General Overview of survival, self-preparedness and self reliance both in the wilderness and at home.
Knives and Knife Sharpening covers how to select a knife, features to look for in a good survival knife, pros and cons of blade materials and how to sharpen your knife.
Fire Making will cover making fires with matches then progress to making the most water repellent fire-lay. Next we’ll cover modern flints like ferrocerium (pronounced “fair – row – sear – e – yum”) rods, metal matches and magnesium blocks before we teach you how to make fires the frontier way (old fashion Flint & Steel). Lastly you will be carving your own Bow Drill set and learn the secrets to making a fire by “rubbing two sticks together”. During the fire section we’ll also cover items like the Fire Piston, making fire from ice and chemical means that look like magic!
Figure 4 Traps and Trapping is an excellent way to learn to get food. We’ll start off with the most primitive methods of Throwing Sticks and show you ways to nearly double the airspeed of these devices. Next well go onto the Figure 4 dead-fall starting with the principals of its design and then have you carve a working trap for you to take home. The Snare and Spring Snare is next and again you will be creating these traps to take home.
Water – Water is critical to your survival…3 days without it and your dead. During the water portion of your training we will delve into how to obtain water where it appears none is readily available, and how to treat it for safe consumption We cover both natural source of water as well as the various ways to purify it including cover the various water filters and purifiers on the market.
Shelter – Shelter is your #1 survival priority to maintain your core body temperatures at 98.6 F. In this section we start with your first line of “shelter” which is you clothing….after which we briefly go through the various ways you can lose or gain heat (heat transfer mechanisms) before going onto various ways to build your a shelter. We will be covering the principles of shelter and shelter building, natural shelters, tarp and poncho shelters, and debris huts.
Food – How to prepare, cook, and preserve food in a survival situation. We will also cover making native foods like Pemmican and Parched Corn. We’ll go into how to make beef jerky and have you construct a drying rack and make some for the class to eat, Later you have the opportunity to learn to correctly filet a fish and then prepare it for your lunch that day.
Edible & Medicinal Plants – Nature has supplied you with a smorgasbord, the only problem its hundreds of miles long and set seasonally. We’ll take the mystery out of finding and identifying wild edible and medicinal plants as well as making you feel comfortable using popular plant identification books. Plan on an extensive field walk to further help you we will identify the plants found in the area. We will then cover how to use and prepare the plants we find back at camp and make a First Aid Salve with them for you to take home. For example did you know the plant to the right is a cure for poison ivy and typically grows within 50 feet of it?
Navigation – Learn the secrets of Natural Navigation, how to navigate by the stars as well as the basics of modern navigation. Discover how to REALLY use a compass, understand topographic maps, and be able to both read and interpret them. You’ll also learn a simple way to deal with declination take bearings both from maps and in the woods, and accurately measure distance without tape measures or other equipment.
Simulated Survival Situation – At week’s end, you will have the chance to put what you learned into action with a supervised “survival situation.” Our staff will be monitoring your progress as you put together a complete base camp as if you were suddenly thrust into an emergency survival situation. Our object is to have you succeed so our staff will be on hand to assist you if asked. This has been consistently the part of the class that past students have had the most fun with and which gave students the most personal satisfaction.
In addition to the above agenda item to provide a relaxing evening there will be campfire”fun” hand-on workshops on topics such as “building an alcohol stove” from soda cans or weaving your own “Survival Bracelet” from 550 cord. Once night falls there will be several campfire discussions where we can go into topics not cover in the agenda.
Our goals as instructors are:
- Have you learn the skills you want well enough that you can demonstrate and teach them to your friends when you get home.
- Insure you have fun during the week like vacationing while learning new and useful skills.
- Make you begin to think as a “survival person” …assessing a situation, determining what resources you have on and around you, deciding on a plan of action, improvising, and carrying that plan to successful completion. Again, this class is not PHYSICALLY challenging but it definitely will open your awareness to what’s available to you in the woods and how you can take advantage of every resource so you CAN survive. You will never be put “on the spot” or be embarrassed at class.