There are a great many survivalist channels on YouTube, full of square-jawed and serious men and women, who know that life is stern and life is earnest and that the time for ripping apart our expensive watches and using the glass faces to start controlled fires in the high desert is now. But there is only one NorthSurvival.
NorthSurvival is a male enchantress. He is without guile. Out of his mouth comes only the truth. He lists his interests on the About page of his channel:
Friends, this I can promise you: if you then click over to the list of videos he has uploaded, you will only find footage of bushcraft, survival, shelters, craftsmanship, outdoor cooking, axes and knives, and hiking, nothing more. He could no sooner lie to you than the sun could set in the east.
Here is a video of NorthSurvival (no mortal knows his true name) cooking an egg in a potato.
He appears before us in a green mask. “This became pretty good,” he ultimately decides, in the most charming and Swedish of voices to ever pour from Swedish mouth. “I give it a t’umbs up!”
(NorthSurvival is not without his detractors. Several disgruntled fellow survivalists point out in the egg-potato video that were he to cook the egg in the shell and eat the potato separately he would nearly double his food intake — to these sayers of nay I would kindly but pointedly say there is a very clear “NOT A SURVIVAL VIDEO” warning plastered on the beginning of the cooking sequence. This video was crafted purely for the purpose of whimsy. Should you like to eat an egg cooked outside of a potato, you are of course free to do so.)
This is the very picture of sincerity! How can you not be charmed?
By the time of “How To Cook Bake A Cake In An Orange,” the mask is gone (For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known).
You could cut the orange in half with a knife, he reminds us,
But what’s the fun in that?
He slices the orange cleanly and dispassionately in half with an axe, like the hunter who slew a dog instead of Snow White and served its heart and tongue to the queen who asked for her death.
I also recommend his twelve-minute tutorial on spoon-carving.
NorthSurvival is not a man who wastes words. He can teach you how to build a long-term survival shelter in the winter without speaking or looking into the camera. His soul is a sound and a gladsome one; his mother was a Valkyrie and his father was a pure and simple thought.
There are plenty of survivalist YouTube stars. Most of them are grim and belligerent, shot through with a distasteful broier-than-thou attitude. Not so NorthSurvival. He chops oranges with axes because it’s fun. He bakes a tiny cake with batter he brought from home for the sheer joy of making a tiny cake.
“I give it a t’umbs up,” he says. NorthSurvival belongs to the world entire.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.