The following story was related to me in Portland, Oregon at the conclusion of a seminar I was giving at the Oregon Sportsmen’s Show. The individual involved preferred to remain anonymous so I have used the name “Bob Jones.”
Twenty eight year old Bob Jones was hunting elk in Oregon. Several feet of snow covered the ground and it was snowing lightly. While walking along Bob tripped over an unseen log and fell headlong into the snow. No injuries resulted. Bob got up, brushed off the snow adhering to his clothing, cleaned the snow from his rifle barrel and scope then continued hunting.
Several hours later heavy snow began to fall and Bob decided to return to his truck. Reaching into his pocket for his GPS receiver he was horrified to find it gone. Bob was depending on his GPS receiver to get him back to his vehicle. Other than the clothing he was wearing he had no additional clothing. Since he was confident in his ability to return to his truck he carried no survival equipment. With heavy snow falling Bob began to walk hoping that the direction he had chosen would bring him back to his truck. With every step he took his confidence ebbed away and he soon found himself running blindly through the forest in total panic.
In total panic he raced along when suddenly a thought penetrated the panic that prompted him to ask “What would Peter do?” Reflecting back on a seminar I had given several years previously that he had attended he remember my advice to people in this circumstance “Sit down. Get off your feet. You can’t walk if you’re sitting on your butt!” Bob found a log and sat down. Thinking back on the program he asked “OK. What would he do now?” “Have a drink of water. Eat something.” Bob drank some water and ate a candy bar. As I had taught in that seminar and subsequently in many others, Bob sat there for thirty minutes allowing the adrenaline that had flooded through his system to subside and for his head to clear. Thirty minutes later he drew a map in the snow at his feet and realized that he was running away from his truck – not towards it. Picking a new heading he started towards the road and an hour later arrived at the road and shortly after that found his truck.
In Bob’s words “Had I not remembered what you taught me “Sit down, have a drink, stay there for thirty minutes I would not be alive today to tell you this story.”