Survival tactics

I came to it a couple of weeks late, but I'm caught up with the action on The Discovery Channel's "Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment." In it, nine people are given a basic course in survival, then dropped into Alaska's interior and told to walk out to civilization before winter hits (they carry a piece of a map, and get new pieces at predetermined shelters, one of which was a downed bush aircraft).
They've got 50 pounds each of gear stowed in a Yukon pack (sort of a tarp with duct-taped straps), plus they could pick anything from a pile of junk (they took everything and split it up).
They also carried SPOT GPS units, just in case something goes horribly wrong.
Or, they could push it if they want to go home.
There are five people left to continue the experiment (the show airs on Tuesdays).
Where was I when they were looking for participants?
The idea takes my back to 2002, when PBS aired a show called "Frontier House." Three families were selected to go to Montana, where they were given everything a homesteader would have in 1883 to try and get ready for winter. They had to build shelters, farm, cut and split firewood and harvest hay for the winter. Experts then came in to score each family, based on whether they would have survived the winter.
(In reality, 2 million people signed up to get a 160-acre homestead; only 738,000 got the deeds to the land.)
I so wanted to do this.
I so want to test myself against nature.
(And "Survivor" doesn't count; screwing over your fellow man for an immunity idol doesn't say anything about your skills as someone how can really hack it in the bush.)
Maybe someday.

2 comments:

Hal Johnson said...

I remember the feeling I'd have after returning home after a week long backpacking trip. For a time, so much about modern life would seem dang near miraculous. Hot showers, refrigerators, cars, supermarkets. And especially milkshakes.

I can only imagine would it would feel like to return from an experience like "The Alaska Experiment."

Daily Panic said...

I watched Frontier House.TV does make surviving with nothing look very appealing. Me, I wouldn't mind living in a robinson cruso tree house, and I think all of us could survive if we were in the right frame of mind.
I'm surprised more people are not choosing to live off the grid during these economic times. I grew up in poverty and it is not something I want to go back to, I would if there was no other choice, but I do like hot running water... that would be hard to give up.