answers to the Survival Challenge

First of all, you rock. Look at you doing your homework and everything!!! Way to be, Folks! You’re so fun.

Your instincts were so very right… warmth and shelter are the key, here. NO walking or leaving the wreckage. People will be looking for you as soon as your plane does not arrive at its destination. The real question here is do we know how all these random pieces can be put together to ensure a comfortable wait? In my case, the answer was No. Apparently not. When I did this exercise myself as a junior in high school, I managed to convince my entire team that a compass was absolutely without a doubt a necessary. I can be very adamant when I think I am right. We do not need to discuss this.

SO. Kudos to you who resisted the urge to look up the answers before you tried… you are better people than I. I, honestly, would have totally cheated. The correct order of importance (in this specific case) is as follows:

  1. lighter without fluid
  2. ball of steel wool
  3. extra clothing for each survivor
  4. can of Crisco
  5. 20×20 foot canvas
  6. axe
  7. chocolate bars
  8. newspapers
  9. pistol
  10. whiskey
  11. compass
  12. plastic map
Score as follows:
Take YOUR top five. Add points according to their ranking above. If your top 5 was pistol, Crisco, chocolate, axe, and whiskey you’d add 9 + 4 + 7 + 6 + 10 for a score of 36. Lowest score wins here. According to my calculations (which may be incorrect, so double check) our lowest score from Monday’s comments was………. Annie and Erica! ON THE MONEY, Peeps. You want these people on your crashing plane. In fact, Annie’s list was correct all the way through save one item. Ladies, I’ll send you a little surprise in the mail.

The creator of this specific test is Mark Wanvig. His explanation for the ordering of supplies is here. Is it not absolutely fascinating? I love this kind of stuff. I mean, I’ll never look at a can of Crisco the same way again. In fact, I’m going to go put one in my car right now.

Here’s how his brain processed the situation:

Mid-January is the coldest time of year in Northern Canada. The first problem the survivors face is the preservation of body heat and the protection against its loss. This problem can be solved by building a fire, minimizing movement and exertion, using as much insulation as possible, and constructing a shelter.

The participants have just crash-landed. Many individuals tend to overlook the enormous shock reaction this has on the human body, and the deaths of the pilot and co-pilot increases the shock. Decision-making under such circumstances is extremely difficult. Such a situation requires a strong emphasis on the use of reasoning for making decisions and for reducing fear and panic. Shock would be shown in the survivors by feelings of helplessness, loneliness, hopelessness, and fear. These feelings have brought about more fatalities than perhaps any other cause in survival situations. Certainly the state of shock means the movement of the survivors should be at a minimum, and that an attempt to calm them should be made.

Before taking off, a pilot has to file a flight plan which contains vital information such as the course, speed, estimated time of arrival, type of aircraft, and number of passengers. Search-and-rescue operations begin shortly after the failure of a plane to appear at its destination at the estimated time of arrival.

The 20 miles to the nearest town is a long walk under even ideal conditions, particularly if one is not used to walking such distances. In this situation, the walk is even more difficult due to shock, snow, dress, and water barriers. It would mean almost certain death from freezing and exhaustion. At temperatures of minus 25 to minus 40, the loss of body heat through exertion is a very serious matter.

Once the survivors have found ways to keep warm, their next task is to attract the attention of search planes. Thus, all the items the group has salvaged must be assessed for their value in signaling the group’s whereabouts.

Thanks for playing, folks! I’d have you on my team any day.


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

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