My Survival Experience

I was so excited! My entire class was taking a field trip to the Amazon Rainforest National Park. We were all required to have partners, because it was possible to get lost. I got paired up with Joe. The next day we all left school at 6:00 a.m. by bus to drive to the Fort Lauderdale airport. Once we were on the plane, it was an estimated 12-hour flight time, so I settled back and fell asleep.

When I woke up, the plane had touched down near the National Park. In a matter of hours, we boarded a bus that took us to the Amazon Rainforest National Park. My class waited their turn in line for the guided tour. The tour was about 5 hours long and 1.5 hours into it, my partner and I got separated from the rest of the group in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest! We panicked and completely lost our sense of direction. By now, we had no idea where everybody else was and began frantically emptying out our backpacks and pockets.

What we found included: a plastic water bottle, a cell phone (with no signal), 2 rubber bands, and a bandanna. Judging by what we found we decided that it would be best to gather food and water. It was necessary to build a fire to cook the food and boil the water. In order to find a creek, all we had to do was to pan the area listening for the sound of running water to judge the creek’s approximate location. Luckily for us, there was a creek located within 100 yards of our position.

To take care of the food problem, we had to fashion a crude crossbow. To do this, we pried apart the cell phone with a sharp stick. Next, we took one of the 2 circuit boards located inside of the cell phone and pried the sharp titanium pin off of it. Once this was completed, I chewed up one stick of gum and inserted the pin into it. We placed the chewed-up gum in the sun to harden. Now all that remained was to wrap the elastic rubber bands around two of our fingers and place the gum-needle assembly in between them, sort of like a slingshot. This weapon would be very lethal for small animals. Suddenly, a large rodent charged past us, and we felt the ground vibrate. We quickly fired 2 pins into the animal’s face. As a result it screamed in agony and it laid very still on the ground. When we walked up, it suddenly sprang back to life and kicked both of us in the leg! Afterwards, it died of blood loss. Subsequent to recovering from the pain, it became necessary to cook the animal and to do that we needed a fire. My partner happened to be wearing glasses, so we gathered a big pile of tinder and wood. At noon, when the sun’s rays were the strongest, we used the glasses to ignite the tinder. Soon, we hade a large bonfire roaring in front of us. We sharpened some hardwood sticks on rocks and used the sharpened sticks to cut the dead boar into bite-sized chunks. It was hard work! When the meat was finished cooking, we ate it, and I discovered that it actually tasted somewhat like chicken. After we had finished eating, it felt like we had been recharged.

Being resourceful allowed us to not starve to death while we were waiting to be rescued. I was truly thankful that I had learned some survival skills as a Boy Scout.

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