I Believe In Watching the Discovery Channel

Jocelyn - Tukwila, Washington
Entered on February 8, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in watching the Discovery Channel. Specifically the survival shows. I remember one weekend when I stayed in my pj’s all day and watched boring TV programs. While flipping through the shows I came across the Discovery Channel. Deciding that there’s probably nothing better to watch I might as well learn about how the planet is deteriorating or the different techniques animals use to hunt. To my surprise the commenter wasn’t talking about the increasingly severe weather or the poison of a snake, he was explaining certain skills you need to know to survive in the forest, specifically how to make a fire.

One weekend in December I went camping with my Girl Scout troop. It was freezing and when we got out of the car we instantly regretted not springing for heated cabins. Realizing that it would probably take us more than one trip to get all of our stuff inside we took our backpacks and sleeping bags first leaving the food and other camping supplies in the car. It was when we walked back to get the rest of the things when we realized that we had lock the car with both the cabin and the car keys inside. Our cell phones didn’t have service and we couldn’t pick the lock, so we could either keep waiting or walk to the nearest place with a phone. We didn’t know where the nearest place was, we sat down to wait. As it got darker and colder, building a fire seemed like the best choice.

Unfortunately, after turning our bags inside and out, we couldn’t find a match or lighter. We sat down in a circle, surrounding a nicely structured A-frame ready to be made into a roaring fire.

As I stared at the twigs I remembered the show I watched on Discovery Channel. Most importantly, the scene where the expert was teaching the viewers on how to build a fire without a match or lighter. So I got up, brushed off the dirt, got the materials needed, and proceeded to try and get a flame going. I took a long dry up log and a piece of twine, putting the twin under the log, and putting both on top of a bundle of dried moss, leaves and small twigs. I put my foot firmly on top of the log to keep it in place and started pulling each side of the twine in a fast rhythm, creating lots of friction which I hoped would turn into smoke and then a flame. It took a few tries but eventually we did get a small fire going, which we carefully tended to and finally made it big enough to keep is warm.

You never know when or where you’ll learn the important things that will help you in life, you should always pay attention to everything, big or small, boring or exciting, in the classroom or on the couch, remembering never to underestimate the Discovery Channel.