Archive for February 2015

True North Announces New Partnership

True North Announces New Partnership

True North Wilderness Survival School is proud to officially announce that it is partnering with the Allegheny County Parks Department to run a series of outdoor education programs throughout 2015.  The schedule will include courses in wilderness survival, land navigation, and first-aid, to name just a few. These events will help to meet several goals all around, but, more importantly, will offer many benefits to the Western Pennsylvania region. ACPD is eager to develop and manage programs that will help contribute to its mission of enhancing the quality of life and well being of the residents of Allegheny County by showcasing the beauty and diversity of its extensive park system, while also offering outdoor educational opportunities that will help foster a deeper respect for the conservation of its natural and cultural resources. In turn, True North is excited at the prospect of working with a broader range of outdoor enthusiasts to help develop […]

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Emergency Water Sources

Emergency Water Sources

In a wilderness emergency, especially one in which you suspect that you may not be rescued within 72 hours, potable water can be critical to your survival.  This is because by that point – perhaps even sooner depending upon certain factors like the weather, your level of physical exertion, and medical condition – your bodily functions begin to become impeded and your mental status impaired. So, while you may have the necessary equipment to filter and purify water, you have to first find it. Can you? Just in case you are uncertain, let me share with you a few ideas and tips to consider. Where to Look Here are a few suggestions on finding sources of water: Keep in mind the basic truism that water doesn’t flow uphill or run along the top of ridgelines, so you’ll have much better luck looking in low spots, like valleys and drainages. There, not only […]

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Staying Warm on a Cold Night

Staying Warm on a Cold Night

Speaking from experience, it’s seems that whenever one has to suddenly deal with an unexpected problem, rarely does it occur in perfect conditions.  This, most especially, when it involves the outdoors.  So, in this vein, my mind regularly ponders varying ways and means to effectively stay warm if one of my “day hikes” should ever turn into a overnight.  Out of this, then, let me share with you a product that you may want to consider adding to you gear inventory. Now, of course, whenever I head out into the woods on some adventure, I am properly prepared to meet my seven priorities of survival — in particular, Priority #3 Shelter — but my concern is that even if I can protect myself from the wind and rain, it may still be hard to stay warm. Build a fire, right? Building a fire to dovetail with my shelter seems to be a […]

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Preparation: The Key to Dealing with an Emergency

Preparation: The Key to Dealing with an Emergency

As I regularly explain to our students in our wilderness survival and medicine courses, one doesn’t need to be an Army Ranger or a medical professional to benefit from these types of emergency training.  After all, whether it’s a mountain top, a state park, a roadside accident, or a burning building, each of us may still at any moment be called upon to protect ourselves or the lives of others from some threat.  Then, thereafter, we may need to live with the consequences of our action or inaction — Or, heck, perhaps we won’t live. At the moment of truth, it really doesn’t matter so much the size of your backpack, the fancy equipment in it, or your general professional training (I’ve heard of a group cardiologists who froze when a colleague collapsed of a cardiac arrest during a conference).  Rather it is your head and heart that most matters. So […]

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Our Newest WFA Providers!

Our Newest WFA Providers!

On behalf of True North, I am really pleased to announce our newest group of certified Wilderness First Aid (WFA) providers.  Travelling from as far away as Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and representing a diverse mix of backgrounds including an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), an outdoor educator, and a geologist, the group all shared the same desire to learn how to stabilize, assess, and treat patients in wilderness or other austere locations when frontcountry help isn’t immediately available. After they learned the fundamentals of keeping themselves safe while properly assessing a patient, they learned such important topics as dealing with traumatic injuries, environmental issues, like hypothermia and hyperthermia, and a mix of medical problems.  Then they ended the course by running through an involved scenario — with four of the best “patients” around! — that tested their newly acquired skills and knowledge. I want to thank each of them for all of their […]

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