One of the few times in my life that I felt death was probable was a night I spent camping with some similarly afflicted friends in the North Woods of Minnesota. We were going on a deer hunt and were sleeping in an outfitters style tent that had a small wood stove inside to help us keep warm. It was the first time they had used this tent and wood stove.
At bedtime we put as much wood as we could into the stove, set the damper to give us maximum use of the wood and all went to sleep. I later found out that the wood would last about two hours. About two hours and fifteen minutes later, I woke colder than I’ve ever been in my life. I lie in my sleeping bag not really able to move, wondering if someone else would wake up and replenish the fire before I froze to death. Fortunately they did. When I could move again I did and inch worm style maneuver without getting out of my sleeping bag and positioned myself in a way that I could put wood in the fire without getting out of my sleeping bag. There I would spend the rest of the nights of our trip sleeping in two hour shifts interrupted by fire feeding duty.
Yet in spite of this perceived near death experience as I survey the memories of this excursion out of the comfort of civilization the regret you might expect is nonexistent. In the place where it might be is the knowledge that I was there and survived and lived to tell the tale. I interacted with the forces of nature on their turf and emerged to tell the tale. I’ve never once asked myself what were you thinking, but the memory of this trip always brings a smile to my heart.