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Thread: exogenous vs. endogenous risk

  1. #1

    Default exogenous vs. endogenous risk

    I am just curious about how many people understand the difference between the two types of risk and plan for the latter and are conditioned to respond to the first. Do you get mad, stay calm or entertain a survival archetype. I can explain those later and they are really important for picking hunting partners.

    Exogenous risk are outside factors that are unforeseen. The grizzly blindside charging you on the trail because it is defending its kill and you don't know the kill is there. Exogenous risk might also be a freak blizzard that keeps you frozen in country in July-August. It could be a tool or hardware failure. We generally train to deal with Exogenous risk in being able to figure out ways that we will survive at all costs. We try to develop ways to toughen ourselves and learn how follow the Ed Viersturs motto of success is in getting to the top is optional but coming back is mandatory. This is keeping cool under pressure. This one is generally how you are raised and not dependent on doing lots of reading and ruminating.

    Endogenous risk is stuff that we can plan for. It is the general risk in the system. We all know that stuff can get hairy but its figuring out what we can and can not do. Maybe it rains or we get sick while we are hunting. It is not unreasonable to expect it not to snow at 5K ft elevation in September. It is also important to figure out that you can get blisters and suffer but its not bad. This is stuff that you can map out ahead of time and minimize.

    The thing is that we can all figure out the second Endogenous risk and plan for those things. We can also figure out the exogenous risks that can happen and figure out what the old school best way of dealing with Alaska when she is more pissed than the wife when you buy another gun.

    I am just wondering if other people do this.

    Sincerely,
    Thomas

  2. #2
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for expanding my vocabulary a bit, but yes, I plan for contingencies when readying for a hunt.

    I used more pedestrian terms though...

    I call it the "What If's" session.
    It might be a mental exercise or by making a list.
    In either case I explore two categories of What If's. First is The Reasonably Possible (or probable); second is the Highly Unlikely (but tragic)

    From there I rate the failure based on it's potential impact, and then examine the remedy or counter-measure and perform a simple cost-vs-benefit examination.

    If I determine that a certain capability is a must-have then I look at the lowest impact/highest function alternative.

    For example: Backpack sheep/goat hunt.
    I prioritize the ability to cut wood, either to hack my way through the alders, or for a fire in the event I have to retreat to the timberline. My considerations behind this priority are: I assume there's a 99.9% chance I will buck an alder band at some point and shucking the pack and cutting a path is actually less work in some cases. I also assume the weather might exceed my equipment and I may need to build a sizeable fire and/or impromptu shelter in a hurry.

    To meet this self-imposed requirement I need know-how and tools. I've had extensive survival training & practice so I've got the fire/shelter craft covered.
    For tools I have several choices:
    1) Chainsaw: Pros-What Alders?? Cons-impracticably heavy, bulky and smelly, plus I have to carry gas and oil.
    2) Axe: Pros-Serious cutting tool, portable. Cons-still too heavy for a B/P trip
    3) Hatchet: Pros-lightweight. Cons-hatchets are for splitting kindling and not much good for alders
    4) Bow saw: Pros-lightweight and zips through alder sized wood. Cons-Where're you going to put it and if you loose the cover...that blade will wreck your gear and pack.
    5) T-handle saw: Pros-Lightweight, compact, 1 handed use, doubles as a butchering saw. Cons-short cutting stroke, not a easy as the bowsaw
    6) Wire saw: Pros-super lightweight, easy to use. Cons-durability, limited to small diameter wood, needs two hands, can't be used to butcher.

    Given all this, I choose the T-handle saw. For it's weight and bulk and functionality it's the most economical choice for me in this scenario. If I was planning a boat supported moose hunt I'd bring the chainsaw, and the bowsaw, and the axe, plus the tools to keep them all sharp.

    Granted this is just one example but it illustrates my process.
    I select everything from my underwear and socks to my food using this method.

  3. #3
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    I carry a "Travle bag" and within is my kit that I use in emergencys,(Fire, food,metal cup, first aid, light sticks, poncho shelter/blanket, space blankets,flares, fish line and lures.) and never leaves the bag, and the large pocket is for what I expect today that can have lunch, extry gloves , spare ammo, or whatever is relevent..
    It depends on the seasons and the mode of transpo, and I am forever going over it and refreshing it.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    I was afraid this might be a physics problem when I read the title! Conjures up trauma from exothermic and endothermic reactions!

    Brett

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    Member H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y's Avatar
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    Talking ORM

    Ive been properly trained by the Air Force in the fine art of Operational Risk Managment. LOL!!!!!!!! sorry i couldnt help my self. Hillbilly
    Last edited by H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y; 06-26-2009 at 23:52. Reason: Because Im a hillbilly and cant spell!

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    lol, good one hillbilly. I dont see any situation out there that can't be wooped by taking your 101 critical days of summer briefing and registering with PACAF cares. lol, no wonder the other branches make fun of us....
    "A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine." Marley and Me

  7. #7
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default cool under fire

    I like your consideration for partner selection. I've been hunting with the same guy for a few years now. I'm skilled at the under-fire situational awarness thing. I do emergency medicine and have some practice. I'm all about keeping cool for sound judgement. Sometimes! I always get confused when there are three quality animals standing in front of me and I have to quickly pick one.

    My partner is an engineer. He's really good at planing ahead and making sure the logistics are sound and we have the right equipment.

    While we both have talents they tend to come together in the field and we get-er-done together.

    I think he'd be grinning just a little after unloading into a charging bear too.

    Unfortunatly sometimes we have to take someone out and stress em really hard before the real person emerges. You can be slow, quirky, dry, whatever.......Just don't give up and keep a positive attitude.

  8. #8
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Thomas,

    Good post. I think we can (and should) plan for both types of risk.

    Erik, I like the process you go through before a hunt!

    Hunt planning and assessing risk (and reacting to unforseen situations) varies depending on the experience one has. Many younger hunters attempt to learn what they don't know via books, internet, mentors, but still, experience trumps that kind of knowledge every time.

    My wife and I, and our infant daughter, were canoeing down the river many years ago, and floating with us was a single bushrat trapper in his own canoe. There was one particular gnarly riffle that ran straight into a cutbank laden with sweepers, and little room to maneuver out of it to avoid the sweepers. In the pool above before the riffle the trapper said that maybe we should walk the canoe down to be on the safe side. I said that, yeah, this was indeed a gnarly riffle, and the key was to build up speed and hit it from the far right in the deeper part of the channel and work your way left before the sweepers. So Lori and I paddled hard and I did one last backpaddle on the left that just turned the stern enough to graze the tip of the last sweeper. We made it.

    We turned around to watch our friend come down. It was obvious from the moment he entered the riffle he wasn't going to avoid the sweepers. While he had assessed the risk for us, he hadn't really adequately assessed it for himself and his abilities. Instead of letting the canoe get sideways to the sweepers he tried to point it straight in and get underneath them, and while he was trying to lower himself down into the canoe a sweeper just grabbed ahold of him and the canoe kept going and he was in the river.

    Oh, look at those guys...two people with a baby in a loaded canoe, me all by myself in a mostly empty canoe...they better be more careful than me. I've seen such a mindset get plenty of hunters into all kinds of bad situations because it wrongly assesses risk and how they should act. Think about yourself and your abilities and don't use others to influence your assessment of risk.

    That happens often in mountain climbing. "John scaled it. John is not as good a climber as me. Therefore I can do it."

    I find the people who are most careful and who prudently plan for a wide array of possibilities are those who've lived through some bad screw-ups <grin>. It's sad but we really do learn best from past mistakes we make instead of the mistakes others make.

    Oh, inre that riffle I mentioned in the little story...that trapper after that typically walked his canoe down that one!

  9. #9
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Speaking of risks...



    mark? hows the busted up ankle doing?
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  10. #10
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Hard to say, Vince. May end up having to go to town to have it looked at if it doesn't heal right. Only good thing about that is you can buy me lunch <grin>!
    (PS edit: talk about learning from my own screwup...sheesh)

  11. #11
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default knarly mountains

    I've experienced some mountain situations before.

    Two come to mind.........

    First, while I was recovering a Mt. Goat I started an accent I shouldn't have. After a Spiderman moment I was able to smear my way to safety with an entire goat in my pack. I was very, very scared in that moment. That situation sticks with me and since I've been very critical of the terrain I'm on. I was very fatiqued and my judgement was not sound at the moment. There have been other situations too where the rigors of mt. climbing have impaired my judgement. That is my personal weakness I have to contend with and only through experience was I able to find that. When I'm tired each important decision needs extra time and consideration. So I slow down to reduce risk.

    Next, in regards to hunting partners and risk. My regular expedition hunting partner knows I am agile in technical rock. This past fall we dumped a Mt. Goat that landed in a typical sticky situation. I was able to access the route and let my partner know it was beyond his skill set. Not to say he is unskilled. He did attempt it and declined. He gracefully sat back and kept the bears at bay. I waded into an unsavory situation and recovered a beautiful 8yr old billy. We split the load on safe ground and carried on. It took me three hours to get that goat out of the hole. My point is......sometimes you need to unconditionally trust your companion in the mountains and consider individual talents as a valuable resource. Thats important on many trips in AK to reduce risk.

    Pilots
    River runners
    Snowmobilers
    Truckers
    Mountaineers
    Sea Captains
    Search and Rescue
    Troopers

    All of these folks have talents that contribute to any expedition I might be fortunate enough to participate in. I weigh these talents when planing a hunt and thinking of
    Exogenous risk.
    Last edited by Bighorse; 06-27-2009 at 15:28. Reason: spelling

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