Friday, May 14, 2010

Passing the Time

Storms in the wild can take hours or even days. Thus, after cutting open an animal and crawling inside to survive, you will inevitably be faced with the question: "What do I do now?" The tight space and lack of utilities make many modern activities impossible. However, I do have a few suggestions.

Whittling: whittling is one of my very favorite things to do in the wild. I'm currently working on a small wooden Hunter S. Thompson, waving a nine iron, chasing a small wooden Tom Wolfe. Since you have a knife with you, all you need is wood. And if you forget to grab a few sticks before crawling inside the animal, no worries, cut yourself off a rib (just be sure it's not a load-bearing rib, I suggest the third from the bottom.)

Mani/Pedi: it's a common misconception that survivalism and appendage maintenance are mutually exclusive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Any true woodsman knows that an ingrown hair or nail can be the end of an expedition. I never leave home without my mani/pedi set. It fits comfortably into the side pocket of my day pack and nary an adventure passes where I'm not grateful to have my cuticle hoof and almond milk hand cream. I can't think of a more enjoyable way to spend several hours inside a moose than rejuvenating my feet with a combination of coconut oil, lanolin, and vegetable glycerin.

Heroic fantasies: you're alone, it's dark, it's cold, the winds are howling, but you're ALIVE! Revel in that. Let your mind wander. It's not such a stretch to imagine that the man or woman who cuts open a moose and crawls inside to survive a storm in the wild is also the kind of man or woman who could lead a golden army across the solar system, defeating slime creatures and bacteroids to usher in an era of peace and prosperity the likes of which history has never seen.

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