Despite Aspen being a five-star resort that is seen mostly for its highfalutin guests, it still has roots in the Wild West. If you look closely the area is full of crusty survivalist types who would be happy eating backpacker food and know how to build a fire. I guess that’ll be a good thing should doomsday come to town.
We’ve all been tuned in to shows like “Survivorman” and “Man vs. Wild” for a while now and honestly, living in these parts has us all much more exposed to the actual use of said skills than say, our urban contemporaries.
This fall has been unlike any fall I’ve experienced in Aspen because a handful of our good friends have hunted and killed their family’s provisions for the winter. Even Aspen’s Princess is living with a hunter. I thought this was Aspen, not Montana.
My husband went hunting in his youth and, although a great outdoorsman, couldn’t get into the whole warm blood/carrying pieces of a dead animal out of the woods thing. At this point, the wild game we eat is gifted from our friends.
I have realized more and more what good friends these hunters are. My mother always taught me to have a plan and save for a “rainy” day. As we approach the end of the Mayan calendar and just generally continue to destroy the earth, I can’t help but want to plan for what’s next. And I like to eat.
I don’t necessarily think we are all going implode on Dec. 21, nor am I concocting a special Kool-Aid for that night, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a backup plan. A little doomsday prepping never hurt anyone.
We were out to dinner the other night and my hunter friend asked my husband and me if we’d like to be in charge of agriculture, if and when the shit hits the fan.
My husband and I looked at each other with delight realizing we weren’t the only loons out there hypothesizing. Yay! We’ve been accepted to a hunter’s tribe!
We aren’t looking to be part of some militia, but honestly, the lyrics, “bring lawyers, guns and money … ” might be more prudent than I once suspected.
Living in Aspen gives us some relief, since flooding is probably not eminent like it is on the coasts, but you never know. Our raft could come in handy. Agriculture AND Seafaring, check. Now, we’re totally valuable.
I do think that, should things go Hunger Games, my husband would be a great shot, and we’d have no choice but to get over the blood and guts thing. Though if we’ve been tapped to be head of agriculture, then maybe we can just water the plants instead.
It got me thinking about my skills. I have a liberal arts education, so technically I’m well-rounded. I’m a mountain woman with better than average mountain survival skills in a controlled environment, right? I’ve been down the Grand Canyon. That put some hair on my chest and a point on my burley scale didn’t it? We almost ran out of bread!
That, or I might regret not having had the opportunity to be in a more focused area of survivalism, like a 400-level college archery class. Hindsight is always 20/20.
Despite Aspen’s relatively cushy lifestyle, we can camp and live in the elements and make it to the top of mountains with relative ease. Score one for the survival column! But, in spite of having shortages of potatoes at City Market on Thanksgiving, we haven’t actually been forced to forage for food. Score one for lack of gravitational pull dropping us on our butts.
I’m not a natural born killer so I need to be able to offer something to a team of hunters. Ever since this prepping idea has taken hold, I’ve found myself reviewing my skills as if I were putting together an End of Days resume in order to be selected for an Armageddon Tribe.
1. Excellent verbal and written communication.
2. Experience at peacekeeping.
3. Roaring Fork Leadership graduate.
4. Physical stamina —meet my husband. “Ten hut!” is totally normal for me on a powder day.
5. Grouse skinning. Though I’ve yet to use this skill, one of my hunter friends gave me a quick verbal instruction on how to field-dress a grouse should the situation present itself. Something about stepping on the wings and pulling by the feet and voila, dinner. A girl’s gotta eat.
Perhaps CMC could come up with a new line of classes: Survival Skills for the Peaceful Warrior.
Focus on the positive Aspenites and find your tribe. When you get past the doom and gloom and get practical it’s just like getting ready for any other competition, which we’re pretty versed at in these parts. Happy hunting!
Beth hasn’t started canning meats yet, but is considering learning how. Email her at email@example.com .