Picture this: you have hiked deep into the backcountry of the Canadian Rockies. To pass time in the evenings, you brought along a copy of Reader’s Digest, Large Print Edition (since your eyesight isn’t so good). After carefully setting up your tent, eagerly anticipating another edition of "Drama in Real Life," a bear saunters through your campsite and eats your bacon-flavored mittens. Your hickory-smoked down coat. Your smores-tinged fuzzy hat. Your Axe body spray-lined sleeping bag. Hell, even your camp stove. Yeah, that was one hungry bear with taste bud issues.
Then that night an unexpected snowstorm drops a foot of snow and temperatures plummet. When you wander outside to pee (urgently, I may add), you slip in the new snow and slide into a creek, drenching all of your clothes. Now you have serious issues and death could be looming without warmth. So you try to make a fire, but all that you can find is very wet wood that just won't light. Your only hope to start one is with kindling from your magazine. Fortunately you have just enough material to burn, since the Large Print version is oversized. The standard version would not have provided enough fuel and you would have been worm food. Hypothermia is avoided, your life is saved, all because of your MS.
Originally published April 12, 2007. Expanded for grins.