The Day I Hit the Wall and Lost My Toenails

I was 12 years old when I hit the wall. I had been hiking all day, walking many miles into the woods to a collection of cabins where we’d spend three nights. I was with about 16 others, but we had broken into smaller groups, hiking with friends or those who hiked at the same pace.

While I was used to walking and hiking with a pack, this day, I had set a pace with a few older friends, and we had gotten lost. After two hours, we found our way and continued onto the camping site. A program leader and a few others started back to find us since we hadn’t arrived and it was getting late. We met up with them, and as we told stories about where we had ended up, I kept chugging along, adjusting my pack on my shoulders and anticipating a break because I was tired.

Then it happened. Without warning, I was lying in the bushes, collapsed and crying. I had no idea what had hit me. I struggled to rise, but the leader told me to stay down.

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Water Bottle Used in “Northern Survival”

Shortly after the plane crash, Olive tells Johnathan ‘John’ Stone: “I have a refillable bottle that self-filters. I can drink from any water source.”

These self-filter water bottles can be life savers if lost or stranded in the wilderness where water quality is questionable. Because I hike, camp and boat far from civilization, I bought one of these water bottles a few years ago. I don’t use it as my water bottle; it’s there in case of emergency, when the only drinking water available is from the ground.

Olive explains how to use the water bottle a few chapters in after Johnathan asks her to refill his regular plastic water bottle.

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Food for the Trail that Lasts a Long Time

Travelling Food

At the moment, my characters in Healing Stones (Castle Keepers Series: Book 4) are travelling through Yikker Wood. They left Inglenook about two weeks ago, and they won’t reach a settlement to buy supplies for another three days.

This means they must carry all their food in packs or saddle bags on their horses. They could hunt, and they may resort to that, and they’ve picked mushrooms along the way to add to their dwindling supplies.

Starting Out

For several days after they left Inglenook, they ate biscuits, bacon, eggs, bread and meat, but those perishable goods are gone after 14 days. This is the point where I scramble to find food for them to eat, so they won’t starve.

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