Survival Scenario – Stuck in the Woods

These Survival Scenarios seem to be pretty popular and I’ve really enjoyed the comments you all post in response to them.  I’ve got to say I’ve seen some great ideas and it’s awesome the way that you all play off each other.

So… as a test run I’ve decided to do a “Survival Friday” for a few months, meaning I’m going to post survival scenarios on Fridays.  That will give you the weekend to work the problem and post your ideas for surviving.

Some of these ideas will be about you as an individual in a plausible situation, and others may be in a far out “Mad Max” kind of world.  Guess you’ll just have to tune in and see…

If you have any ideas along these lines you’d like to see covered please email them to me at and I’ll see what I can do about getting them posted.

Now, on to today’s fun…


This is a personal survival situation instead of one that affects the nation or the world.

It’s vacation time and you decide that rather than take the family on an expensive vacation that requires air travel you’re going to drive this year and stay with a relative who lives in a rural part of upstate New York.

On a back road in upper New York your GPS turns you onto a side road.  At first it looks legitimate, but after several miles the road narrows, then narrows again.  Your map is useless at this point so you put your trust in the GPS and it takes you further into the woods along many twists and turns.

Your spouse is getting nervous and wants you to turn back, but you don’t want to alarm your mate by telling them that you’re low on gas and probably won’t get back to the main road.


Jarhead Survivor and the Missus woke up to this one morning while camping out. Awesome!

It starts to rain and visibility drops to less than 100 feet.  The roads turn to mud and suddenly you feel the car lurch off the road and down into a small gulley.  Thankfully, no one is hurt, but you’re stuck.   Really stuck.

Here’s what you have with you:  less than a gallon of gas in the tank and whatever it is you’d normally take on a long trip.

Some people take along chips and cookies and stop at restaurants to eat, while others pack a cooler for the whole journey.  Which one are you?

You’re at least fifteen miles off the road with your family (visualize your wife, husband, kids, dogs, whatever here) and there is no cell phone coverage.  You realize that even if the authorities start looking for you you’re so far in the woods the chances of someone finding you are slim to none.   Not to mention your vehicle is stuck in a gulley with plenty of tree coverage over head.  It’s late August and it’s getting cool in the evenings, so you fall asleep in your vehicle that night and wait for the rain to end.  The one piece of good news is that there’s a small swamp nearby.

The next day dawns bright and sunny and your family turns to you for guidance.  You get out of your vehicle and see a moose standing in the swamp looking at you.

Do you try to effect a self-rescue or are you going to dig in and hope someone finds you?  It could take weeks or months before someone stumbles on you.  Based on the items that you have with you, and the experience you and your family have with the great outdoors, what do you do?

-Jarhead Survivor


This particular scenario has played out again and again over the last few years, so don’t think it can’t happen.  The question is how prepared are you?