Wednesday, January 22, 2014

#Travel // A Pilgrim's Guide to Wilderness Survival

Let this guide serve for those who are carefree and find themselves exploring those hidden corners of the Canadian wilderness...found five minutes off the highway. This is the real practical knowledge you won't find on those dramatic wilderness survival shows. Starting with utilizing your resources, fending yourself from wildlife, not having proper gear and how to ensure you get out alive.

Lesson One // Utilize your Resources

You will have beer. You will need to open that beer. You will venture off the highway to enjoy the view at 9AM and, still waking up, forget to grab a bottle opener. Never fear, for the wilderness has resources aplenty to make sure not a drop is spared from your breakfast beer. In this example, our homeboy Torsten used the rocky surface of this steep slope.

[ Having a German boyfriend, I never have to worry about not having a bottle opener. He could pop the top off a bear bottle if he was locked up in a padded cell full of marshmallows. This particular morning he was mostly just stalling me so that we could spend at least a good hour waiting for the chance a train would run though. Torsten has an obsession with transportation that I will never understand. At least I got beer out of it this time. ]

Lesson Two //  Fend yourself from Wildlife

Who am I kidding. The most wildlife you'll likely see the whole trip are dead or statues. There is the chance that a family of mice will join you in your van during the entire duration of the trip. In the event that your cheese and bagel supply is being mysteriously depleted, kindly scold your boyfriend for not locking up the food after his midnight Nutella gorging sesh. 

Lesson Three //  Hiking Boots are for Wusses 

Slippery rocks, pokey foliage and miles of uneven surfaces? Pfft. If you're like me and too lazy to lace up a pair of proper footwear, you will survive both the hike and the scoffing of others. I half do it because I'm lazy, and half because if there is water, I'm going to dip my feet in it then procede to hike barefoot. Know that you too can be just as reckless, just gently remind any pedicurist that goes near your feet not to file off those hard earned calluses. I've never shopped at REI and I've gotten along just fine. Flip-flops and all. 

Lesson Four // How to Ensure you get out Alive 

Don't take the keys out of your vehicle when you're in the middle of nowhere. Because while you are busy snapping selfies of yourself in front of the most gorgeous sunset blazing the sky, you can and will drop your keys in the lapping waves... and not realize until it's pitch black.

 In event that you don't want to lose the only set of keys to your Grandpa's van, wrangle up every flashlight you brought and retrace every step. Seconds before you start having a meltdown, you will find, under a receding wave, the most precious set of keys you've ever seen. You will never want to let those keys out of your sight. They will become your precious and  you'll manically never want to let go of them again and curse Lake Superior for almost taking them away from you.

This is part of a seemingly never-ending series of posts from my autumn road trip around the great lakes.

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