The sun on my face woke me up. I squinted against the brightness and slowly sat up, taking in my surroundings. I must’ve been out for a couple of hours. I could’ve used a couple more hours of sleep but somehow I feel a bit better and lighter than yesterday. I was right. I needed to get some shuteye. Proper rest will help me think clearer and get through this jungle adventure in one piece.
As I gathered my thoughts, I was reminded of the dream I had last night. It felt so real though I could vaguely remember the woman that appeared in my dreams. I do recall the woman was in some dire situation and needed help. I wish I could remember more but maybe it’s for the best. After all, it was just a dream.
I tried to shake off the feeling of unease that came with the dream and decided it was time to start the day. As I got up, I realized that some of the leaves had fallen off my shelter. So that’s why the sun was able to peek through. I brushed it off and just thought I should do a better job building my shelter.
I looked around me as I was stretching my limbs. Yep, I’m still in the clearing. I thought it’d be funny if I woke in another place like in those fantasy movies. I could wake up on a snowy mountain or in a raft in the middle of the ocean. That would’ve just been my luck.
My smile quickly turned into a frown when I realized that my situation wasn’t funny at all. In fact, it was quite dire. I’m still lost in the jungle with no sign of any people or even animals.
But I spoke too soon. As if on cue, I saw some movement in the bushes. I tensed up as I remembered the bear spray I used to bring when I went hiking in Bear Country. I always thought it was a bit of an overkill but now I wished I had it with me. I quickly looked around for my spear or multi-tool but I left them inside my shelter. What stupid move was that! I picked up the largest rock within my reach and prepared for the worst.
Suddenly, a rabbit came out of the bushes. I heaved a sigh of relief thinking how cliche this was. But my relief quickly turned into unease when I realized that if a small creature like a rabbit could find me, then so could bigger and more dangerous animals.
The rabbit just stood there looking at me with its big black eyes before darting off into the jungle, leaving me. I guess it wasn’t used to seeing humans around here. That made me wonder how long I’ve been here. Surely someone must’ve noticed that I’m missing by now.
I sighed and decided to put those thoughts aside for now. I need to focus on the task at hand, which is finding a way out of this jungle. That was when I noticed something that I hadn’t seen before. There were animal prints all around my camp and some of them looked quite fresh. I also realized that these animals managed to get through the perimeter I set up without waking me up. Another potentially disastrous mistake!
I knelt down to take a closer look. From the looks of it, there were at least three different types of animals that had been here recently. And it seems like one of those animals was responsible for the damage to my shelter. I can’t believe I slept through all that!
There were paw prints of what looked like a large cat and a smaller cat. There were also prints of hooves probably made by a deer. The good news is that I can probably hunt them down for food. The bad news is that they could also hunt me down.
With that in mind, I decided to be extra careful from now on. I’ll need to keep my eyes and ears open at all times in case one of these animals decides to make me its next meal. I figured I needed something more than my pocket knife and makeshift spear in case I encounter one of these animals. I thought a club or hatchet would be great if a wild animal gets too close for comfort.
I grabbed a short straight stick and the flattest and sharpest piece of rock I could find then wrapped the middle part of the stick tightly with a vine. I could’ve used my paracord bracelet but I thought I might need that for something else. Then I split the top end of the stick with the blade in my multi-tool. I placed the rock in the split and lashed it securely with more vine. I whittled away at the stick until it was a comfortable grip for my hand.
I tested my new hatchet by chopping down a small tree. It wasn’t as easy as using an actual hatchet but it would have to do. I also used it to sharpen the end of a few more sticks. I could use them as stakes.
I decided against making a bow and some arrows. This was completely possible, especially with the paracord I could use as string. However, it would take too long and I didn’t want to use another hour of daylight making another weapon. A spear, a hatchet, and some stakes will do for now.
Having spent time and energy making the weapons, I felt thirsty and hungry. I took a few sips from my bottled water and immediately felt refreshed. I should conserve my water as much as possible. I don’t know how long I’ll be stuck here in the jungle and even with the river nearby, I still need to purify the water before I can drink it. The best I could do is to boil the water but, as I experienced yesterday, it’s not that easy to start a fire using just my magnifying glass or multi-tool.
I took a couple of bites of one of my energy bars. I chewed slowly and thoroughly to savor the flavor and to make it easier to go down. Also, my body will use more energy to digest solid food than liquids. I need all the energy I have to survive this ordeal. I took another sip of water and gathered my belongings. I made sure the fire is completely out before I started walking. I should keep following the river. It’s my best bet in finding a way out of the jungle.
I started walking again, using my compass to make sure I was going in the right direction. Even though the river was flowing in one direction, I still need to be careful not to get lost. The last thing I want is to end up walking in circles.
As I walked, I kept an eye out for anything that could be useful. I found a few small sticks that I could use as kindling. I also found some dry leaves and moss that I could use as tinder. If I can find some flint, I might be able to make a fire without using my magnifying glass or multi-tool.
I also need to find food. I saw some berries growing on a bush. Fortunately, these berries are edible. Thanks to the book on foraging that Gramps gave me on my 13th birthday, I know a little about what to eat and not to eat in the wild.
I gathered as many berries as I could and put them inside a makeshift pouch I made from a large leaf. I’ll save them for later. I also need to find some meat. I know there are animals around here because I’ve seen their tracks. But so far, I haven’t seen any of them.
However, there was this feeling that I was being watched. I looked around but saw nothing. Maybe it was just my imagination. I guess that’s how you feel when you’re all alone in the wilderness.
I continued walking, being extra careful not to make too much noise. I don’t want to attract any unwanted attention, especially from predators. Suddenly, I heard a rustling in the bushes. I froze in my tracks and waited for whatever was making the noise to show itself. Then, out of the bushes, came a bobcat.
The bobcat didn’t see me at first. It was busy sniffing around, probably looking for its next meal. I slowly reached for my hatchet, being careful not to make any sudden movements. I slowly backed up a few steps so that I can hide behind a tree.
Bobcats rarely attacked humans but you can’t be too sure. Also, I was getting hungry and figured I could take on this one if it attacked me. After all, I have a hatchet and it doesn’t.
The bobcat continued sniffing around, getting closer to where I was hiding. I gripped my hatchet tightly, ready to strike if necessary. Then, the bobcat must have caught my scent because it looked up and saw me.
For a few seconds, we just stared at each other, not knowing what to do. Then, the bobcat hissed and bared its teeth. I gripped the hatchet tightly and waited for the bobcat’s next move. But before I could do anything, the bobcat turned and ran away.
I let out a sigh of relief. That was a close one. I guess the bobcat wasn’t hungry enough to take on a human. On the other hand, there goes my dinner. I’ll have to make do with my energy bar and the berries I foraged.
I continued walking, being extra vigilant from now on. I definitely don’t want to run into any more predators. The day passed by relatively quickly. I walked for hours, only stopping to rest for a few minutes and to drink some water. I didn’t want to stop for too long because I wanted to make as much progress as possible. The sooner I’m out of the jungle, the fewer risks I have of running into any more danger.
I checked the position of the sun and figured I had about a couple of hours before it starts to get dark. It’s no use, I have to stop soon and set up camp. Otherwise, I’ll just end up walking in the dark and sleeping out in the open. That’s not a risk I’m willing to take.
Fortunately, I found a rock formation I could use for my emergency shelter. The protruding rock will act as a wall and roof. All I need now is to make another wall using what I can find. I quickly gathered some long sticks and leaves to make my lean-to shelter. I also packed some dry leaves on the ground under the rock for my bed. The rock is good enough protection against the elements but it won’t do much against predators. I need to start a fire to scare these animals away. Luckily, it didn’t take me too long to start a fire this time.
With a shelter and fire in place, I sat down to rest while taking a bite of my energy bar and eating a handful of the berries I found. I also emptied my water bottle. I need it to gather water from the river.
I went to the river to fill up my water bottle. I looked around for anything I can use for boiling like an empty soda can or plastic bottle, but I couldn’t find one. I did find a large leaf, which I can fashion into a cup.
Back at camp, I placed my bandana over the cup before pouring water into it. This should help remove any impurities in the water. I placed the cup over the fire, careful not to let it touch the flame. The water will keep the leaf from burning but I don’t want to take any chances.
I wait for the water to boil, periodically checking it to make sure it doesn’t boil over. After a few minutes, the water started boiling. I removed the cup from the fire and placed it on a flat rock to cool down for a few seconds.
Then it hit me. I could only boil a little bit of water at a time. It will take some time before I could fill up my water bottle. If only I had my camping cookware set, I could boil more water and even cook something easily. Of course, a portable stove and fire starter would come in handy in this situation. A collapsible water container would also be great. I wouldn’t need to go back and forth to the river to fill up my water bottle. I could also use my trusty personal water filter right now. I can’t believe I didn’t pack that in my backpack. Ahh… there I go again with my what-ifs.
I need to boil as much water as I could so I have something to drink tomorrow. The best I could do for now was to make more cups out of leaves. I poured what was left in my water bottle into the cups and let them boil. I was able to fill my water bottle with sterilized river water and have enough to drink during the night.
I’m really glad I found the river. Otherwise, I’ll need to find water elsewhere. I’d probably be waiting for rain, collecting dew early in the morning, or digging a hole. Not the most pleasant way to get water, especially without the proper tools like a portable shovel. I comforted myself by thinking that at least I know different ways to find water in the wilderness. This survival skill might still come in handy but I hope I never have to use them.
I had less than an hour before it gets dark. I decided to make a trap to catch a rabbit or some other wild animal. A deadfall trap should be enough to catch small animals. I found a suitable spot and set up my trap. I placed a large rock big enough to crush a small animal on top of a small branch that was sticking up. I baited the trap with some berries. I did a few more of these deadfall traps to increase my chances of having meat for my next meal.
The sun was finally setting. I checked my traps but I haven’t caught anything yet. No surprise there. Wild rabbits are more active at dawn and dusk so I have to wait until the morning to see if I’ll have rabbit meat for lunch and dinner.
For now, I need to get some sleep. I’m tired from all the work I did today and tomorrow is another day full of survival challenges. I did well today, I thought. Aside from the bobcat encounter, everything went smoothly. Well, I do have some cuts and bruises but nothing major. The hit on my head seems to be fine. I wish I had a first aid kit to keep my injuries from getting worse. I must remember to look for Aloe vera, broadleaf plantain, and other medicinal plants.
I’m sure tomorrow will be another day full of challenges but I’m ready for it. Who knows, maybe I’ll finally find my way out of the jungle by then. With that thought, I placed some more wood on the fire to keep it going through the night. I’m not going to sleep well knowing that there are wild animals out there. I went inside my makeshift shelter and laid my weapons by my side. I’ll need them if something attacks me during the night.
I lay down on my bed of leaves, using my backpack as a pillow. I was so tired. Aside from the long walk through the jungle, setting up camp, and doing all the other survival tasks took a lot out of me. I’ll need to get used to this if I want to survive in the jungle.
My tummy’s growling. I’m down to one energy bar. I can’t risk eating it now. I hope I catch a rabbit or a squirrel even. I don’t know if I’ll find more food I can forage. Maybe I should try catching fish in the river. I need real food to sustain me. I could use a juicy steak or a hamburger right now.
My thoughts were being fueled by hunger. I should focus on going to sleep. I need to stay calm and think happy thoughts. But then, my mind wandered back to the dream I had the night before. I thought about the woman in my dreams and the note I found in my bag. Are they connected? Was that an actual memory and not just a dream? If so, who was she and why can’t I remember her? Does she have anything to do with my current situation? And why can’t I remember anything from the past few days? All I can recall is leaving my house to go on a hiking trip.
I need to find answers. But first, I need to get out of here alive. I can’t believe I’m lost in the jungle. What would my family and friends be thinking? They must be worried about me. Maybe they’ve already given up hope of finding me alive.
I need to stay positive. I need to focus on survival. I know they’ll be looking for me but right now, I need to focus on staying alive. And that’s what I’ll do. I’ll survive this jungle and find my way back home.
I close my eyes and did some breathing exercises to help calm my nerves and clear my mind. Finally, I felt sleepy and was able to drift off to dreamland. Tomorrow is another day and I need to be well-rested if I want to survive. I just hope that tomorrow will be a lot better than today.
It’s been two days since our hero found himself lost in the jungle. He’s been doing everything he can to survive but one can only do so much. but with sheer determination and survival skills he learned through the years, he’s managing to stay alive. Will he make it out of the jungle alive? Find out in the next installment of “What Would I Do If I Was Lost in The Jungle” here on Gentleman Pirate Club!