Now that everyone thinks real life is easy because they’ve guided their avatar through some trash video game and seen an endless stream of action movies, the rescue services are increasingly burdened with saving people who’ve put themselves into lethal situations because they lacked the ability to understand the fundamental difference between fantasy and reality. As the Dunning-Kruger effect states explicitly: the less we know about something, the more we over-estimate our abilities to do it.

I once worked with a guy who was sedentary and obese. His “go-to” plan in the event of a major emergency was to hike 17 miles across country to reach his emergency stash. I learned a few years later he’d died of a massive coronary after walking less than 400 yards after his automobile ran out of petrol.

The British Army has a saying: prior preparation and planning prevents piss-poor performance.

It’s a saying many would do well to take to heart before they end up costing someone else their life during a totally avoidable rescue mission.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.