*The following is an excerpt from the final days of Jason Schwartzman’s Journal. He set out to prove he could survive in the arctic, and was proven wrong.*
No sun today. It appears the polar night has finally set in. If I am where I think I am, the sun should reappear in about 10 days.
I am stocked up on firewood, although it is hard to stay awake without the sun to look forward to. The only reason I awake at all is to stoke the fires and cook food.
Speaking of food, my rations have run lower than expected. I have decided to attempt to hunt something. I have a 300 yards of fishing line.
I have attached it to the spur of rock that shields the entrance to my cave so I can find my way back. I am going to leave first thing in the morning. when I wake up.
I managed to kill something. I’m not really sure what. I shot it in fright when it startled me. It was so dark.
I hacked it to pieces with my machete and buried the chunks in the snow outside my cave. The fire was almost out when I came back, but I’ve stoked the flames. I’m so tired.
After all the activity in the cold I was numb and now my thawing limbs are feeling exhausted. I don’t think a day has passed, my watch broke during the hacking and I couldn’t find it in the dark.
I will take a nap and assume it is still the same day when I awake.
Dec 19 continued
I awoke feeling very well rested. Better than I have in days. Yet it could only have been a few minutes. The fire was full force when I awoke.
I brought in some of the meat from this morning and started cooking it. It was delicious, but it may just be that I haven’t had non-jerky meat in almost a month.
I stored some cooked meat in the cave to have for breakfast, stoked the fire again. Time for a real night’s sleep.
Dec 19 continued again
I just woke up. I think an animal was in the cave. All of my meat is missing and some firewood is gone. The fire is still going strong, so I figure I was only asleep for a little while.
Must be late night or early morning. The knots on the tarp over the cave are still tied, but I am going to try and cover some cracks to keep out whatever stole my food, then go back to sleep.
I’m not very tired, but I need to sleep more than two quick naps or I’ll lose my strength.
I think I’m stoking the fire in my sleep. I awoke today and found more wood missing and the fire still warm. It must be the 20th though. I cooked more meat.
I ate well, and then chipped out a shelf in the ice on the back wall. With the meat up there, I shouldn’t need to worry about anything getting in and eating it.
I managed to find some more fuel for the fire. I found some uprooted plants that should burn well not too far when I was digging up meat outside.
I cut them up and placed them near the fire to dry. I will be tying the zipper on my sleeping bag so I don’t waste firewood anymore.
Dec 20 continued
Ok, I think I’m imagining things. I awoke to a well stoked fire. The plants I chopped up had all been used.
I estimate that for the fire to maintain this size and be going 24 hours a day, it would be the 23rd but that can’t be right. The meat was gone from the shelf again.
I cooked more meat, but only enough for today. Since nothing was digging in the snow, I figure it’s better to only cook what I need right then and save food. I need to go home.
Once I see the sun I will head back. If I move quickly and leave my supplies here, I figure I can make it within sight of the outpost within the brief light we get on the 28th.
Since I have no idea what day it is, I’ll be checking for pre-dawn light every day from now on.
I’m scared. I awoke to a stinging in my eye. Somehow my forehead was cut, and that was written in my notebook using blood.
The fire was built up much too high, the ice around the walls of the cave was melting. It was so hot that I had to wait at the back of the cave for it to die down a little.
This all started with that hunting trip. I went out and dug up all of the meat and dragged it out a long way from the cave. I forgot to tie the string and ended up lost in the dark.
I was wandering for a while before I finally caught sight of the light leaking out from the cave. I came back and the fire was stoked, as usual.
The meat I had dragged away was neatly laid out in the entrance. My rations are missing. I cooked enough meat for the day, I’m going to try to make it back in the morning.
*That’s the last entry. Jason’s body was found on Dec 28th. A search party had started looking when screams were heard coming from the direction he had left in on the 25th.
It was on top of the firepit in his cave. All of the meat was picked off of his body.
The entrance to the cave was still covered and tied shut from the inside, but no sign of another person was found.*