127 Hours is a fantastic and harrowing film about a real-life survival situation, and it touches on the extraordinary lengths that we can find ourselves taking in order to stay alive.  However, it also contains plenty of examples of mistakes that could have been avoided along the way as well.  Many of these mistakes are shown in the scenes that lead up to the point where Aron becomes trapped by the boulder, and they’re worth mentioning here because we can all learn from them.

Don’t Rush

The first thing that I noticed is that Aron was rushed.  He was rushing to gather some gear and supplies before heading out, he was rushed to get on-site, and he was rushed to reach a goal once he hit the trail.  In his hurried exit from the house, I noticed that he was looking for, but forgot to take, his multi-purpose knife.  I also noticed that he took a minimal amount of snacks and fluids with him, particularly when considering where he would be riding and hiking.

Being rushed can arguably be what caused him to crash his bike soon after he started on the trail as well.  While he dusted himself off and kept going, he was undoubtedly fortunate that something worse didn’t happen to him or his bike.

Whether you are taking a spontaneous trip, or heading out on a well-planned adventure, it’s important that you allow yourself time to make sure that you bring enough supplies, test gear and really be prepared.  Rushing also causes us to get sloppy, to lose focus or to take unnecessary risks, and most of us already know this.  However, even the most-experienced and most-responsible among us is at risk of letting our guard down and getting careless.  Don’t rush.

Don’t be Reckless

While there’s nothing wrong with taking risks for the sake of having an adventure, it’s foolish to engage in dangerous activities without having some kind of safety net in place.  Remember when Aron, Kristi and Megan decided to move through the crevasse in order to enjoy a more-thrilling, but lesser-known, journey to that beautiful hidden pool of water?

Remember how dangerous that was?  Remember how isolated and away from the beaten path they were?  What would have happened if one or more of them became trapped or injured?  Would the non-injured party have been able to find help and direct them back to that spot?  Would anyone be able to hear their cries for help if none of them were able to get out?

This is just one example of how being reckless can either cause or contribute to a life-threatening situation that may not have a happy outcome.  Always temper your desire for adventure with some practical things to cover your bases in case things go unexpectedly wrong.

While 127 Hours is a story of survival and the indomitable strength of the human spirit, it is also a cautionary-tale of how to minimize risk and avoid disasters in the first place.  Remember that the majority of survival situations that we encounter are preventable in one way or another, and reducing risk is a cardinal rule to follow.

What other parts of the movie strike a chord with you in terms of your own preparedness efforts or approach to survival?  Take some time to think about what you would have done differently, and feel free to share some of your thoughts and insights.