My survival day was fun but I also learned a lot from it. Here are some of the sparkly pearls of wisdom I garnered from the experience:
- Making water filters out of tampons, plastic bottles and sticks takes time. Avoid the whole thing and buy some coffee filters so you can strain the water when you collect it.
- If you do build a water filter, don't walk away while it's filtering water. Discovering that the bottle has fallen over and you have lost a liter of precious water is a real bummer.
- Carry string. It is way easier to use than jungle vines.
- If you have no string, reusable cable ties are awesome!
- In a survival situation coffee is great. Nuff said.
- Triple bagging items in ziplock bags to waterproof them is overkill. It is a pain of get stuff out when it is dark.
- Your partner gets upset when they find out you have secured your tarp shelter to the Hills Hoist.
- Those hand cranked radios seem like a great idea. No batteries to worry about and some radios include a torch or will recharge your phone. But it is a real hassle when you have to crank the radio half way through your favorite ABBA song.
- Wood fires are classic but a pain to light and you smell like a nightclub for days. If bugging out use a camping stove.
- Thermal underwear can save your life. Or at least stop you from packing up in the middle of the night when it is freezing and banging on the door to be let back into the house.
- Warm socks are important when it is cold. Very hard to sleep comfortably with cold tootsies.
- The same goes with your head. Wearing my beanie to bed really helped.
- Using a headlamp at night is great as it leaves both your hands free. However if you have one designed for cyclists make sure you cycle through the blinking red light mode. When you have a wood fire going you don't pick up that your headlamp has been blinking red for the last two hours. No wonder the planes flying overhead where altering course.
- Using the tap to wash your cooking pot is cheating.
- The neighbour's water fountain is very loud at night. It makes listening for prowling zombies difficult.
- Packing a backpack well requires a pHD in quantum mechanics.
- Using a very lightweight sleeping bag to save space in you Bag Out Bag backfires when it is two degrees overnight.
- How the hell do you use a Dakota fire pit? Which hole do you put the wood in to feed the fire?
- The thickness of plastic bags is measured in "mil". A mil is equal to 0.001 of an inch and has nothing to do with millimeters. Know this! You could win a trivia night.
- People look at you funny when you are running around the yard with a garbage bag over your head.
Bite off more than you can chew.