How to Tell the Tourist from the Druid
in the Forest

Generously contributed by
OMS/RDG Druid Dave Cowper

The Druid:

When the Druid first enters the forest she stops for a few reverent moments to let her spirit’s energy expand into the forest. (What will the spirits in the forest reveal to her today)?

Several gentle deep even breaths from the belly (to quiet her mind).

A long loving look around to greet her many forest friends (to fill her soul).

Consciously she focuses on her hearing (to soften her step).

She believes that to truly see Mother Nature you need to make less noise than she does.

Loves and respects all things in the forest (even the tourists).

Has used the gear in her day pack to help others more times than needed it for herself.

Doesn’t mind carrying the dehydrated emergency food, whistle, cell phone, lighter, GPS, LED head lamp, spare batteries, map, compass and multitool as they all weigh less nowadays than just the flashlight she used to carry.

Her Water Bottle has several feet of duct tape wrapped around it for gear repairs and first aid (IN AN EMERGENCY blisters on your heel can be covered in duct tape (4” strip) to lessen further friction and reduce pain).


Figure 1: Look here if overdue.

She’s wearing old well loved hiking boots.

She could draw you a map (free hand) of the area that is more detailed than the map in her pack.

Like the bear she could hear the tourists coming long before she saw them.

Like the deer she could remain still and see the tourist long before they would see her.

Like the cougar she quietly decides whether or not to reveal her presence.

Like the wolf she could track a tourist by the garbage they drop and the damage they do as they move through her forest.

Like the wise old Eagle she knows north by the Sun and the Stars.


Figure 2: Ever get the feeling you were being watched?

The Tourist:

Started the hike fashionably dressed including clean running shoes.

Never truly knows when or where she started the hike and neither does anyone else.

Has hiked above the show line into the ice fog only to ask the druid “where the lookout is for pictures”?

Wears enough scents, shampoos and deodorants to give a skunk a heart attack.

Started their 4 hour hike 4 hours before sunset, but only 3 hours before darkness under the canopy of the forest.

Will use a cell phone as a light to try and walk out of the forest after dark, as they have no signal to have someone come and get them.


Figure 3: Trippy Pokey Scary Night Thingy, or The Western Red Cedar

Just grabbed a handful of poison ivy after a pee. (Karma for the last time she left TP behind in the forest).

Sounds more like a motor home is driving up the trail than just one yappy human.

Thinks that an avalanche warning is something on a menu with ice cream and fudge.

Even if they had brought a first-aid kit wouldn’t know how to use it.

Believes that the Silva Ranger is the love child of two Power Rangers.


Figure 4: The Silva Ranger Compass

Wouldn’t believe that a couple of the extra large orange garden garbage bags could save her life as a:

Rain Jacket and pants (remove shoes put one leg inside a bag wrap around to gather in excess put your shoes back on tie the top of each bag to your belt).

Sleeping bag (both legs in one and head hole in the another.)

Shelter (wind break, water proof liner for lean to, ground sheet).

First Aid Pressure dressing or splint (think triangular bandage).

Distress signal (orange)...

© 2009 Dave Cowper