Archive for December 2014

The Real Survival Skill – Shelter Craft

I just read a news article this morning about how a Canadian father and his 14-year-old daughter found themselves in a wilderness survival situation this past weekend after getting lost while skiing in British Columbia.  I regularly read such accounts because I believe that they offer us good lessons about what to do in a such an emergency, but, just as importantly, what not to do.  In this situation, what caught my interest was this pair’s focus on making a shelter instead of making a fire as many of us may have been inclined to do. On Saturday during our most recent Wilderness Survival 101 course, I stressed to my clients that the most important survival skill that they should hone, at least in my personal view, is making an emergency shelter.  This is different from many other survival programs which stress making a fire. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I believe that fire […]

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Bugs, It’s What’s for Dinner

As a wilderness survival instructor, every so often I have the sense that a client believes that I’ve let him down when I fail to cover wild edibles as a food source.  Such an expectation, though, is understandable since the general consensus certainly seems to be that a knowledge of wild edibles is vital to properly dealing with an emergency outdoors.  After all, consider the millions of television viewers who tune in each week to watch a wide mix of survival reality shows as their hosts and contestants busily forage for plants, berries, and mushrooms during their scripted emergency.  In turn, there are countless books, articles, and websites that vigorously promote the topic.  But the actual reality is that I truly would be letting down my clients if I continued to foster this notion. That’s because in a survival situation, wild edibles should not be your primary food source.  In fact, at the risk of further appearing […]

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Tips: Cold Weather Sleeping

I know that it may be hard to believe, but activities that involve Winter camping offer some of the best opportunities of the year to enjoy the Great Outdoors.  There tend to be far fewer people on the trail, and one can, quite literally, see, hear, feel, and smell a world completely different than the one that more commonly exists during the warmer months.  But to be perfectly honest, I often need to remind myself of theses wonders in order to overcome my inherent resistance to sleeping overnight in the cold.  After all, sleeping when one is cold to the point of suffering doesn’t help make for a fun, or, from a wilderness survival perspective, a safe trip. So here a few simple tips to consider: Keep your internal furnace burning all night.  Before going to bed, eat (unless you have some kind of medical restriction) a high-calorie snack that […]

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