One of the reasons so many people love to travel is that it affords them an opportunity to escape the modern world and just be in the wilderness. It’s almost a primal calling to want to be out in nature, experiencing all its beauty.
Most people, though, want a few creature comforts while they’re on vacation, such as a nice hotel to go back to when the day is done, and a warm meal in the evening cooked by somebody else. But that’s not what survival holidays are about. Not only do you get lost (quite literally), but you also get to pay for the privilege.
Sound like a bad deal?
Don’t be so sure. Although being out in nature can be dangerous, many of these “survival” holidays are hosted by trained tour guides who can deal with problems, should something go seriously wrong. You want to be out in nature, but you don’t want to end up miles from a hospital with a broken leg or wounds from being mauled by a bear.
That’s not to say that these survival trips are cushy – far from it. In fact, the challenges can be quite extreme. Take the Get Lost trip operated by Black Tomato. They know that what people really want out of these kinds of trips is the sense of satisfaction from having conquered a big challenge. There are trained experts on hand to make sure that everybody remains safe and healthy, but other than that, groups are left on their own during the treks, sometimes over challenging terrain.
The idea at the end of it is to provide those who complete the challenges with bragging rights. Participants must learn how to start a fire without matches, manage their food supplies, and keep their energy levels up, even when the going gets tough at high altitude.
Leaving Civilization Behind
The organisers behind the trips say that, in the modern world, things have become too easy. People can get most of their basic needs met with just a touch of a button, from calling for a cab on Uber to putting their TV dinner in the microwave. They hope that their survival treks will serve as a reminder to people that there is still a deep sense of satisfaction that can be found in fending for oneself and working hard to fulfil one’s needs.
Do people go back for more? Yes, says one of the reps at Black Tomato. He says that the sense of accomplishment makes these kinds of trips all the more appealing, especially compared to lazy beach holidays where hotel staff cater to their guests’ every whim.
Are The Trips Cheap?
You might think that since these trips don’t include any luxuries at all, that they’d be cheap. But, as it turns out, surviving in nature isn’t without its costs. Equipment, staff, and plane journeys to wild destinations all push the price of survival vacations up much higher than people expect. A trip to Kabakon Island, for instance, could set you back more than $7,500.