Despite the common belief that New Yorkers can’t get closer to the wilderness than the reservoir in Central Park, a 24-hour adult survival course at the Bear Grylls Survival Academy taught me otherwise.
As a Southerner by birth but a New Yorker by choice, I worried I was no match for Bear’s intense, urine-drinking, larvae-eating wilderness survival course. Yet I was forced across a freezing river in the Catskills, where amenities and food were minimal, and my socks became cold little sponges from hell. I never felt I wouldn’t make it. Because as we become New Yorkers, the city instills in us a number of vital survival skills, better equipping us to live in the wild than many realize.