Imagine the scenario, your plane has crashed in the middle of nowhere and there is nobody else around for miles. You appear to be the only survivor and panic is beginning to set in. Your breathing is starting to get heavier and more intense with each passing second. Then, suddenly, you remember one of the hundred of hours of TV you have watched and it comes in useful. You recall an episode of Bear Grylls where he was lost in some God forsaken place drinking his own urine to survive. Now whilst you may be hopeful that it doesn’t get to that stage any time soon you know you need to do something here otherwise you will die. There are no two ways about it. It’s time to rack your brain. What does he always do at the start of his programmes? There’s the generic spiel about where his is and why this is going to be such a struggle for him and then he goes into survival mode. Come on…..think…..what would Bear do in this scenario. Keep it warm! That’s what he always says. If you don’t have warmth and shelter then the cold of the night will get you before anything else gets the chance to. So, you need to set up a shelter and get a fire going. You begin to count your lucky stars as the area you have crashed into has tree cover. Whilst it is not exactly a thick forest it should have enough for you to survive until news of your crash reaches people and a rescue party is sent out.
Without further hesitation you head off into the wooded area to gather up some branches. Some thick and tall to form your shelter for the night, and some smaller and weaker to help start a fire. First things first the shelter needs to be built while there is still daylight remaining. You seem to recall from the programme that the easiest way to do this is to find a low lying, horizontal branch and begin to stack branches across it, almost forming a wooden tent in the process. This is all looking very easily you think in your overconfident head. Then you realise. What if it rains? Those branches are not going to keep the water off are they? Leaves are what you need and lots of them. A nice tarpaulin would have been handy here but as you survey the surrounding area you know that isn’t going to be an option. Best get searching for those leaves then. 45 minutes pass as you wander around rather aimlessly gathering the leaves you think will be suitable to forma barrier from the rain. As you begin to weave them through the branches, forming a roof over your head you take a moment to stop and think that even in this bleak scenario you are making the most of things. It is a moment of pride as you put the last leaf through, take a step back and admire your creation. Bear Grylls himself would have been proud of that you think as you begin to plan out your next task.
After gathering the branches to create your accommodation for the night you already know where the best place to go to gather the remaining few pieces of wood needed for your fire is. You head back to the small clearing where you found the pristine branches, gather a few more and then bring them all back to the area you have set up camp. Smallest pieces at the bottom and build upward is another titbit you recall from the TV show. The kindling you form from the moss of a nearby tree lights up in seconds thanks to your cigarette lighter in your pocket (how this got through security you’ll never know) and soon enough the fire is blazing. The weather God’s have appeared to take pity on you and there is no sign of rain anywhere in the horizon so you settle in for the night and wonder what is going to happen. Food will become an issue soon but thankfully the last thing they did on the plane was hand out a meal and some beverages so for now, that rumble in the stomach can wait. As night draws in you curl up under your makeshift tent and close your eyes. They remain shut until you hear the rustling just outside your shelter…..