Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hunters Vs. Gathers

This year the guys trip was one of the manliest sort. We had all been talking about it for years but it was yet to make it to the top of the priority list. This year there would be no more excuses. For there was no need for detailed preparations, permit applications, or expensive purchases at REI, we were going Old skool…getting back to our roots…our deep roots… almost caveman status, we were going to be men of the wild, we were setting out to tame nature. What could be more simple and manly than that. No food, no water, no gear, simply the clothes on our back, knives and a flint (of course with some exceptions for diabetics). Our only objective… to survive. We originally wanted 4 days and 4 nights to see how we would fair, but family commitments limited us to 3 nights and, if you round up on both ends, 4 days. The takers this summer were the regulars Bram, Rocky and myself, plus first timer Beetle and previous 26 hour survivalist, Roman. Rocky got a hot tip and chose us a sweet spot up above Strawberry Resevoir. The following log loosely documents how the trip went down.

This is Rocky with a local he had to stop for directions. Like us he was baffled by our map until he checked the date, it was from 1966. The road we were on wasn't even on our map. Chalk up another wrong turn and 2 hours lost for Rocky.
(Notice the rain on the windshield, that made the first night that much more miserable.)
We divided into two teams: Team Fire and Team Shelter. Beetle was the leader of team fire and came up big the first night. He had a little help from a "Cup of Noodle" package out of the diabetic grab bag. The bag also doubled as a pretty comfy pillow that left the rest of us a little desirous.

After a long night with very little sleep we were all fired up to go out hunting.

The combo of Beetle's mean face and sweet spear wasn't quite enough.

After five hours of hunting and only a few "near kills" to show for it, we decided that we were burning a lot more calories than we were replacing.

We decided a vegan entree would have to suffice.

Lunch is served.

After a lot of guys trips with Bram I have never heard him complain about a meal. He didn't disappoint me here either. He claimed they tasted like raw peas.

This is the Smart Brothers pictured in front of our most significant accomplishment of the trip, our shelter. It is a 'lean to' that we lined with pine branches and grass. We had big aspirations of sleeping significantly warmer the next night, but were greatly disappointed.

Picking grass for the 'lean to' lead to our most significant discovery of the trip, wild strawberries.

Wild strawberries that were about the size of Skittles, and pretty darn scarce. They were better than the grass though. We had envisioned ourselves as more the hunter types but ended up gatherers.

Chillin' in the 'lean to.' That's how we spent the last 24 hours of the adventure, not very adventurous.

Count down to McDonald's. The fatigue is showing on our faces in this picture. A pretty sorry outing by my account.


the bigbam said...

Hey I don't see too much fatigue on Beetle's face, comfy backpack pillow or not, he can sleep anywhere! Great pictures though, I love the fort.

Rachey Smart said...

OH MY!!!! I freakin LOVE your posts Rang! This makes me laugh so hard. You are SUCH a great writer! I love the nerd sized strawberries that were "nourishing" you guys:) Kudos to stayin out there... even if you were dying like any of you would have came home.... but seriously. Great post!

Darrell said...

Just another reason that you are one of my heros in life. I have a book "Edible Plants of the Rocky Mountains" that I could have lent you. It definately would have assisted you in the gathering department.

Johnny Cakes said...

Amazing. Has Jeff Probst contacted you guys yet about appearing in the next season of Survivor?

Jess Mac said...

Daang! I wish Dave could have gone. I think thats how he's prefer to live anyway...