Friday, August 19, 2011

Survival school journal: Monday morning

We hiked for a couple hours on Sunday and then slept on the ground in a meadow, surrounded by sage brush. This was the "Impact" portion of the course, which involves fasting and traveling lightly with minimal gear.

From my journal:
We learned how to navigate by the stars, purify water, and sleep without tent or sleeping bag. It was cold last night. Huddling for warmth was actually very satisfying.

I figured out that in my regular life, I am very dehydrated continually.

Not eating saves a lot of time. We didn't have to build a fire, cook, eat, wash dishes. We just stopped hiking and promptly slept, and this morning we woke up and can promptly set off again.

Having the right gear is great. I used to just "make do" with substitutions, but using proper gear is so much better.

If I could eat anything, I would pick the meal we had yesterday at lunch: sandwiches with hummus, turkey, cheese, mayo, and greens. My body revolts at the thought of these buttery dishes I eat at restaurants. I keep thinking of that scene from "Lost in Translation" when Bill Murray phones home to his wife and says he wants to eat more fish & veggies, and less steak.

Lunch on the prior day, before setting off

Our chief guide Steve is very still when he is not speaking. When introduced by the Field Director, he didn't make eye contact with us. But it turns out he's really good at teaching.

Steve in the survival-school store, before the course started

Day 0 was easier than I anticipated. I thought I'd be slogging, struggling against fatigue & grumpiness. I feared lagging far behind the others. Instead I could've kept hiking last night when we stopped. And I slept straight through from around midnight to dawn. Most others got only a couple hours of sleep, so I'm keeping my sleep good-fortune to myself. :)

Simple cleaning rituals are very enjoyable. Brushing my teeth with baking soda was a real joy. So is peeing.

It is a couple hours after sunrise and already hot.

We learned knife skills. I am thinking sometimes about work, when we are walking on the trail. Having a different physical environment is good for seeing different solutions to the same challenges.


Spam Diaries said...

OK, you just made it to the top of my list of people I want with me during a zombie uprising.

Anonymous said...

However did you come up with the idea of wanting to go to survival school in the first place?

This sounds painful. This sounds awesome.

Niniane said...

I got the idea to do it because two of my Google friends did it and loved it. One of them (Jessica) quit Google to become an instructor for the survival school.

It was awesome. It wasn't very painful.