Day 4 – Back to Civilization
After your 3 day survival situation you finally leave your broken down car and head down the lonely dirt road you are on to try and find help. You took the things you thought were necessary and you struck out to find civilization. Your decision to effect self-rescue was not easy and it took a great deal of time and consideration to come to the final conclusion that you had to leave to get help. Your family has to be worried sick and you know they cannot wait to hear from you. Now the trick is to find help and get back to the real world.
As you prepare leave your camp you have to make some more tough decisions to answer this question: what will you keep and what will you leave? As nice as it sounds it would be near impossible to push your broken down car along the road because it would take too long and wear you out too fast. You have to decide what is necessary to keep you alive in the woods as you head away from safety and towards help. A poor decision to leave something behind can be the difference between life and death but you simply cannot take everything. How will you choose?
Survival Tool #4: Making a Rescue Pack
Any experienced survivalist knows that there are some things you should always carry with you when you take a trip into the outdoors. These things are often carried on a hiker’s back in a rucksack or a backpack. Even when you are not planning on taking a trip away from the safety of civilization you need to create a pack of supplies that will keep you alive in unplanned situations like the one you are in with your broken down car in the middle of the woods. This pack of emergency supplies is called a Rescue Pack.
As you look over your car you try to find things you can take with you to help you find your way back to civilization and your family. You remember TJ telling you once that everything you take with you should have more than one use because then you can carry fewer things and get more done. You don’t want to tear your car apart because you want to return to it soon to have it towed to a mechanic’s shop and fixed. So you don’t need to break it to get things; you need to scavenge for what you have lying about. With some digging you find: a flashlight, water, old shoelaces, a small notebook, a first aid kit, a pack of toaster pastries you forgot to eat for breakfast awhile ago (thankfully they were unopened!), your phone, and your pocket knife. It may not be much, but it will have to do!
Use Your Tools:
With your Rescue Pack made you put it on your back and head out. You hope that you’ll find some signal for your cell phone or at least a passerby that can give you a ride into town. As you walk you begin to think of all the uses your Rescue Pack could items could have:
- Flashlight – light source; aids in night travel, signaling for rescue, the lens can be used as a fire starter
- Water – hydration, cooking fluid, clean a wound, cool your body down, the bottle can be use to cook in an emergency
- Shoelaces – keep footwear secure, fix rips in clothing or bags, set traps, start a fire, bind a bandage on a wound
- Notebook – paper used for fire starter, keep track of notes and directions, white paper provides contrast for signaling
- First Aid Kit – clean and bandage wounds, disinfect water or wounds, certain germ killers are flammable
- Toaster Pastries – food source, can be used to attract animals to traps
- Phone – call for help, compass, GPS (when service is available), light source, battery can be used as a fire starter
- Knife – tool for cutting wood or branches, used for hunting, the metal can be used with flint to start a fire
This is just a simple list of uses and more could easily be added. In a perfect world there are other things you could put in your Rescue Pack but these are the things a teenager would probably have in their car. What you should consider is creating one to keep in your car just in case this scenario happens in real life. The world is never as safe as it feels and it never hurts to have emergency supplies.
We can once more compare this survival tool to our spiritual journey with Christ. Just like we have created a Rescue Pack for physical survival we can also create a Rescue Pack for spiritual survival. As you travel through life you will need to create a group of items you can keep close at hand for when an emergency comes up and you need help. What would you need if a friend were in trouble and asked you for help? What would you do if your best friend was struggling with suicide and called you because they were afraid? What if you are struggling with a temptation and you don’t know how to get out of it? Your Rescue Pack could mean the difference between spiritual life and death in your life of the life of a friend.
Things you could put in your Spiritual Rescue Pack:
- Bible – God’s Word is a constant source of wisdom and comfort in life’s tough times. Read and apply often.
- Parents/Guardians – In a perfect world, these are the ones who love you the most and are will help no matter what
- Friends – The people who care about you and are going through similar life situations and can truly understand
- Youth Pastor/Small Group Leader – A spiritually mature advisor who can listen and give guidance
- Accountability Partner – A person of the same gender and life situation who can hold you accountable and keep you on the right path of following Christ through prayer and honesty.
- Devotional/Quiet Time – Time alone with God studying the Bible is a must for any sold out Christian. It recharges your spiritual batteries and helps prepare you for the struggles of every day. Apply daily.
- Prayer – God wants us to talk to him and share our struggles with him. Even when we do not know his plan we can trust his heart for our lives and know that when we place our trust in him he will never fail us.
- Hobbies – Life cannot always be work, you need to have fun too! A good and godly hobby can be a spectacular outlet for anger, sadness, and boredom.
As you leave the woods you look back and realize it was not as hard as you thought it would be. You know that the things you have learned while working to get yourself out of isolation and back to civilization will stick with you for the rest of your life. The four tools you have used made the difference between success and failure and you now have the confidence to face life more prepared physically and spiritually. You never planned for it to happen, but this journey is something you would never trade.
Even though this journey has only been on paper and didn’t ‘really’ happen, I hope that you will walk away from this imaginary adventure challenged. Survival is not just something we watch on television or read in books, it is a real world lifestyle that can make the difference between your success or failure in life. I pray that you will use these tools to grow closer to Christ and that you will challenge your friends to get out of your comfort zones to reach out into our lost and dying world with the message of Christ’s life and offer of salvation to all who will place total trust in him.
As you leave this camp, what will change in your life? What must you do to follow Christ completely? What things are you doing to grow closer God that will last after camp is over? Look at this passage below to see what Jesus said to give you some ideas.
 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.  The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10: 6-10 NLT)