Being ill prepared usually brings about it ill consequence, depending on what is being done — sometimes disastrous, even. There are not too many examples I have seen of people being fined by the police for being poorly prepared for something, however — until I came across an example of exactly this. A gentleman in Victoria made plans to go on a three day hike and only took the most paltry of provisions — potatoes and naan, to be exact.

Well, you might imagine that with such a meager amount of food that things would not go well for the hiker, and indeed they went poorly. Three days after the start of the one hundred and fifty kilometer trek he was nowhere to be found and his friends called the police to report him as missing. It fortunately did not take the police too long to find him and when they caught up with him he had an injured leg. When he was safely back, the man was fined five hundred dollars under a law that forbids putting oneself and others in danger.

This might seem like some kind of a draconian nanny state sort of law — why does the state have the right to dictate to a person that they need to be properly prepared when they go on a hike? Well let us take the example above and think it through. The hiker went on their hike and as a result a rescue team had to be dispatched to save him. Whenever a rescue team is dispatched there is naturally a chance that they can come to damage. Moreover, it takes resources to maintain a rescue team — the police and the relevant rescue teams are not paid gum drops and smiles, after all.

If a person cannot think to make life choices that put themselves in danger, generally we do not stop the person from trying to make them — Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Amanda Bynes all still somehow are continuing to drive somewhat regularly. When the choices that they make necessitate the intervention of the state, however, we must impose stiff penalties — something that I wish were done more often.

2 Comments