Years ago, I went on my first backpacking trip. I’d done some training hikes, but I live on pretty flat terrain, and the trip was a bit more rugged. By the time I dragged myself back to my campground well after dark, I was exhausted. I’d been exhausted for hours by that point, all because I’d overestimated my ability.
With outdoor activities, it happens. When I was faced with exhaustion, I simply sat down and rested a bit until I felt like I could go on a bit more.
As Heat Street reports, not everyone seems to think personal responsibility is paramount:
A female mountain climber in Sweden called out air ambulance and rescue personnel because she felt tired and wanted a ride back down from a mountain she had scaled.
After the ambulance arrived to rescue the woman, paramedics discovered that she was just tired.
Unsurprisingly, the rescue service doesn’t consider “tired” as a medical emergency. The woman and her husband were advised to either carry their happy butts back down the mountain, or to pay for a ride in the helicopter.
The couple forked out 30,000 kronor (over $3,600) for the ride.
I just can’t get over how sad this is. While taking a seat for a bit might not have been the best-sounding idea — they were above the Arctic Circle, after all — it sounds like the woman had no business being on the mountain. However, there’s no evidence that she couldn’t handle the mountain, either. She already had made it to the top. She didn’t fall and injure herself. She didn’t pass out from exhaustion. An old injury didn’t give way and leave her stranded. Nope — she was tired.
Fatigue is part of these physical challenges. It’s virtually impossible to go up a mountain and back down without experiencing fatigue. Rescue services are for people who can’t get off the mountain on their own, not for people who are winded or whose muscles ache.
Western civilization has accomplished great things. What it’s doing now, however, isn’t great. It’s creating people who expect someone else to solve their problems. They want a rescue when they’re tired, or they want to be protected from bad ideas. They don’t like the idea of difficulty, and want someone to make it go away.