is part of why we bird. Bushcraft is partly preparing for any eventuality & partly dealing with the one you didnt prepare for.

What I am trying to say is that sometimes getting all the ducks in row before taking off means that you never get to take off & there lies bored to death.....definitely worth venturing out the door as you say Laurie.

Chris Charles
0412 911 184

33deg 47'30"S

On 10/10/2008, at 6:19 PM, L&L Knight wrote:

I wonder if you are more likely to become unstuck driving a vehicle in the outback than you are doing a real bushwalk.

I never had any qualms about doing week-long bushwalks on my own in SW Tasmania when I was a uni student. I saw no-one during the first 6 days of a walk to Melaleuca via Precipitous Bluff and no- one at all on a traverse of the Wilmot and Frankland Ranges.

There were no GPSs or EPBs in those days, but I had access to maps and guidebooks, the requisite skill, physical ability and bushwalking gear, and I knew what I was doing. The downsides were not having anyone to share the load with [meaning I was carrying up to 30 kg] and not having anyone around when things got tricky.

It's important to know what you can do, what you are doing, what you need to have and where you are going before you venture out the door. That said, it is definitely worth venturing out the door.

Regards, Laurie.

On 10/10/2008, at 2:26 PM, john hammond wrote:

I find myself sitting here contemplating that poor blokes demise and i realise the risks i have taken in my pursuit of birds. Chasing a night heron has taken me into a swamp chest deep in water and sinking in the mud. If those waders of mine had filled up with water or i had become stuck i am sure it would have been game over. I often walk for a couple of hours into bush land with no water back up or even a snake bandage (usually wear shorts). My wife never knows where i am and i do all this because i assume nothing will go wrong and i will be back safe and sound in a couple of hours. On a desert trip it would be just like me to get caught up in the thrill of the chase and leave the water back at camp thinking of nothing but that "grass wren". I guess a tragic event like this wakes some of us up to the fact that even close to a city it doesn't take that long to take yourself to a place where no one can hear you scream.... John


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