My Friend Bet Me I Couldn’t Survive A Night In The Wilderness
Survival Diary, Day 1:
F**k you, Trevor.
That’s right. I’m doing it. “You wouldn’t last a day,” you said. “You’ll sober up on the ride home.”
Well guess what? There was no ride home. I took that Uber straight to Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a $147 dollars, but that’s fine. I’ll just take it out of the 500 bucks you’ll owe me when I win this bet and rub your smug f**king face in it.
I’m going to survive a week in the wilderness. And I’m going to document the whole thing so you can see how much better I am than you.
The driver dropped me off on Trail Ridge Road, which runs through the park. But I’m not here to survive on a road. Anyone can survive on a road. So I’ve hiked deeper into the wilderness. I’m not sure how far I’ve walked, but I’ve drunk about a third of the bottle I swiped from behind the bar, to keep warm, so I’d guess a few miles, at least.
Speaking of keeping warm, the first thing you need to do to survive in the frigid wilderness of the Rockies is make a fire. You don’t need a college degree, “job security,” and a big house to make fire, Trevor. Out here in the real wilderness, all a man needs is two sticks.
Just need to rub these f**kers together, and boom. Roaring fire.
Okay, that didn’t work. But you never said I couldn’t use my phone to Google “How to start a fire with sticks.” Checkmate, Trevor.
Alright, motherf**ker. Now I’ve got a flat piece of wood and some kindling. They’re gonna call me Johnny-f**king-Storm, ‘cause I’m about to burn this whole forest down.
Survival Diary, Day 2:
I dug a hole with my hands and slept in it. I made a blanket of leaves, but I still shivered through the night. There’s urine on me, and I don’t know if it’s mine or an animal’s. Maybe marking its territory? Have I been marked? Am I its territory?
It doesn’t matter. All I have to do is get this fire started, and I’ll be fine. I’ll be warm, I’ll be able to cook, and I’ll be able to dry these clothes. Then we’ll see who’s laughing, Trevor, when you have to explain to your loving wife and child why you lost five hundred big ones.
This time, I’ve got a new plan. The fire bow. Just saying the words makes you feel like a badass. All you have to do is take off a shoelace, wrap it around a stick, then tie the ends to a second, curved stick. Yank it back and forth like a saw, and boom. This urine will be dry in no time.
Survival Diary, Day 3:
The shoelace snapped immediately. I bet your laces never break, Trevor. I bet you buy your shoes at the store. I bet they always fit you just right.
I’ve been trying to find my way back to the road, but it was dark, and I’d been drinking. I don’t know which way I came from, and there’s no way of telling if I’m getting closer or further away.
My phone is dead. I lost my shoe some time ago. Without the laces, it just slipped off, but I couldn’t go back for it.
I can’t be sure, but I think I’m being hunted. Whatever marked me, that first night, it’s tracking the scent. I hear its footsteps behind me, but I never see it. I think it’s toying with me. It wants me exhausted.
My right foot is starting to go numb. I miss the warmth of my leaf hole, but I know I can never return. It was marked. It belongs to the creature, now. Just like me.
Survival Diary, Day 4:
I can’t keep going like this. I had to keep moving through the night, to stay ahead of the creature. I think I’m going to lose the foot. I’m so hungry. I’ve run out of vodka.
Now that I’m sobering up, I’ve realized there’s only one thing I can do.
I’ve found an area where the foliage is unusually dense, and I’ve begun building a shelter from low-hanging branches, mud, and leaves. I shall call it Xanadu.
I was able to sharpen a rock with another rock. I’ll hide in Xanadu, then stab the creature when it approaches.
I’m scared. Trevor, you were right. I’m not cut out for this, man. I’m not cut out for anything. You did all this growing up, and I just… didn’t. You were always bailing me out, and I’m sorry, brother.
I hear It approaching. It’s now or never.
HAH! I killed it. Stupid thing went for my foot, which I can’t even feel. It came clean off but it doesn’t f**king matter because I WON!
I used my murder rock to carve a V in the fire board, and my belt to make a new fire bow. You used to laugh at me for using an extension cord as a belt, Trevor. But I can’t hear your laughter over the sound of this roaring fire.
I did it. I can cook the creatures meat. I made fire. I have warmth. I can sleep through the night, for the first time in days. I’m going to make it.
[Editor’s Note: This journal was recovered near a charred clearing, deep in the woods, and has been transcribed here.]