My lovely sister S bought me a half-gag, half-serious Christmas present: a survival kit made up of a big water bottle chock-full of gear. She told me that it was intended for when Chris and I started to explore the South Island in New Zealand. It had things like a survival blanket, matches, first aid gear, bouillon, salt and pepper (to season the bouillon?) pencil and paper (to leave notes for people who find you? Maybe to write out your last will and testament?), a mini-compass, and several other things. I read the booklet about what to do if you’re lost (included in the bottle), and I couldn’t help but giggle. It had a whole section on questions to ask yourself if you think that you’re lost but aren’t sure that you’re lost. For example…
1. Look around you. Do you recognize anything?
2. Do you have a map?
3. Do you know where you are?
4. Can you tell which direction you came from?
“If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you are probably lost.” I love it that they have a helpful hints guidebook included to clue in those people who are smart enough to bring a survival kit, yet dumb enough to not bring a map and/or get lost in the woods. It actually suggested carrying a whistle so that you could blow it if you lose your way. Can you imagine me lost in New Zealand, blowing away on a whistle in the hopes that someone would find me? I’d probably end up attracting a bear (but at least I’d have my handy dandy first aid kit to patch myself up once he was done chomping on me. Or maybe I could use the duct tape included in the bottle to tape his mouth shut!)
Perhaps what it should say is something like this: “If you think that there’s a chance that you may need to use any or all of the items in this survival kit, rethink your trip. Find a tour guide, and don’t wander off by yourself!
And the icing on the cake? The first time we used the water bottle, all of the water leaked out of the bottom. Tee hee!