8 Hour Survival at The Americana, Glendale pt. 1

One day, one laptop, one camera, and $4.50. Here’s how I survived a day out in the wilds of Glendale over the course of a grueling 8 hours.

9am: I get off the bus at my drop off zone on Brand and Colorado. All I have with me is my double breasted cardigan, a watch, a cell phone, a backpack, and $4.50. I was also allowed one survival item and chose to bring my Spyderco Spin. To me, the Spin is the perfect urban pocket knife and you never know when you need to open odd packaging. The producers were also generous enough to supply me with an iced coffee and half of a cream cheese sandwich.

The first thing you do in a survival situation is to asses your status. I open my backpack and find a laptop, camera, headphones, a charger for my laptop, and a portable battery bank for my cell phone. When I saw the portable battery bank, I knew I would be in a good position for survival because I would be able to use my cell phone without having to worry about conserving the battery.

I opened up the laptop. Full charge. I’m outdoors so I know I won’t have much time on the battery since the screen brightness has to be on full to compete with the sun. The screen is one of the biggest battery drainers on any electronic device. I connect to the wi-fi and start to plan out my strategy. I’ll need to move from my initial spot to find a power source for my laptop, but I still have over 5 hours left on the battery. The wi-fi connection is a little spotty but that’s an obstacle I will have to overcome if I am to survive 8 hours in Glendale.

10am: The first hour of survival was fairly comfortable, although the temperature kept swinging back and forth between too-hot-for-a-sweater and too-cold-but-I’ll-suck-it-up. My first real challenge came right around this time.

The top of the hour just came about and, as if right on cue, I have to go to the bathroom. I haven’t had time to explore my surroundings, opting to set up camp immediately upon entering the arena so I’m a little unaware of bathroom locations at this point. I have to make an important decision: stay here where it is safe and comfortable or venture out to the rest of The Americana.

My iced coffee is not kicking in. In my downward spiraling state of drowsiness, I curse the producers for their poor illusion of caffeine, chug the coffee, and set off to find a bathroom.


I find a bathroom at the Barnes & Noble and hunker down inside. I left my camera on before I set off, draining precious battery life, but it was a good thing I had my power bank to top off the Fujifilm x100t.

I only got 5 hours of sleep last night — a bad idea before a survival challenge. I’m so drowsy at this point but all I can do is tough it out as I push forward…

Check out part 2 of my adventure, along with more photos from the x100t here.

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