I read and re-read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen when I was in elementary school so much that the book spent more time with me than any of my friends. If you were to come up to me and say “Hey Corinne, if a plane crashed in the woods and you were the only survivor, much like Brian in Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, would you be able to create shelter and find food and water?” I would say “Of course! I’m an independent, strong woman!” but the real answer is that I have no survival skills and I am going to die.
Okay, that may be dramatic, but I’m dramatic- SO EVERYONE JUST GET OVER IT.
Where did this survival panic come from you ask? Well, I spent last weekend on a mini vacation with some family, on the excruciatingly long drive home between the naps and daydreams I noticed multiple cars on the side of the road as if they broke down and that’s when it struck me for real. I have no survival skills. In the event of a broken down car, I would probably just cry/call my dad/cry while calling my dad. I understand that things like tow trucks, AAA, and a working knowledge of how to fix your car are things that exist but I don’t have any of those things.
As someone who lives in constant fear of an apocalypse, I’m surprised that I never just taught myself how to survive. All of my favorite literary characters can do it, so why can’t I?
Basically, I wish my Girl Scout meetings as a kid taught me things that are actually useful instead of how to make a cool pot holder for Mother’s Day. I have to make an active decision of teaching myself these things and quite frankly, there are other things I want to be doing. I wish that teaching young girls these things was something that is universally understood to be a necessary and good idea because when I was 12 I didn’t realize that I should be learning this. I wrote off these necessary activities as something boyish and I steered clear. WHY WAS I SUCH AN IDIOT?!
Girl Scouts, I forgive you for not teaching me these things. It wasn’t your responsibility and I mean, how many boys can say that they know how to make a painting of a turkey using only an outline of their hand? Besides, I have great memories of Girl Scout trips and meetings and it was one of the few places I was able to see my friends outside of the classroom. I’m only blaming Girl Scouts because I don’t want to admit that I’m an idiot for thinking that being able to start a fire is something I don’t need to know.
As a single girl/woman traveling alone a majority of the time, it would be useful to fight.
As a single girl/woman who lives in constant fear of an apocalypse it would be useful to purify water.
These are things I wish I knew how to do and I’m going to teach myself in the coming months:
- Tie knots
- Change a tire
- Perform basic first aid
- Win/avoid a fist fight
- Navigate with a map and compass
- Have some basic cooking skills
- Jump start a car (because I crave a dramatic life)
What are some things you wish you knew how to do? Share in the comments below!