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Western State College Journal Discussion

During the movie, when Charlie’s plane crashed he found himself in a difficult survival situation that almost cost him his life. Knowing what you know now after completing this course in the context of his survival situation: 1. What specifically did Charlie do well? 2. What specifically did he do poorly? 3. What would you do differently if you were in his situation? 4. From time of the crash to the end of the movie, what skills did you see that interested you and what skills are you called to develop further?

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15 Responses to “Western State College Journal Discussion”

  1. wwilson

    1. The thing that I noticed most that Charlie did well after his crash was to form an SOS sign with a red flag (although it seems to me that he could have somehow made the pattern stand out better; it was rather camouflaged). He also attempted to radio for help before and after he crashed and he spent some time tracking his location on the map and considering his options.

    2. It seemed that Charlie made mostly poor decisions. He left his plane. He left the only person who knew anything about the land and how to survive in it. He did not attempt to stay dry, warm, or protected from the elements, nor did he address his injuries in order to prevent their worsening. He also RAN from mosquitoes and ended up passed out at the bottom of a hill. And in his panicky state he wasted the matches and other resources he had available.

    3. Most of us would like to believe we would act rationally if placed in a similar situation as Charlie. However, when someone is actually placed there, reality sets in and most people will deal with some level of panic. So, if I were in Charlie’s position, I would like to think I would realize that the best place, at least at first, is at the crash site. Knowing what I now know about survival, I would find shelter first of all (the plane itself would not have been a bad option) and attempted to start a fire, purify water, and assess my food and equipment situation in addition to finding my location on the map and creating an SOS signal. I would also have used my best resource available: the Inuit girl who knew how to survive in the frigid tundra!

    4. The skills that interested me most during the course of the movie were the ones in which the Inuit girl was trapping animals and preparing the meat and hides. Though I do not like killing and eating animals, I am still interested in learning these skills for survival.

  2. Ben Bowman

    1.When I think back, Charlie didnt seem to be doing well right after the plane crashed. He was totally losing his cool and then jumped right into the frigid water. Those two things stand out to me. But Charlie did get all the supplies he need and didnt hesitate to start preparing for what was ahead.
    2.First off he lost his cool and then jumped into the water. He continued to bash on his plane and other equipment that would serve a purpose at some point. I noticed he only grabbed things to eat and a rifle. Those two things fall low on the list of neecesities.
    3. If I was in his situation,I would of kept my cool and remained logical. I would of stripped the plane or anything else in the plane for resources.I’d like to say I would rely on myself, but I would look towards the girl for inspiration.I would start trying to communicate with the girl. It’s obvious that she knows what she is doing. She definalty is the best way to stay alive out in the Northwest territory. If it wasnt for her he would of died. Also when he decided to leave her and look for help, that wasnt the best idea. He should of stayed with her, mainly beacuse she is a young girl but also beacuse she knows how to live out in that enviroment. He has no idea how to depend on himself out there after his spam and bullets run out.
    4. All the skills stood out to me. I really like the idea of creating fire, it seems so primitive and real. You have to have fire, and that is the first skill I plan on mastering. Also I liked they way she hunted and fished. All seem like easy tasks, it just tasks a huge amount of patience. Once it started to snow, shelter and clothing are a must. This skill is obviously only needed when you are in a survial situation, killing animals just too keep there fur is wrong, only unless you have too. I noticed that they were kinda of nomadic , so there shelter was never fully one foundation that stayed in one spot. They would move as they needed, and there shelter was easy to put up and take down, plus with that warm fur, the insolation was probally great.

  3. ben anders

    1. Charlie did well when he first made the sos out of rocks, and he prepared himself with his rifle and his food.
    2. Charlie did poorly at making a shelter the whole time until he learned from the Innu girl.
    3. I would stay with the plane, and make it my base camp/shelter, in hopes that it is easier to spot a huge plane than a couple of people walking.
    4. He learned how to make a shelter, he also learned to hunt small game, and he learned how to make fire from flintstones.

  4. salynda fleury

    What specifically did Charlie do well?
    Specifically, Charlie only handled a few things well in the situation. The first thing he did well was make an s.o.s. and a fire signal to draw the attention of a potential rescuer. Secondly, Charlie did well in gathering up as many useful materials from the plane as possible. Finally the biggest thing in my opinion that Charlie did well was make an effort to break the language barrier in order to communicate with the indigenous girl (I can’t recall her name), and have an open enough mind to learn from her. For I believe that it was her knowledge, skills, and ability to remain clear minded in the situation that saved their lives (well at least her life momentarily and ultimately Charlie’s).

    What specifically did he do poorly?
    The biggest error in Charlie’s ways was the way in which he lost his calm, and reacted when the plane crashed. In his hysterics he wasted ample energy, got himself lost, and failed to perform any of the essential duties to keep himself alive. All because he was too busy having a rampage, wasting his energy, and being dramatic as opposed to resourceful. I realize that in a situation like that anyone would experience anger, and fear, I know that I would, but also reacting to those feelings in the manor for which Charlie did could have meant life and death, had he not the knowledgeable company he was fortunate enough to have.

    Charlie also handled the situation poorly in that he neglected to have basic survival skills and gear in his profession. If I were a bush pilot in the arctic, I would definitely learn in the least, basic if not advanced survival skills! That is a super high risk job! I would also be sure to have an equipped plane with the bare essentials of survival. I think in that kind of profession, it is ignorant not to be prepared for a situation of that nature.

    What would you do differently if you were in his situation?
    First of all before I even got in the plane I would have been as knowledgeable as possible of the area I was flying in. I also would have in the least basic survival skills and knowledge. My plane would be stocked with matches, petroleum jelly cotton balls, knives, wool blankets, ponchos, signaling mirrors, you name it!
    Now if the plane crashed I would do everything in my power to overcome anger and fear and think clearly, because, as we learned from Charlie panicing will not get you anywhere. Once my mind was clear I could then begin to think clearly and react to the situation properly and efficiently without wasting precious time and energy. I would survey the area, familiarize myself and note the resources. From there I would begin to harvest materials construct my shelter, get a fire going, obtain water, set up a means of signaling and then perhaps get some food. Then stay put and polish my skills, not freak out and have to rely on my passenger to save my life.

    From the time of the crash to the end of the movie, what skills did you see interested you and what skills are you called to develop further?
    The skills that interested me the most were the girl’s hunting skills. Her knowledge of wildlife, hunting tools, and ability to be patient were admirable. I would like to learn more about how to fish, and hunt using primitive tools. I think that hunting technology has gone so far that it has totally separated the hunter from nature, and consequently, the hunter is dominating as opposed to being one with nature.
    The girl clearly had a great respect and understanding for the animals she hunted, for she knew that those animals meant her sustenance. I can’t see myself being brave enough to run into a caribou herd with a spear, but I could see myself widdleing a spear and catching a fish. It would be great feeling to feel full off of my own effort and skill, not because I have a credit card and can go to city market. The ability to be self reliant has defiantly gone down as we have modernized. Few people, even know where their food comes from, let alone how to produce it and obtain it themselves.

    As a result of watching the film, the trip, and other experiences I definitely want to begin a quest to become more self sustaining. I have already begun gardening and sewing, perhaps one day I can take a hide and make a wardrobe or something along those lines. Your connection to nature is far greater when you sustain yourself from it.

  5. Patrick McIntosh

    Charlie didn’t do too much right to start. He got wet destroyed his radio and totally freaked out. He did make up his mind and decided to walk out on foot. This was bad choice but at least he made up hi mind. He freaked out and didn’t take his time to get things right. He needed to breath to surrender and become aware of his surroundings. If I were him I would have used the greatest resource that was available to him. He had decades of knowledge with him in the form of a young girl. The skill that I like to use is use of his plane as a source of material. I’m sure a place could be striped and developed into a palace of a shelter. He in the end uses the canvas off the wing but it would have been cool for him to totally disassemble the plane to use it to its fullest potential. I would love to be able to hunt with my bare hands. That would be a skill I would love to learn. Or ever with a knife. That is a tool I always have with me.

  6. Jeff Ballantyne

    1)Charlie did a good job of taking the items that he thought of as use full with him from the plain wreck. He also did a good job of writing the big SOS with rocks. The thing he did best was rely on the Inuit girl for survival. Once he had run her nearly to death and learned alot from her was the first time I saw him doing well for himself and not relying on her.

    2)The worst thing that Charlie did was lose his cool, he panicked and lost his temper a couple of times, which nearly cost him his life. He should learn to take a breath to surrender and become aware of his surroundings or some meditaion skill to ease his tensions. I thought he should have also been alot more careful about getting wet, it’s not easy to get warm or dry after that.

    3)If I were in the same situation I would have given my passenger alot more respect and tried to communicate with her from the beggining. She would be alot more fimiliar with the area and conditions and have some valuable advice. I also would have tried to use more of the airplane for materials.

    4)I am still intersted in developing my fire creating skills. That seems like the most useful skill to develope further. I found all the hunting and fishing really interesting and useful. I would be interested in developing these skills more and knowing how to use as much of the animals as possible. I would be interested in learning how to make clothing/shoes from animals.

  7. Mark Longo

    1. What did Charlie do well?
    Charlie examined the situation, got supplies together, and made an SOS signal. Then he sat down, relaxed and built a fire. He attempted fix the radio which was a really important task. After unsuccessful attempts with the radio, he communicated his plan to the girl before leaving.

    2. What did Charlie do poorly?
    Charlie started off with an angry and negative attitude, which burned useful energy and clouded his thinking. He kept getting wet which is dangerous in a survival situation. The way he used the limited resources around him was terrible. He shot off his ammunition wastefully, used matches carelessly, consumed the coke quickly, and made an unnecessarily large fire. When fixing the radio, he wasn’t as careful as he needed to be. The radio could have been his ticket out of the situation, yet he didn’t take the time to prepare for the task so a fuse wouldn’t be dropped. His poor planning can be compared to having one match left and lighting it without wind protection. Charlie’s biggest example of poor judgment was not letting someone know his new route

    3. What would I do differently in the situation?
    I would stay dry, prepare a large signal fire with any flammable liquids I could get out of the plane for if anyone was to fly by, and I would only shoot at big game with the limited ammunition. My attitude toward my partner would have been appreciative and open to the survival knowledge she new. I would accept the fish the girl gave, be spooning buddies to keep warm at night, have one fire, and stay together. I would center myself so my actions were using energy for necessary reasons. Before flying I would let the radioman know my changed route and have adequate survival gear on board like lots of ammo, rain gear, and an extra radio.

    4. What skills interested you and what skills are you called to develop?
    I was interested in how all the animals were caught, especially the sik sik (gopher) with the lasso and the caribou with the rocks. The caribou scene blew me away. The creativity of the idea and success of the team was unreal. I am curious about one thing. Can raw meat and fat really be eaten? These are my questions: Is it as nutritious as cooking, is it harder to digest, can you get sick from it? A friend told me that you can safely eat raw meat, in most cases, if the animal has just been killed. The older the meat, like grocery store meat, the easier it is to get sick.
    I want to learn about catching animals for food in the wild. I know there are traps and hunting methods out there. My first thoughts are it is so difficult to catch wild animals without modern day tools. But then I remember my mind also said sleeping outside without a sleeping bag was impossible. So I’m assuming with the knowledge and practice, it can be done.

  8. Fletcher Haver

    1.)He realy did not do to much correct. Although he did have some food, a rifle, tried to redio for help, and built an
    S.O.S rock formation and set up a help signal Flag.

    2.He got soaked, freaked out, lost alot of energy, and left the only person who knew how to live off of the land. He did not know how to make a shelter or live off of the land. He left the plane and crash site.

    3.) I would have looked toward the Native to teach me to live off of the land. I would not have started to travel alone with out really knowing where I was actually going.

    4.) He learned how to hunt with out using a gun, start a fire with out a lighter or match, build a shelter. I also thought it was impressive how the inut girl made all of the warma nd water proof boots and clothing.

  9. aaron grinter

    1. charlie didn’t do to much right at the start of the movie. he was jumpy and scared so he didn’t think. he could have done many things to better his situation. the only things he did well was starting a fire and getting all of the food and sleeping bags from his plane.

    2. charlie did many things poorly. he ate almost all of his food in the first night that he was there. he didn’t ration at all. he didn’t build a shelter to stay in so he would have been cold. he also got wetright at the start and this is never good. he didn’t have any extra clothes so he sghould have tryed to stay dry.

    3. one thing that i would do differently would be to stay put. i wouldn’t start walking. this would be the last thing that i did. i would have started by building a shelter and trying to find food. i would have done this first. i would have made a fire also. he did this and that wsa good.

    4. the one skill that really interested me was the catching of the prarie dogs. that was a great method but it took that girl all day to catch on prarie dog. another skill that i liked was when the girl made those waterproof boots. that was impressive. i would work on my mending and my hunting. if charlie harness these skills he could live in the woods forever.

  10. Jason Erickson

    1. I think that the only thing Charlie did well was that he built a fire, since it si one of the essential things needed in an emergency situation.
    2. Charlie had numerous mistakes after he crashed the plane, first off, he lost his cool in front of the woman and jumped into the freezing water. Not too cool… Another thing that he did was that he left the crash site as well as leaving the woman alone. It was pretty selfish of him.
    3. If I were in his situation, I would do things totally different. I would put the sick woman as the top priority, because she would need to save as much energy as possible just to survive. I would also make a proper shelter and ration my food incase I was not able to catch any on my own. Most importantly, I would stay put and onto try to find my own way home.
    4. The skill that interested me the most was when the girl was trapping gofers; I thought it was so cool that she had the amount of patients that it took to catch them. I also thought that her hunting and fishing skills were excellent. The way she set up the rock figures to confuse the caribou was way cool. I would like to develop all of these skills and be an outdoor master! YEAH!!!

  11. Tim Osborn

    1. One of the most important activities that Charlie did well is the ability to learn and adapt. He was tragically placed in a region that he knew nothing about. Unfortunately he was forced to learn the hard way. Many of the important factors that his survival depended on were learned through trial and error. He had the ability to overcome adversity and learn from his blunders. Some of the specific activities that he did well consist of his first instincts to gather supplies. He grabbed food and tools from the plane wreckage. Also Charlie attempted to figure out his location and send signals to potential rescuers.

    2. There were many errors that Charlie made. He disregarded his number one priority to have a shelter. He found this out the hard way when he woke up in a swarm of mosquitoes after a night of Torrential rain. Perhaps Charlie would have not have disregarded this priority if he was in the right state of mind. In the movie Charlie panicked and he could not think objectively. Perhaps in this situation a breath of surrender would help widen his awareness and calm him.

    3. It is never easy to say what you would do differently because I am not in his situation. The most important thing that I would have done differently is to stay calm and not loose my composure. After crashing I would have developed a shelter or a method to protect myself from elements such as harsh weather. Another aspect that I would do differently is to work with the other person. It is much easier to survive if there are two people sharing their skills.

    4. Many of the skills that interested me were the ability to use techniques without the convenience of modern tools such as matches or a fishing rod. Many of the tasks that were accomplished without modern tools were associated with gathering food. When the girl used a shiny object to attract and spear a fish, it made me start thinking if that would be possible. There are many methods that are used to gather and hunt.

  12. Cori McVaugh

    1. Although Charlie was very inexperienced and didn’t know the basic survival skills, he was able to use his common sense to an extent to do some things right when his plane crashed. The first thing that was done right in Charlie’s situation was that someone knew the area Charlie was traveling to and approximately when he would be back. When he first crashed, Charlie knew that people would be looking for him so he spent some time trying to get the attention of someone by using his radio and making a SOS sign. This was an excellent idea that Charlie had. Charlie didn’t spend all of his time doing this however because once he accepted that he wasn’t going to be found that night, he knew that he must start a fire and get ready to settle down for the night. This was good judgment on Charlie’s part. Charley started a fire and tried to keep warm for the night.
    2. Charlie did do some things right at the start of his adventure, however because of lack of knowledge and because he depended so much on technology and the modern way of living, Charlie also did several things poorly. When he first arrived on land, Charlie was walking all over in the water getting his cloths very wet without realizing that it would get cold later on, and his cloths may not dry completely. The first night of sleeping, Charlie was drinking all of his coke and eating the spam. He didn’t think to conserve the food and drinks that he had in the case of spending several days lost. It was also a very poor decision to leave the plane and walk far away. Charlie not only didn’t have a clue of where he was and where he was going, he also left the plane and the SOS sign that were the only hope of someone finding him. Not only that, but Charley also wasted a lot of his energy by walking. He also came upon a swarm of mosquitoes and instead of trying to hide or build a shelter from them; he ran and wasted all of his energy and resources. Although Charlie started a fire to keep warm, he didn’t take the time to build a sufficient shelter. One main reason that Charlie acted so poorly in trying to survive, is that he didn’t stop to breath. If Charlie would have taken a moment at the beginning of his adventure to look around at his surroundings, make a plan for his survival and consider the consequences of actions, he would have done a lot better.
    3. If I were in Charlie’s situation, the first thing I would do is get together with the girl that he was with and come up with a plan with her. After this, I would work together with the girl to make a shelter. I would also use the plane for resources. Just in doing these things alone, my time surviving would be a lot more proficient than Charlie’s because the girl he was with had a lot of knowledge on how to do things. I would also have stayed at the scene of the plane crash to raise the chances of someone finding me. I would try to stay relaxed so that when situations came up, I would be able to think clearly. Although this is what I would like to do in that situation, I will never know how I will react in a true survival situation until I am there. That is why I am trying to prepare myself and gain a good knowledge of skills before I ever get into that type of position.
    4. Once Charlie finally decided to learn skills from the girl, their time of surviving became much more successful. I was really amazing of how the two of them tricked the caribou and killed them for food. I also though it was neat how they used spears to kill the fish. One thing that I would like to do if I am ever in that situation is to use all of the resources from the animals like the girl did. They ate the meet, used the bones for tools and used the skin and fur for clothing. I also really want develop my skills and be confident in starting a fire so I can cook on it and keep warm like they did every night in the movie.

  13. Chase Powelson

    1. First he tried to get a communication through with the radio which was a good idea but failed because it was broke. He also made an SOS to try to get attention from over head. He had a semi-shelter already from the planes body. He built a fire and gathered what materials he had and tried to figure out where he was. He also learned from the inuit girl. Learning how to survive is the biggest part of surviving.
    2. He panic’d. Once you panic you get the flight or fight mantality which can lead to your own demise in a survival situation. He also needed to stay dry because it is easy to get wet but extremely hard to get comply dry after the fact. When he set out on foot he needed to be better prepared, especially for the rain.
    3. What i would do differently is make a better camp and shelter.Yea he has the plane but he is in alaska for one thing and he needed a better plan of action than wondering around. He needed to take his previous knowlege and figure out when to travel and where. And watch out for masquitos.
    4. The main skilled that interested me the most is when they catch those deer or elk and start using the part like fur for clothing and drying the meat so it doesent go bad. This would be an incredible skill and useful one if you were ever stuck in a long term survival situation. I also would like to learn how to make a pair of water proof boots, thats pretty cool.

  14. Dan fitzgerald

    1. Charlie got his gun grabbed his food, Coke and made a fire. All of the things that he had in his plane could have saved his life but he didn’t use them wisely. The SOS was also a good idea but he could have made it a little more visible

    2. Charlie had a hard time controlling his temper and that made it hard for him to focus on what really needed to be done. He also didn’t even try to make a shelter which would have helped a lot.

    3. I would have used material from the plain to make a shelter and I would have stocked up on supplies and then tried to find the next town.

    4. One of the thing that I found interesting was when the girl built all of those stone statues to confuse the elk so that they could kill a couple. I would like to know more about hunting and tracking animals so if I were in a situation like that I would be able to eat. I also like to the gofer snagging but it seems that it would be quite difficult. I would like to learn how to transport fire so that if it started raining you would have a much easier time because the fire is all ready started.

  15. Ian Brady

    1.) Charlie only did a few things right. He made a big sos sign and he built a fire. He also tried to call on the radio, and got his supplies together. Other than those few things he did not handle the situation very well.
    2.) Charlie jumped right into the freesing cold water and got himself all wet. He also got very angry. He could have hurt himself while he was throwing a temper tantrum and hitting the plane. He also should not have started walking, he should have built a shelter, or used the plane as his shelter. He made his fire too big and wasted a bunch of wood. He should have payed more attention to what the girl was doing, because she had been living out there for a long time, and knew what she was doing.
    3.) If it was me I would have tried to communicate witht the girl about what we should do to get a camp set up. I would have probably used the plane as a shelter, or used parts off of the plane to build a shelter. I would have been more careful with the spare parts to the radio. I would have definitely started to set up a camp instead of trying to walk out into the middle of nowwhere.
    4.) The skills that I thought were the best was how the girl could make everything that she needed out of the animals. She could make waterproof boots, clothes and shelter out of the animals, and she knew how to prepare the meat so that it would not go bad. I want to learn how to prepare meat like that in case I ever do have to hunt for my survival. I would hate to kill a big animal and have most of it go to waste.


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