11.12.2007

primitive camp-out

It was probably about 25 degrees Saturday night. Our apprenticeship group had converged in Enfield to practice primitive shelters, and put them to the test overnight. Everyone made debris huts, comprised of sticks, boughs, and leaves.

This is partway through the building, Phil's on the left, mine on the right.

Throughout the night, I pondered over what I was to learn, what I was to carry away. In fact, I still am.


Tim challenged us to consider our roles as we carry these stories away. He said that we are the representatives for a lot of the people we know, some who will never do these things.

Around 2am, after shivering in my shelter for only an hour, I went to the fire with Phil to try to warm up. In an hour of testing, I learned that 7 hours of shelter-building in the wrong spot with wet leaves had been useful for holding very little of my body heat. It's true - inside my debris hut was warmer than the 20-something temperature under the stars. It was a good structure. But it was still very cold. I sat out the rest of the night tending the fire.

Some from our group lasted longer, a few even sleeping until sunrise.

Every shelter is different, every night out is different. I am eager to try this again, although I know that conditions will never be exactly the same, and thus I can't really correct the mistakes I made. I wish I had had more success, and I admit to being disappointed in myself for my bad decisions. I am grateful however, for all that I learned from the weekend. I am grateful for the fire, and for the first robin who sang to greet the sunrise, and for the ones who have come before us and those who pass on their wisdom.


Here's Phil with a roadkill faun we picked up in Trumansburg a month ago. We'd tried to defrost it for the weekend, but the cold temperatures didn't thaw it as quickly as we'd hoped. Tim carved some neckmeat out for us, but the coveted backstraps were frozen blocks of muscle.

(Thanks to Bex for photos.)

1 comment:

mardy said...

yum...That looks like fawn!