In the novel, Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen, a thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is traveling from New York to Canada to visit his dad for the summer. Brian is the only passenger aboard a single-engine plane. He flashes back to the drive with his mom when she gives him a hatchet. The pilot shows Brian how to fly the plane, which comes in handy when the pilot suffers a tragic heart attack. He is left to crash-land on the edge of a lake and suffers from a concussion.
Brian crash-landed into an "L" shaped lake. He is injured very badly, as expected. He has nothing other than his hatchet, and has no idea how to take care of himself in the wilderness. After getting onto the island he gets swarmed by insects, and then he falls asleep. When he wakes up he's been asleep for a while, is so hungry to the ponit he starts screaming, "I'm hungry!". He finds a cave like structure to stay in. He's weak from hunger, and keeps track of the lake so he doesn't get lost. While watching the hirds he sees them eat berries, and finds his first food source.
Brian is terrified when he sees a bear but then it leaves him alone, and just his luck he later sees a porcupine and it hurts him. He spent all his time feeling sorry for himself and just came to the realization that the key to survival, was to not. After that, he finally built a fire, ripped up a $20 bill, and put it in, and he has a purpose now
Brian's body is changing. He's getting pretty skinny, and he's depressed. He finds out that there are fish at the lake. That means another food source. He thinks about making a bow and arrow. Brian see a plane and starts a signal fire in hopes to get rescued, but the plane never sees it.
Brian is feeling so depressed he tries to cut himself with the hatchet. He catches fish which is good, but gets sprayed by a skunk. He decided to start improving who is living spaces. He made a ladder for a safe space up high, is feeling better about himself. Brian gets attacked by a moose, got his first rabbit, but also a tornado hit, and his ribs are hurting pretty bad.
Brian makes a spear, and almost has a place to live. He made another fire and made a raft to go get the survival pack. While trying to get the pack drops his hatchet. When he gets the survival pack he sees the pilot's skull. There's a ton of food, so he has a feast. He gets rescued by a pilot who was near.