EDIT: The website for Bushmasters has crashed under the load. I found another site that also gives some information here: http://www.natureandkind.com/destinations/country/tour/bushcraft-survival-course

EDIT 2: The site is back up, but I'll let you google it to keep the load manageable. Google "bushmasters amazon" without the quotes.

Edit 3: I may have unintentionally given a poor depiction of the Amerindian tribes. Referring to them as "natives" probably conjures images of facepaint and loincloths. However, they dress just as we did, and are familiar with the technology that they need to use in their daily life - engines for the boats, chainsaws for cutting through trees, walkie-talkies, etc. They can carry on a regular English conversation but in my experience weren't overly talkative, preferring to demonstrate rather than explicate.

After graduating college last spring, my mom said she thought I should go on a vacation. Rather that traveling around Europe like most people, I thought I'd do something a little more exciting (and a bit cheaper). I always wanted to do a survival course, but thought it would be cool to do something a bit more exotic than usual. So I stumbled upon this company called Bushmasters (site currently down) that runs survival trips in the Amazon rainforest (Guyana) and other locations (desert island, and soon to be Arabian desert).

The first week and a half are regular camping days with the group to help you acclimate to the environment. We learn basic survival skills - finding dry wood, starting fires, fishing, foraging for helpful things we can get from the environment. I'll answer questions about this, but it wasn't overly strenuous or challenging so I'll focus on the fun part.

For the last two days, each of us in the group are taken to separate locations to stay for two nights. We are far enough that we don't see each other, but you could hear their chopping in the distance.

You are allowed to bring:

  • Machete and fish knife
  • Bow and arrows
  • Bait rod (a sensitive fishing rod that we made earlier)
  • Iodine and canteen
  • Some paracord
  • Fishing line and hooks
  • Flint and cotton
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Edit: Camera, obviously. :)

Also, anything you found from foraging in the previous excursions. This included:

  • Kukrit nuts: They often have grubs inside that you can eat (they taste kind of nutty and crisp, not bad), or use for bait if you want to catch real food
  • A cotton like material (I forget the name) that burns better than regular cotton and doesn't get wet (BIG plus)
  • Some solidified sap that makes a fire burn hotter and smell like Christmas
  • Bushrope for tying things

You weren't allowed to bring food, but I scarfed a Clif bar before they took me out.

The first thing you do is work on building a shelter.

Here's a picture of mine.

You have to work quickly because once the sun goes down you can't do shit. The first day isn't too bad with not having food, but I cut down a Heart of Palm to get something in my stomach. I don't like the taste of it very much, but at least it was something.

My shelter was really uncomfortable, but I still managed to fall asleep. The next day I woke up and the ground was moving - turns out there was a swarm of army ants that was going through my camp. Sorry I didn't get a picture, I was too panicked, thinking now I would need to find a new place to sleep. But they passed right through, no problem. That day I focused on improving my shelter and catching some food, along with making a fire. Everything went pretty well - I worked my way up the fishing hierarchy (caught a bait fish with a grub from a Kukrit nut, and I caught a catfish with the bait fish within 5 minutes of putting my line in the water.) I was able to build a fire and enjoy my delicious fish (one of the best I've tasted). You can see it cooking in the picture of my shelter.

That night, however, I found out just how inadequate my shelter was. A tropical rainstorm started, (it was the worst rain I had ever seen), and no matter where I put my head, there was always a constant drip on my forehead. I finally was able to experience Chinese water torture first-hand :) I didn't get any sleep that night - I just curled up as best I could and had to wait it out. It was pitch black too - although I could see the rain with the occasional lightning strike. It was the longest ten hours of my life.

We bring along a walkie-talkie in case things get out of hand, and I was really tempted to use it. Once you turn it on, you're considered out of the "competition" and will be taken back to base camp. The thing that made me not give up was mostly the realization that it would be raining back at base camp too. I found out later that everyone else in my group was thinking the same thing, and our entire group stuck it out.

As morning came, the rain abated, and I got to work making a fire. I thought we'd be rescued soon, but I didn't want to take a chance. I was freezing cold, and besides, in a real situation, it's important to make a fire so people can find you. I was able to get some semblence of a fire by throwing all my cotton at the driest wood I could find (very hard after a rainstorm, so I tried shaving off the outside of what I had). Luckily I was rescued soon after that.

It turns out I was the only one who managed to both catch and cook a fish. And this is someone who just graduated with a major in Computer Science, when one of our group members was a soldier in the Swedish army.

So that's my story. It was an amazing experience, and I am never lacking something interesting to talk about now. Sometimes I'm a bit of an asshole when people complain about first-world problems, citing my experiences, but I only do that in good fun. If I were to do it again, I'd like to choose a different location. The Desert Island survival is more challenging, but you also get to jump out of a helicopter into the water and swim to shore. I'm happy to answer anything about the trip, me in general, or Bushmasters if you're interested in doing something similar.

I have another picture of me (I'm in the front of the boat) as proof here, but I can provide more photos if needed. I have some Survivorman-esque videos as well, but I haven't edited or uploaded them.

More photos here: https://picasaweb.google.com/117988698667365078922/SurvivalTrip?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCKOTgYDLr4i4Rw&feat=directlink

Comments: 989 • Responses: 45  • Date: 

crime_fighter125 karma

if this hasn't already been asked: WHAT ABOUT THE SPIDERS?!

also I just recently graduated and didn't want to do the cliche eurotrip either.. I was thinking of getting to Antarctica somehow but youre the second person to tell me about this sort of adventure, my only fear is spiders. Everything else I know I will have to deal with but ...come on ..spiders.

ianp622132 karma

When you're walking around at night with your headlamp, you always see a whole bunch of blue shiny specks everywhere. Each pair of those is a spider :)

But they don't make a habit of crawling over you. I never touched one while I was there.

I uploaded this picture just for you: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/CUf6-wMHDuAJ-FX6ADN4ynzmZav5JYm-eM3JQmeiHiY?feat=directlink

Here's another one - a little scarier, so maybe you shouldn't click it. I happen to like spiders. But it's really okay to go, as long as you don't stick your hand in any dark places. https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7X5d49tXHsgHeFS1OwUtTnzmZav5JYm-eM3JQmeiHiY?feat=directlink

butatwutcost173 karma

Your first spider picture is a tarantula, Psalmopoeus irminia aka Venezuelan Suntiger. Cool to see a wild one as they're usually reclusive during the day. Beautiful species and I have one.

ianp62293 karma

Thank you for the identification!

escoffier99 karma

Guess I'm gonna pass on this trip.

ianp62261 karma

The Desert Island one might not have as many spiders. You should ask if you're interested.

crime_fighter26 karma

oh dear gosh NOPE. I tip my hat for your bravery but how can you tell which are poisonous and which are friendly little spideys?

great pics tho!

ianp62248 karma

I just stay away from all of them, although I know the tarantulas are safe as long as you don't get your eyes close to them.

Dosakaru40 karma

What happens if you get your eyes too close to them?

ianp622120 karma

They flick sharp hairs in your eyes.

TrustingSam116 karma

This seems amazing. How long was it and what did you learn from it? Edit- Im jelly as fuark

ianp622270 karma

The whole trip lasted two weeks. We start out in Georgetown, the capital city, then take a plane out to an ecolodge and stay there for a day before we head into the jungle. Then five days at a cozy campsite (some shelters already built, holes in the ground, etc.), then move to another campsite that isn't as developed and stay there five days before the Isolation phase. Then we go back to the ecolodge for a night, take a stop at Kaieteur falls, and finally go back to Georgetown to get hammered (I've never drunk so much in my life).

There were two significant things I learned. First, I learned that I could survive on my own in the wilderness and that I wasn't entirely dependent on the niceties of everyday living. Second, I realized that living in a first-world society means a diffusion of responsibility for our lives. When you're in the jungle, being lazy gets severely punished. Being reckless, even more so. Back home, everything is so easily available that when I first got back I felt useless. Everything was basically a trip to a store away, and my entire life was set up so that I had to do as little work as possible. You begin to wonder what your purpose is, if you don't even have to make sure you survive. So I guess I had a bit of an existential crisis, but it really just highlighted the fact that in a society such as ours, self-actualization is vital and is almost expected given that we have our basic needs taken care of.

The survival things are nice to know, but I don't know if I'll ever really need to use most of them. I think what's more important is the mental fortitude I gained (in some aspects - I am still rather sensitive emotionally) and the confidence that I could survive in a similar situation.

A large part of my original motivation for doing a course with an isolation period was to find out if I could live my life alone, by facing something difficult with no one else in sight. I had recently been let down by someone I felt close to, and felt like if I could do this, then I'd be stronger and less reliant on others. It helped, but I have more recently found that loneliness is never something you can truly conquer. Thinking that you are self-sufficient is never really true, in my experience, and I think it's important to think about the people that have supported you and continue to.

[deleted]109 karma


ianp622107 karma

This is true. I'm white, able-bodied, straight, upper-middle class. I have to go out of my way to face any semblance of a challenge.

TrustingSam39 karma

sounds amazing.

ianp62265 karma

It was. I have to be careful before wholeheartedly recommending it though - since it's in the wilderness, certain factors can make it much worse than it was when I went. Previous trips have had floods such that water was up to top of the tables that I was sitting at in our first camp. You should go during dry season, if possible.

BittingBummer28 karma

You mentioned the floods - any danger of snakes or piranhas?

ianp62262 karma

Piranhas are only a problem if you're bleeding, or if somebody brings them into the boat with you. Snakes can be dangerous, but they generally try to flee rather than attack you. Just don't corner them, and check under leaves with a stick before you build your shelter or walk through them.

Banaam33 karma

but I don't know if I'll ever really need to use most of them

As is commonly said amongst gun owners here in the US. It's always better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it, much like a fire extinguisher.

ianp62221 karma

Of course. Knowledge is power.

hautch28 karma

As someone else who has been to Georgetown, I must know, did you pet the manatees?

ianp62233 karma

I didn't visit the botanical gardens, sorry.

Theskyishigh17 karma

I think you may work for Bushmasters PR

ianp62230 karma

Nope, they don't know that this is going on. I think they might be surprised at the influx of emails.

JSA1783 karma

Or pissed that their website is now down.

ianp622107 karma


Mistrial79 karma

If you were close enough to hear the other participants, what were the rules on finding them? What would happen if you were to stumble upon someone else doing the challenge?

Also: Have you ever read the book "Hatchet"? It's quite an interesting read on this kind of thing.

ianp62270 karma

No specific rules, but we were told not to venture very far from our camp. It's extremely easy to get lost. We had compasses, but I still got a little worried when I had to go a bit far to get some building materials.

I suspect it might have been possible, but I think we were also separated by water in some cases.

No, I haven't read it, although I have it at my parents' house.

semper_fly71 karma

what an awesome experience.

how did you get so much fucking clarity in your photos?

ianp62284 karma

Canon Rebel T2i. For close shots (and isolation), I used the "nifty fifty" (50 mm f/1.8). For long range shots, I used the 400mm 5.6 L. They're both very sharp, and the 50 mm is the best value lens I know of.

semper_fly46 karma

thank you for the reply to my unrelated comment!

ianp622112 karma

This is Ask Me Anything, after all. :)

MGM42073 karma

Did you jerk off to kill time when you were alone?

ianp62281 karma

No, nearly all the time there was something I could do - make a better shelter, get firewood, etc., so I didn't have much downtime. If I wasn't working, I was trying to sleep. Besides, I didn't think of women very much when I was there, actually.

Deadhookersandblow55 karma

Thanks for the AMA and proof.

What would happen if a contestant was in danger and out of reach of his walkie talkie?

Also, was the training before hand adequate enough so as that a person with no outdoor experience beforehand can still take up this challenge?

ianp62266 karma

They would be able to find you pretty quickly. The natives were close by, and we were told that they would be watching us occasionally (although we would never know it). If you did somehow go somewhere, they would be able to track you.

Yes, I had never so much as gone camping before.

UncleTogie39 karma

The natives were close by, and we were told that they would be watching us occasionally (although we would never know it).

Just how 'native' were they, and do you have any idea how they were compensated for 'babysitting'?

ianp62247 karma

They grew up and live in the rainforest typically, but sometimes travel to Georgetown to buy things. They speak English as well as their Creole, and often wear t-shirts.

I don't know how much they are paid.

BittingBummer41 karma

Were you ever afraid for your life for any reason?

ianp622116 karma

Yes, while riding in a Georgetown cab.

This is not a joke.

BittingBummer24 karma

How come? Bad drivers? Wild Animals? Crazy Villagers that would steal everything from you?

ianp62266 karma

Crazy drivers that drive nearly twice the speed limit and pass anything that isn't going faster than them. This is on a two-lane road, mind you.

NoOneLikesNebraskans34 karma

I had a less-severe similar experience where I was alone in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota for about a week. For me, it was a constant worry throughout the whole week of getting lost, not catching any fish, etc. However, at the end, I looked back on it and could say "Wow, I'm really glad I did that." (despite all of the worrying throughout.) I already have another scheduled week-long expedition there for summer (bringing a friend to do it with me this time, however.)

If you had the option to, would you want to go do it again, especially knowing now what to expect?

ianp62272 karma

I'd prefer to do somewhere else. Earth is the most varied and beautiful planet we know of, and I'd like to feel like I could survive in a number of locations. It just feels like an admirable goal, if you think of the grand scheme of things.

I mean, imagine if an alien came down to Earth to you, and then said, "You have this entire planet which is like a collage of every other planet we know of, and you can only survive in this little spot that you happened to be born in?" It'd make me feel pretty shitty. It's too easy to get caught in our little bubbles, talking about the newest gadget that comes out or worrying about things that don't really matter.

I'm not sure if I would do the Desert Island or Jordan Desert one. The Jordan isn't as much of a survival, since in the words of our guide, "You don't survive in the desert, you prolong death". But something about being alone in the sand dunes for a bit just speaks to me. Maybe it's from reading Dune.

TheMartinConan33 karma

Did you masturbate during this time?

ianp62271 karma

There is a chance members of my family might see this, so no, of course not.

weealex30 karma

I can't get to the bushmasters site from work, so I'll just ask: how much do these trips cost?

Also, how hard is it to drink your own urine?

ianp62261 karma

The Full Survival trip (which I went on) is 1600 GBP, which is about $2600. The flight cost me about $600 from New York, as far as I can remember. Equipment costs about $200, and vaccinations another $100 or so on top of that. So the total was about $3500-$3800, if I'm not missing anything.

There's no reason to drink your own urine. It will dehydrate you. Plus, there's always a river nearby.

[deleted]13 karma

I can get there, here's a copy of the "dates/prices" page for you :

Trip Date Season Price in GBP (£) Availability

RAW Survival 8 - 21 Jan 2012 Wet/Dry 1300 Check

Safari 26 Jan - 2 Feb 2012 Dry 1400 Check

Desert Island Survival 2 - 11 Feb 2012 Dry 1300 Check

Desert Island Survival 16 - 25 Feb 2012 Dry 1300 Check

Desert Island Survival 1 - 10 Mar 2012 Dry 1300 Check

4x4/Vaquero/Rodeo! 25 Mar - 7 Apr 2012 Dry 1200 Check

Venture: Kaieteur 15 - 28 Apr 2012 Dry TBC Check

RAW Survival 13 - 26 May 2012 Dry/Wet 1300 Check

Safari 3 - 12 Jun 2012 Wet 1400 Check

RAW Survival 10 - 23 Jun 2012 Wet 1300 Check

Full Survival 8 - 21 Jul 2012 Wet 1600 Check

Venture: Kanuku 2 - 15 Aug 2012 Wet/Dry 1300 Check

Full Survival 9 - 23 Sep 2012 Dry 1600 Check

Safari 23 Sep - 2 Oct 2012 Dry 1400 Check

Desert Venture 7 - 20 Oct 2012 Dry 1500 Check

Desert Venture 28 Oct - 11 Nov 2012 Dry 1500 Check

RAW Survival 18 Nov - 1 Dec 2012 Dry 1300 Check

4X4 9 - 22 Dec 2012 Dry 1500 Check

I guess the OP went on a full or RAW survival (they are mostly the main thing, from the site : "RAW trips are the same as the Full Survival courses, only we cut out all the fancy luxuries to reduce costs to a bare minimum. No aircraft charter flights on this trip, instead you get 12 hours on a local bus in and out of the forest! There are no smart lodges and no all-in trips to Kaieteur Falls.")

OP: how much did it cost you overall (plane ticket, insurances, etc...) ? I'm very interested.

ianp62214 karma

Yes, I did the Full Survival. I think a good conservative estimate for everything would be about $4000. This includes: the Bushmasters charge (which includes lodging, food, equipment that would make sense to buy yourself - hammocks, basha sheet, machete etc., and the flights to and from the jungle. Sometimes it's a bus trip, but we were lucky because the roads were flooded (a 12 hour bus ride doesn't appeal to me)., travel insurance, vaccinations, equipment you buy yourself - boots, rucksack, headlamp, sleeping bag (not strictly necessary, but a nice cushion for the hammock) etc., a native-made bow and arrow set (you can buy the one you used), and the plane ticket.

willdill23 karma

Were you alone at your camp? If so, do you have the option to be 2 people, let's say I want to this with a friend?

ianp62248 karma

Yes, everyone in our group was alone, but you have an option to go with any number of people you like. Other groups have done the "Isolation" phase as an entire group, because they thought it would be fun to be together. I wanted the challenge of being alone though, and so did everyone else.

willdill25 karma

Cool, thanks for the reply. Another question, what are the dangers, if any, of wild animals eating you? Is it important to have your bed off the ground?

ianp62252 karma

The dangers of wild animals are minuscule compared to other dangers (i.e. yourself). We didn't see any jaguars or wild boar, as they generally avoid humans. They'll know you're around before you know they are. I believe the most likely cause of death in the area is deadfall. Piranhas are okay to swim with, as long as you're not bleeding. It's a bit scary if you're wearing sandals and somebody brings a Piranha into the boat though - that's a legitimate concern. There are snakes as well (we saw a whip snake), but if you cover your legs and wear boots, you'll probably be fine. Just make sure to check piles of leaves before you go traipsing around in them.

It is important to have your bed off the ground, but one of our group members just slept on the beach. He paid for it when the rainstorm came though :) Keeping your bed off the ground helps you avoid snakes and insects - if I hadn't been off the ground, I would have been covered in army ants when I woke up. Likewise, you keep your boots upside down on sticks so that you don't have any surprises the next morning.

I should note that on the Bushmasters trips, there has never been any severe illness from the environment (a few mishaps from people who didn't know how to wield a machete though). There was one case of leishmaniasis, but it was cured. You do have to buy travel insurance with helicopter evac in case of a snake bite.

[deleted]32 karma

I'm sorry for my ignorance, but what's deadfall?

ianp62242 karma

It's when a large tree limb breaks off of a tree high up in the canopy, but gets stuck in other branches. Wind or other movement can loosen it, and it can fall and kill you.

[deleted]21 karma

Are you trained to avoid that? How? "If you hear a huge crack, run"?

ianp62233 karma

Before building your shelter, you just check the trees above you. If I heard a crack, I probably wouldn't know where to run, so I'd check above first.

LtCthulhu16 karma

Were you close enough to yell to the people nearby?

I just had a mild daytime nightmare of a branch crushing me but not killing me, and then not being able move to get the walkie.

ianp62210 karma

I doubt they would hear me, but I were in that situation I would try.

hegz060313 karma

Likewise, you keep your boots upside down on sticks so that you don't have any surprises the next morning.

I would never take them off.

ianp62233 karma

Unfortunately, you need to. You will get water in your boots, and if you don't allow your feet to dry and powder them at night, you'll get blisters at best and trench-foot at worst.

BittingBummer21 karma

You said "I didn't get any sleep that night - I just curled up as best I could and had to wait it out." Did any thing prevent you from building up your shelter more?

Also, what was the temperature like, both during the day and during the night?

Thank you for doing this AMA!

ianp62229 karma

It was pitch black, and I would just get entirely drenched. I had already gotten most of the leaves in the immediate vicinity that would be good for a roof, so I would need to travel farther than would be safe in the dark.

Temperature was rather comfortable during both day and night. Not as humid as I thought it would be, but it was also during dry season. The shade of the trees keeps you cool as well.

The worst part is in the morning. Everyday you have to wash with your clothes to avoid Prickly Heat. Then you change into fresh clothes (if you're not in isolation). The problem is, nothing dries in the jungle, so your clothes are just as wet the next morning. They dry out during the day, but the first hour is rather uncomfortable.

BittingBummer15 karma

What is "Prickly Heat"? When I google this, wikipedia claims it is Malaria and caused by sweat/humidity https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miliaria but the CDC claims it is misquitos that spread malaria http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/biology/mosquitoes/index.html

Were there any other diseases/conditions you had to take preventative measures for?

EDIT: my bad, TIL miliaria != malaria

ianp62238 karma

It's "miliaria", not to be confused with malaria.

It's when your sweat pores become clogged with oil, and so your sweat becomes trapped under your skin. It's said to be extremely irritating.

You have to get yellow fever and typhoid vaccinations. Typhoid is only a problem in populated areas though. Rabies is said to be a concern but nobody on these trips has ever been bitten by an animal, and even with the vaccine, you still need to be taken to a hospital so there isn't much point (it's also >$200). I also got a booster for Hepatitis A I think.

You can get leishmaniasis from sand flies, so you spray your sleeping equipment with permethrin. One of our team members got a botfly bite - they bury their larva under your skin, forming a bubble, and it breaks open when they hatch. Harmless, though.

Other than that, just make sure you disinfect your water correctly and don't rupture any digestive organs when cutting open your fish.

Indigoes8 karma

Just a quick note: rabies is almost invariably fatal without pre-exposure prophylaxis. The current vaccine is 3 doses, ~$300 each, good for 2-5 years.

And it is way less painful than the yellow fever one.

ianp6228 karma

From what I've read, so far in the US (according to the CDC), post-exposure prophylaxis has been 100% successful in preventing rabies from developing in those that have been affected. It would be administered even with the pre-exposure prophylaxis, as far as I know.

Going from this: http://rabies.emedtv.com/rabies-vaccine/rabies-vaccine-p2.html

Is this inaccurate?

dummystupid13 karma

Did the natives, who live there with far less provisions have anything to say to you about the idea?

Not being snarky. This is a serious question. I always wondered what natives thought of people "surviving" on the same land they spend their entire lives.

ianp62215 karma

They didn't talk enough to say anything about that. I think they appreciated that we were learning about their home, and they were very patient in teaching us about their methods. And they were always good-humored. If you think about it, it would be very difficult for them to adjust to our life, so it goes both ways.

Bronks13 karma


ianp62212 karma

I'm glad people are enjoying it!

shadow778611 karma

Did you have to disinfect the water ?

ianp62228 karma

Yes, they provide iodine drops. If you lose those, you're nearly SOL. We did have a bamboo pot that we made though, so provided you had a fire, you could boil the water as well.

If that fails, there are water vines that provide delicious fresh water, although in limited quantities. You have to make sure you distinguish them from the poison vines though. A rather blunt way of fishing is to cut those poison vines and throw a chunk in the water, and watch as the fish float to the surface.

telekinetic_turtle13 karma

Wouldn't the fish meat contain poison though?

ianp62234 karma

Even though it's called a poison vine, that's not what kills the fish. It deoxygenates the water, so they're safe to eat, as far as I can remember. They didn't recommend doing it though.

sunshinej10 karma

So what if you were to come across another Survivor.. what happens then?

ianp62215 karma

As stated above, no strict rules. I'd probably carry on as usual. Also, I don't know exactly how far away they were. The chopping had an echo, so probably pretty far.

Snake9736 karma

This is so cool. I've done some survival camping before, but it's always been in the Northwest US. I've always wanted to do jungle. Have you done any more survival stuff since this trip? And how do you think it compares?

ianp62211 karma

No, I haven't. I'm a PhD student now, so that doesn't leave much time or money. I hope to in the future, though.

questionablemoose6 karma

Where did you poop? What precautions did you take while pooping?

ianp6228 karma

During isolation, I didn't. At our second camp site, we dug a hole and had a shovel with toilet paper. Take a shit, and cover it up. No precautions necessary, except don't step in the hole.

[deleted]5 karma


ianp62211 karma

I'm sorry, I'm blanking on the name and I can't find it online either. I did take notes, but they're not here with me. As far as I can remember, it was a very large tree (about 3 feet in diamter). When you see it, you just look on the ground to find it.

Iheartstreaking5 karma

I thought your comment about the night of rain ("It was the longest ten hours of my life.") was very telling. On an episode of "I Shouldn't Be Alive," a couple gets lost in the Amazon rainforest for about a week, and one night a rainstorm hits. The woman said it was by far the worst night of her life, and that if given the choice between reliving it or dying, she'd rather die.

ianp6226 karma

It wasn't that bad for me. I find physical challenges to be rather bearable without affecting my emotional state. Emotional challenges, which are more often found when all of my basic needs are taken care of for me, typically take a bigger toll on me.

butatwutcost5 karma

Ever watch Man vs. Wild, Survivorman or any other survivor shows and used any of the skills taught? Or did you just go in with no knowledge whatsoever (aside from training)?

I'm actually watching Man vs. Wild right now.

ianp62211 karma

Yeah, I used to watch Survivorman. Always thought Man vs. Wild was too showy and not as useful, and also doesn't cover the psychological issues. Two days isn't enough to suffer any ill effects mentally though - although I kept thinking about the wonder of fast food while I was there.

I didn't use any skills I saw on Survivorman though. Everything you need is taught to you on the trip. Also, different areas of the rainforest have slightly different techniques - you'll run into different trees, for example, so you'll have to improvise.

ohsudeed3 karma

what crazy organisms (besides spiders) did you see on your adventure?

ianp6228 karma

  • Macaw
  • Kingfisher
  • Cayman (this was at night, so didn't get a great picture)
  • Whipsnake
  • Capybara
  • Bats
  • Poison dart frog
  • Tarantula
  • Piranha
  • Catfish
  • Howler monkey
  • Vervet monkey
  • Army ants
  • Bullet ants
  • Frogs
  • Toucanet
  • Lizards

And probably some others I'm missing.