I'm leaving tomorrow to spend two weeks in the desert with no food or water.

To those in the other thread who wanted the details:

Tomorrow I head off for Utah for the “Hunter Gatherer” expedition offered by Boulder Outdoor Survival School. There will be a total of 10 people going, three of whom will be staff/guides. The first four days will be intensive primitive skills instruction at a base camp with food and water provided. We’ll be learning a shiteload - flintnapping, primitive fire making (bow drill among others), trapping, foraging, primitive navigation, primitve cordage and containers, primitive projectiles and atlatls, etc. I’ve been reading and practicing (and training) for about 3 months now. After the first four days we go into the “field” for 10 days. Here is a list of the stuff I will bring:

  1. The cotton shirt on my back
  2. One pair of shorts
  3. One pair of socks and boots
  4. One wool sweater
  5. One balaclava

Anything else we bring will have to be made in base camp with primitive materials. We will bring no food, no water, no modern tools like knives, no compasses, no sunglasses, no technical clothing, no sleeping bag or blanket, no canteen, no backpack.

I’ll be making a water container out of a gourd, cordage from yucca, a fire bow drill, a rabbitstick, deadfall triggers, among other things (and a primitive pack to carry it all in) during my stay at base camp.

I can expect to walk 20 miles a day in over 100 degree heat with nighttime temps reaching an occasional 35 degrees. I can expect to lose 20 lbs. or so and not have access to water for almost a full day.

We will get water where we find it. Most of the time will be spent procuring food and water. Basically you drink gagworthy water for 2 weeks. As a matter of fact your not supposed to drink crystal clear looking water in the desert because if there isn’t anything living in it, it’s probably tainted with arsenic.

It’s a very well respected school. The best in the country. FWIW they were the techical consultants on “Castaway.”

I know what your wondering - Has anyone ever died?
On a slightly less primitive course where there is a solo expedition for a few days, someone ate a bubonic plague infested squirrel and died.

Why am i doing this?

Shits, giggles, character building.

Hope you make it back alive.

Outward Bound vet here… you’re in for a ball, sadistically speaking. Still, it’s an awesome physical and mental experience.

Good for you!

I’ve mastered all these skills and more just by owning a Jeep! It breaks down nearly every time I take it into the wilderness, leaving me stranded. I can extract water from a rock, find food on the surface of the moon, stay warm in a snowstorm dressed only in a toga and bowling shoes, construct a 2 bedroom 1 1/2 bath tree-condo using only a swiss army knife. I can also remove/replace the distributor drive gear, find TDC, hand-time and motor off * in the field!* Always carry spares! (that last part is the honest truth!)

Any body wanna killer deal on a classic Jeep Commando?

Dammit! I have somehow become drunken without my knowledge or involvement!

Wow! You take care! I’ll be thinking of you and hoping you get everything out of it you dream. And that you won’t eat a plague rat.

Dude, I am sooooooo jealous.

Green with envy, in fact.

He, who has made fire.

You are insane.

I second matt_mcl. But still, if you think you might enjoy it…have fun! :slight_smile:

I second matt_mcl. But still, if you think you might enjoy it…have fun! :slight_smile:

mnemosyne, it looks like you third matt as well


If they give you a horse, will it have a name?

Fashion a pencil out of charcoal and a twig, dry up some bark and take notes. Tell us what happened.

Or, better yet, convince PBS that they should film you. They can call it Cave House. You’ll be famous.

P.S. You’re crazy. Have fun.

Good luck, KidC and happy hunting.

After you finish crafting a crude web browser from a Speak-and-Spell and an old walkie-talkie, send us a post telling how it went.

Do you have a horse with no name?

Ack, disregard that - Biggirl beat me to it.

I envy you. I want to do this to but out in a forest. I couldn’t survive in a desert. Good luck.

That sounds brilliant actually, although I’d be pretty reluctant to go without a knife. It’s the single most useful thing that’s ever been invented. But then I suppose that’s the point.

It’s going to be very good training for you in case you ever really get stranded in the desert (and yes, it happens quite a lot, at least in Arizona). One tiny bit of advice: you’ll be better off doing most of your walking/moving at night.

Good luck.

I have a friend who did this course. Her favorite part was when you had to kill and butcher a sheep with homemade knives.

I’ll take civilization, please.

But the real question is whether your equine companion lacks a calling reference.

I will make an obsidian knife while I’m there which, when knapped correctly, is 500 times sharper than surgical steel. Black obsidian is still used in eye surgery today though it has been supplanted a good bit by the laser.