This past weekend the boys and I set out on an adventure… I’d like to tell you a bit about this adventure. However, be aware, this tale is not for the faint of heart.
It started out as any sunny and mild Sunday. A walk in the woods, a dad and his sons. No map, no backpack for of supplies, no survival kit. Just three dudes and the sun to help us navigate. (PS I don’t know how to use the sun to navigate. I can barely use the navigation system in my car to navigate).
However, it didn’t take long for things to go awry in the (labeled and trail-blazed) back woods of our town’s land trust –- known for both rock slides, quick sand, extreme temperatures and (multiple clear paths out to a main road).
With limited food and water, and no safety or camera crew, Les Stroud style (Survivorman: the single greatest show in the history of TV) we wondered down the slick, wet mountainside (more slight hills than mountainsides) in hopes of finding not only a way out, but someone who could lead us to the way out. The thing is, even with the proper gear, food and water… survival in the these uninhabited and rarely traveled (mapped out, totally accessible and used by hundreds of people a day) is nearly impossible.
Just like Survivorman, after nearly an hour of traveling with out the essentials… Nintendo Switch, an iPad, an iPad charger, pudding snack packs, Ellio’s Pizza or a microwave to heat said pizza in, we were left scavenging what he we could from the barren landscape.
We were lost… even though I denied that to the multiple people we ran into, even when both boys begged them to help us get out. We were exhausted and I was trying to draw on my years of survival experience (years of watching Survivorman reruns) and we kept moving forward to try survive and endure being lost 1/2 mile from our house.
Like Stroud, who’s survival show, easily the best Survival show ever, we needed to keep our wits about us and use what the land provided. In Survivorman, it wasn’t just crazy cliff jumps and bear attacks, he’ll often show the mistakes he made… such as lighting his shelter on fire or cutting himself after getting careless from mental fatigue. He never downplayed the mental aspect and how getting stressed or anxious in a situation like this could be fatal.
I won’t lie, we were in a life-or-death situation. The kids were freaking out and in dire need of an episode or two of Paw Patrol. With only my wits… one glove, two winter hats and a few random M&Ms found in Oliver’s sneakers to keep us alive, I drove us forward. I would not let the sound of cars on the adjacent road or the lady walking ahead of us with her dog keep us from getting home to a couple of cold ones (juice boxes).
Eventually, we realized we had walked in a large circle and my lack of navigation skills had led us back to where we began almost three hours earlier. We were finally safe, almost home and close to a warm meal, a cold drink and Netflix.
Along the way we faced challenges that would break most people, but not us. Not this dad and his sons and definitely not with this Survivor(dad) leading the way.