Bear Grylls. Cody Lundin. Dave Canterbury. Les Stroud.
All of them.
I can tell you how to spear an exotic fish while on a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean, make a desalinization still or roast a field mouse. I could make a hut from jungle elements or fashion snow goggles out of cardboard.
But right now, into our second day of powerlessness over the elements - yes, Mother Nature, you win again - all I want is a cup of coffee. It hit me suddenly, just after my third bite of cold Vienna sausage at 4 a.m.
I was sick and tired of being a victim.
It was time to leave the island, so to speak.
The goal wasn’t that far out there. I wasn’t looking for the perfect Caramel Macchiato or anything. And the goal was not even a great cup of coffee, mind you. Just a few hit sips of morale-boosting mind over madness, which is crucial in any survival situation.
I had already learned a valuable lesson.
When the lights go out you really find out the things you value most, and I miss my daily cup(s) of Starbucks Blonde or Kenya. I miss them like you might miss, say, breathing.
So, in addition to being a coffee drinker, amateur survivalist and journalist, I also happen to have an undergraduate degree in history. And long before they were used simply to stoke the flames of passion on an evening without the kids, the fireplace was the centerpiece of the American home.
It was used for cooking, heat and even socialization. So I knew what had to be done.
I had to take a trip, back into the 19th Century.
I grabbed a small pot from the cabinet, filled it with water and made room for it on the left side of the fireplace. Slowly, surely those bubbles told the tale - we were boiling. I put on a glove and grabbed the handle for the trip into the kitchen where I had prepped the coffee maker. With a plastic funnel in my left hand I slowly tipped the pot over until the hot water met the filter and my black gold. Immediately, an amazing thing began to happen.
And in a few moments there were four cups of the most beautiful dark brown liquid ever poured. Quickly, to the sugar I went. Yes, stirring and stirring my desire had reached a frenzied level.
Then, a tip of the cup and ... wait for it ... Nirvana!
I had won. That hot, life-giving liquid poured hope and a new vigor into my soul. It was my Tom Hanks moment. He had made his fire, and now I had my coffee.
Still, I don’t yearn for a return to those olden times. We are never far from technology - even in the dark. And this very column was typed out on an application for writers called Werdsmith, on the dying moments of my iPhone battery.
As the dawn of a new day arrived with the rising of the sun, if there is one lesson I’ve learned though this scenario it is this - if I can write and drink coffee I can survive almost anything.