Communicating while cold and hungry is a challenge in and of itself, and our group got plenty of experience with it today. We were tasked with starting fires without flint & steel, matches, lighters, etc. We had to use materials that we found scavenging around town, and with the fires, we would prepare our lunch. There was no shortage of supplies, but there was one tiny problem: everything was soaked from the heavy rain.
After scrounging around for our materials, we hiked up to the base of Mt. Crested Butte to start our fires. The rain had cleared up and things were going pretty well, until the rain picked back up. We moved our operation under a rock outcropping to avoid the downpour and, while it did keep our wood dry, it soaked our spirits.
The temperature quickly dropped and every person was huddled around their own spot, attempting to spark some sort of flame using steel wool and a nine volt battery. As we quickly discovered, only two of the batteries had power and we shorted them out in no time.
With our primary method of fire-starting out the window, we had to move on to a bow drill. This had our group scavenging around the forest to gather the right supplies. After working at that for a not insignificant amount of time, the challenge was finished, our time was up. We were given a lighter to finally make some lunch.
But there was a huge upside to the day. The landscape was absolutely gorgeous and the walk back down to town looked like a storybook. The picturesque scene in front of us more than made up for the frustrations we experienced today.
To no one’s surprise, we failed the challenge. Our patience was stretched on our empty stomachs and cold bodies, but that very stretching in fact strengthened our communication and I feel confident in saying that I can accomplish anything with my group.