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Alive Anonymous "A place for help on the season breaks."

An exploration of the meaning of survival. Blog 42? I think part one

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I opted this year to take my vacation an go see my friend USMCZombiekiller aka my friend Chris. He came up with an interesting idea. We along with anyone else that wanted to join us take an trip to the woods and ... survive.

This sounds simple right? The planning stages of the trip were extensive and took us three months. We invited multiple people but in the end is was him and I and his dog, Titus.

The day started out with a clear plan. Leave at the ass crack of dawn. Drive to the location. Hike with heavy packs and make our way in the dark in to the depths of a frozen Illinois woods. Has anyone watched the news about the snow fall this year in Illinois? You see where I'm going with this.

So we set out from the truck in the dark moving into the woods only having single head lamps to guide our way. Did I mention I'm not the best at night? I fell the first time as we entered the woods my backpack being off balance caused me to fall sideways in knee deep snow. This is where I also discovered my god damned nemesis...... STICKER BUSH! Chris being a very good teacher with more patience then I have allowed me to figure out how to get up by myself. He waited a ways off until I gained my footing.

We walked what seemed like hours. Chris tells me as I type this it was only fifteen to twenty minutes tops from the road to the camp site. I'm suspicious he's only saying this to spare my ego from taking so long to walk what was less then half a mile.
We went up hill. We went down hill. I fell and the sticker bushes took the opportunity to assault me violently. My knit hat was taken as a trophy in the predawn by the god damn sticker bushes and they nearly got my mittens. I fell two more times. The last time I fell so badly I was pinned by my backpack like an upside down turtle. Chris was gallant and came to my rescue helping get the pack off so I could get to my feet then came the disaster of trying to get a forty pound backpack back on. Chris had demonstrated multiple times how to put on a backpack from a front position. He flips it backwards over his head rests it on his shoulders and fastens the straps before sliding it into the correct position on his back.
I've learned that watching is not the same as doing. What Chris can do with a backpack twice the weight of mine looks easy but its not. He had to assist me at this point to get the backpack on me. I need to practice that maneuver and lift weights.... a lot of weights.

Once I was on my feet again and my cumbersome pack again securely on my back again, we stepped off again. Once again, for what felt like hours. We reached the camp site. The camp site that Chris selected was at the base of a finger, in a sticker bush and dead fall grove. This gave us a good position to build our shelters, facing each other. It also gave us good concealment from any possible unaware passerby. As a side note, our position would have been harder to locate, if I had chosen a tarp that was a natural color rather than blue. I like blue though and blue is pretty. I type this and grin. He rolled his eyes again at me.

Now that we were at our camp site, we dropped packs and began the long process of clearing brush and snow. FYI, this snow had large chunks of ice in it making it difficult for me to clear my space. Chris on the other hand, had no problem clearing his site. Once again, Chris made this look easier than it actually was. Chris had cleared his site and the fire pit site before I had even cleared four feet of snow.

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Shelters need a few things to be considered suitable. All those factors were not present in my shelter. Chris allowed me to build mine in any fashion I chose. Giving me only enough advice to allow me to be creative. From the photos, you can see who obviously put a little more thought in the construction of their shelter.

Before I knew it, it was pushing 10am in the morning and Chris took off to find some evergreen trees.
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end part one
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Updated Mar 20th, 2014 at 10:23 AM by yarri

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