Survival In The Cold Jungle

So every year about this time, which incidentally happens to be outdoor raver festival time, that is to say, summer, this happens… My dear friend CP (Crystal Precious to the rest of you and to most the Queen of Sass) updates and tweaks her blog that is a first timer’s guide to festival raving in BC. Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba where, if you’ve not been is flat as fuck and puts me in mind of a big, scorched field with lots of flesh-eating bugs… which it more or less is. However, she experienced a bit of culture shock coming from there to our West Coast Lotus Land. So for this she provided you with this:

The Crystal Precious Winnipegger’s (or First Timer’s) Guide to Festival Raving – Updated & re-Sassed (2011)

This is her being radiant at Burning Man last summer. As you can clearly see, this bitch owns outdoor raving like a boss, and can find the best womp-womps in rainforest, field, or desert. I’m actually fully confident she’ll one day usher me into a submarine and take me to what will likely be the coolest party on earth at a ridiculous drop along the ocean floor informing me that’s where our gig is. Doubtless I’ll consume too many little coloured pills and try to fuck a shark. These things happen when we hang out. Good thing we hang out a LOT.

Since she saved my life last year at my first full-length, living-outdoors, no fires burning party (aka Shambhala) I feel I owe her one. Having no camping gear of my own, she generously offered me shelter, food and gave me a checklist of shit I’d need to get the most out of the weekend. My karma for that (since I’d zero camping gear or idea of what ┬áto bring for Shambs) is to pass on knowledge that I have for hers and my readership. Her writing helps you when you get to the festival. Mine is intended for the journey there and back. Because the two best parties (Bass Coast and Shambhala) happen in BC you need to drive to get there. Both are snuggled into the BC Rockies and let’s face it: shit happens. If your car/bus/truck/personal helicopter breaks down and you need to live off of the land for a day or two, I can help.

Survival In The Cold Jungle

1) Adopt a survival mentality.

Recognize what you are up against. Stuck in Jasper or Banff in summer? Wildlife (bears, mountain lions, etc) can be a problem. Lonely stretch or road and need to chill until you can get help and no idea how long that may be? You’ll need fire, shelter, food, water, signals and first aid. The most critical of these you require will depend on time of day, your sitch, and geography.

2) Light and maintain a fire.

Choose a location that’s protected from the elements. Gather twigs and small dry brush for tinder. Cotton balls or Kleenex smeared in petroleum jelly (like lipgloss) are good fire aids. No lighter? Concentrate the sunlight onto the tinder with a reflective lens like a flashlight or mirror. Softly blow onto the sparking fuel until the tinder catches fire. Protect your fire by putting small twigs around the tissue. Add progressively larger fuel until you can add pieces of large wood. NOTE: Do NOT be an asshole and leave this unattended. We love our forests and we don’t want the burned down. Be aware.

3) Seek shelter

Your vehicle is your best option as it will be rain and predator proof. However if you really fucked up and rolled the car or something happened where this is not a viable option, and you don’t have camping gear on you, take note. Create a shelter close to your fire-making supplies to conserve energy. Shelters should be basic, simple and quick. Look for natural shelters such as trees and rocky overhangs. If you have an animal with you (or just that guy that drinks all the booze) send them into the cave/crevice first to ensure the space is free of wild animals.

4) Forage and gather food

Forget any food prejudices you may have.

Never eat where you sleep. Roast insects to get rid of parasites. Avoid plants with a milky sap. Never eat anything with a parsley like top. If it tastes bitter, do not ingest it. Blue and black berries are okay for eating. Red berries may not be okay, use caution. White or green berries should never be eaten. Never eat wild mushrooms (unless your advocation is wild west coast mushroom gatherer).

5) Find and gather water.

If there is no river or readily available water you can try this: Make a high cut into a water vine and then cut it again three feet below the first cut. Water will flow out. Do not touch the vine to your mouth and beware of milky or white sap.

6) Learn your surroundings.

Select a sturdy walking stick about 4-5 feet high in length. Sharpen the end and harden it in the fire. Use it to detect snakes or soft ground. Stuff your boots with juniper to repel snakes while walking. Make a bigger circle each day.

7) Create a signal to get rescued.

Anything that provides contrast to your surroundings. Going to a rave? Break out the biggest, brightest costume you have. Use all the mirrors you were considering using to do drugs off of. Extend your left arm up and look through two fingers. Hold the mirror to your right cheek.. When you see an airplane pass through your fingers, aim the mirror so it reflects the sun between your two fingers. You will create a glint that can be seen for up to 70 miles.

Ghetto survival kit:

Lip balm for fire aid.

Hand sanitizer/cigarettes/perfume for fire aid.

Tissue paper and cotton balls for fire tinder.

Matches/lighter for fire making.

String to make fire, use as a trap or in fishing.

Safety pins/paper clips to fashion into a fish hook.

Scarf or hankie to use as water filter.

Sponge for collecting water.

Mirror for signalling.

Condom as a waterproof container for matches or canteen.

Baggies for a waterproof container.



Two lightweight, packable tarps/rain ponchos for collecting water and using for shelter.

SOURCE: Mel DeWeese

Okay, so now if shit goes REALLY sideways and you need to live in an emergency situation for 24 – 72 hours you’ll make it until rescue crews can find you. If you don’t need these tips, please read CP’s guide and get the most out of your experience.

So, see you up at BassCoast next weekend, and Shambhala the next, killin’ it with the Sweet Soul girls. And if you need me to show you how to skin a rabbit or a raver, we’ll have an advanced survival class…

Hugs and hisses,

Little Miss Risk

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