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April 1, 2014 9:14 AM

I recently learned I’ve been selected for an upcoming surprise athletic competition that will focus on outdoorsy skills. I grew up fairly poor and we didn’t do much beyond hiking and occasional archery and I’ve tried everything to get out of doing this but I must go ahead with the competition. I’m mostly looking for pointers and a crash-course in boy scout type lessons: how to make fire, how to find water (super important!), building tripwires to hunt small game, and methods for finding your way using natural signs rather than map and compass. Anything would really help!
posted by Katnitted to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation around (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Look for the plant known as "arrowhead."
posted by limeonaire at 9:34 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think you're overthinking all of this. Just go out and have fun. I mean, it's not like your life depends on this, right?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 10:05 PM on March 31, 2014 [49 favorites]

I think you should focus more on your competitors. Find their strengths and weaknesses, form alliances (but don't be afraid to break them when the time comes!). Try to create a compelling personal narrative for the spectators--the support of the crowd can work wonders at crunch time!

May the odds be ever in your favor!!!
posted by lovecrafty at 10:40 PM on March 31, 2014

These sorts of things are always staged, it's such bullshit and I'm sick of having my shows pre-empted for it. Why can't you guys focus on being more entertaining for once? If I'm stuck watching people with boring hair and stupid clothes, you could at least do something dramatic.
posted by Sequence at 11:05 PM on March 31, 2014 [6 favorites]

Do you have any hot friends who could help you learn about traps?
posted by NoraReed at 12:45 AM on April 1, 2014

I think you're lying about being selected. I think you volunteered, though perhaps you had a good reason.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:54 AM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Consider polyamory.
posted by b33j at 2:29 AM on April 1, 2014 [37 favorites]

Here is a tip that will give you a leg up on the competition. Look for a vine-like plant in the woods. It is a common ivy like plant and the leaves are arranged in groups of three. This only works with the plant that has leaves in groups of three. Anyway, collect as many of these leaves as you can and crush them vigorously with your bare hands so that the natural oils are released. Do this until your hands are covered in a sticky oily residue. Then, rub it into your skin--I mean everywhere--It acts like a natural bug repellent!

Then.....start a small fire and burn the crushed up leaves. As you do this, make sure you put your face into the smoke and breath in deeply. This is a little known secret, but breathing in the oily vapor in the smoke will increase your stamina--giving you that extra edge!

You can do this! Now go be awesome!
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 4:53 AM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

This all really depends on when this competition is and if you have time to learn new skills. If it's soon, it would be in your better interest to focus on the skills you already have and thinking through how you can apply them to any challenge at hand. A lot of times you don't need to be outdoorsy, but just resourceful and use common sense.

Otherwise, just Amazon Prime this book, and it will at least help a little.
posted by aaanastasia at 5:02 AM on April 1, 2014

If you can get your hands on a copy of the old board game Diplomacy, this may help you manage your relationships with the other contestants.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:01 AM on April 1, 2014

I think you'll find the program provides several short courses of the type you've described, but you may have more success impressing the judges with the skills you already have - maybe focus on the archery? That's pretty unusual in today's capitalist society. Stay true to your roots.
posted by maryr at 1:39 PM on April 1, 2014

There's only one thing to focus on until the program starts - what are you going to wear?!
posted by maryr at 1:41 PM on April 1, 2014

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