Lost in the woods

Sometimes I fantasize about being lost in the woods. It’s not that I want people looking for me; in fact, I’d rather not be found. I’d want to emerge from the wilderness only once I made my own way out. Being rescued from the woods is cliché. It almost shows that you’re weak. Stumbling out of the woods, all bedraggled and dirty after a month in the wilderness, hailing a passing car and returning to society long after everyone has given up hope and stopped searching — that’s how I want to do it. That says something about your character. Though I’m not interested in boosting my character per se; it’s mainly about the experience.

I love the outdoors, which is curious, because I’m barely ever outside. I suppose it’s that the computer has a stronger attraction than what meager outdoor experiences exist around here. But I do love camping. Being stranded in the woods is like an extreme form of camping. Long after your supplies run out, you have to survive by your wits alone. Normal camping isn’t a challenge. Involuntary camping is.

All I would need to survive, I hopefully imagine, is a survival guide for the appropriate area. I can match up pictures in a book to plants in real life and figure out what is safe to eat and what is not. Any dummy could do that. I could build a survival shelter from sticks and leaves. That’s not even an expert skill; you just work at it until you get some semblance of a dwelling. I like to think I could start a fire if I wanted to enough. Hopefully the survival book would have tips on how to do it in case my crude re-enactments of starting fires from survivalist shows on television failed.

I could hunt wild game to survive. When I’m starving, I would have no objections whatsoever to killing something and eating it. We are, after all, merely slightly-evolved apes, and they had no compunctions about hunting animals. It’s a more primeval form of living, but it has a certain crude appeal. It’d be like getting in touch with my long distant ancestors.

I suppose I could get lost in the woods. The only thing stopping me is that I would rather not die. If there were somehow some guarantee that I would end up alright, I would do it. But I’m realistic. I’m not a survivalist. I can’t learn all of the necessary skills from reading a book. And even expert survivalists can take a bad step and break a leg. All alone in the wilderness, a broken leg is often fatal.

So I won’t be getting myself lost in the woods. But I will still fantasize about the possibility.

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Getting lost is always an interesting experience, whether in or out of the woods. You may need a people search to find those who are lost to you. You can also search criminal records or conduct background checks on those who you are with so you won’t get lost too.

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