The hallmark of any jungle survival course would probably be the part where participants harvest lianas and drink that woody tasting water from it’s chopped of limbs. This jungle survival course was no exception.
Not all lianas can provide safe drinking water of course. Any liana that gives out latex when cut is best avoided. The ones we cut during the course has this claw like thing near to the leaf. This makes it so much easier to identify in the future.
We did not walk far into the jungle. It was probably just about an hour but everyone was feeling really tired. Not because of the terrain, I suspect it is the lack of nutritious food. Then again, this is probably what a person in a jungle survival situation would feel.
We got to our campsite and everyone started getting busy with setting up their personal shelter. Then it was the common area and fire place. The fire cooking place is probably the most important I think. Nope…no one tried starting fire by hitting a rock to the parang. I suspect some used the matches and solid fuel but hey…who uses matches anymore these days! I just used a lighter. Something I carry with me all the time.
There were about 15 of us. So, we were split into 3 main groups and there are basically 3 different cooking systems. I’d say all the system works. Never a right or wrong way of doing it. Some groups had to resort to a particular style probably due to the cooking utensils they brought.
We were lucky because there was ample bamboo near our campsite. Bamboo is such a useful resource in the jungle, so we took every opportunity to make full use of them. The dry ones make excellent fire accelerant, green ones are cleaned and used as water containers as well as to cook rice in. Yup…we definitely had a lot of practice cooking rice in bamboo during the course.
Third day was mostly settling down and sorting out our camp site. It is interesting to observe how some, due to the lack of nutritious food (we had very limited food) became more irritable. I guess these are moments where mistakes with a parang are most plausible.
I guess by the third day, the tiredness sort of kicked in, making everyone feeling very lethargic. I remember the instructors, perhaps out of pity, (or maybe guilt) invited groups on rotational basis to share some of the left over food from their camp. Hmmm…those were like heavenly moments during the jungle survival course. Even the simple kicap manis tasted awesome then. We were surviving on very little and that is perhaps the best ‘jungle survival’ experience one can really get.