Always bring a second compass


A number of years ago I was out night orienteering during an adventure race.  Yes, you can imagine what that is like.  Dark, no GPS, only a topographical map, no real sense of the features in front of you or around you and with a race effect hanging over you the need for speed ever present.  Oh, yea, basically, the only way that you can really get to your destination is with the assistance of a compass.  Thank god for the magnetic forces of the earth.  At least we knew where north was.  My partner, who was quite good at reading the relief lines on the map was doing his best with flashlight in hand to point us in the right direction.  And for a while we were doing well.  We were even able to pick up our pace, jogging along, confident that we were heading on the right path to the next waypoint.  The canopy of trees made it progressively darker and before we knew the path disappeared into the night and moments later I tripped on a root, knocked my buddy over and before we could react our compass went flying into the night darkness to hide amongst the trees. A very long story could be told from this point but the key and core issue as it relates to THPL (which I was not really living at the time) was that the single point of failure in this system, the compass, was exposed.  No compass – no navigating.  That simple.  Could we have had a second compass on us – yes!  Could we have attached it to our clothing – yes!  Should we have thought about this before we went out – yes?  But the simple answer to all of this and to the journey along THPL is -  do you know what the single point of failure is to achieving your objective?  Is there one?  How do you avoid such a situation?  It might be worthy of a revisit to our mantra – Dream it, Plan it, Practice it, Do it.  Yes – a better job of planning and practicing would have done the trick.  Lesson learned,

Loving life with a second compass in hand

Ciao

joe