Originally published on 07SEP2011 for Examiner.com

K&B, LLC co-owner and instructor Don Alley is a martial arts, personal protection, and emergency preparedness writer. Many of his articles originally appeared in Examiner.com. As these articles are able to be retrieved from old web caches, they will be posted here.

Michigan has a rich and vibrant outdoor heritage. From sand dunes, beaches and watersports to downhill skiing, snowmobiling, and ice skating, our options for recreation are plentiful. One such activity can be enjoyed year round, and bring a host of ancillary skills useful to a Michigan family and every day life. That activity is camping, hiking, and backpacking.

This article is not about backpacking, though, it is about family preparedness. Preparedness is about having the tools, training, and experience to succeed in a difficult situation. Similarly, backpacking is about gear, skills, and knowledge to apply them all for a successful recreational outing. What is exciting is that by becoming a proficient backpacker, a person gains many of the necessary skills for “survival”, which is a part of emergency preparedness.

In upcoming articles we’ll look at some of the staple backpacking gear and discuss how this gear can serve double duty as family emergency preparedness items. Then, we’ll look at some of the various skill sets, such as exercise and fitness, orientation, fires tarting, etc, and discuss how these pertain to family emergency preparedness. Lastly, we’ll look at how fitness, an active lifestyle, and decision making can lead to the proper mindset necessary in an emergency situation.