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Training for Lionheart Continues

Training for Lionheart Continues

A guest post by Janée Romesberg – a first in a series of blog posts documenting her training with True North Outdoor School. My name is Janée Romesberg, I am 23 years old, I am in the middle of training for the upcoming 90-mile Lionheart Adventure Race in Ohiopyle, PA, and I sort of hate running. Really. Allow me to explain. I have been involved with organized sports (mainly soccer) since I was 5 years old, played on several traveling leagues during my adolescent years and played varsity soccer throughout my high school and college careers. I love competition and am no stranger to training hard; I simply cannot bring myself to just run for long periods of time without becoming bored to tears. After graduating from college and coming to the realization that I no longer had a competitive outlet, I looked for other ways to get that fix. I […]

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Lost Hiker Saves Self by Staying Put

Lost Hiker Saves Self by Staying Put

Durning the recent Independence Day holiday, hiker James Bane did what many of us around the country did that weekend … He decided to spend the day hiking.  But when he finally realized that he was hopelessly lost on Mount Hood in Oregon, he did what few others actually do in the same predicament … He decided to stay put. This not only saved Oregon thousands of dollars in taxpayer money that would otherwise have been spent searching for, and retrieving, James, but it likely kept him from getting injured, even saving his life.  And, just as importantly, his decision likely kept many of the dozens of searchers out looking for him from getting injured, even saving their lives too. As reported in The Oregonian, Bane, 62, an experienced hiker, found himself suddenly lost in the late afternoon.  When darkness approached, he dialed 9-1-1 to tell the Clackamas County Sheriff’s […]

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Exploring the Bear Claw

Exploring the Bear Claw

Despite all the rain and mud, I enjoyed a fun two days exploring the Laurel Run section of Quebec Run Wild Area (QRWA).  It is hard to describe, though, what was the best part.  Could it be because of the two terrific people who accompanied me?  Or was it because we hiked through woodlands that are little visited by others?  Tough call.  It must be both! True North recently received final approval of its permit application that I filed about six months ago with the Pennsylvania Department of Forestry to teach outdoor skills courses, like wilderness survival and land navigation, at QRWA.  The Rangers in the Laughlintown District Office worked with me to assign a section that they thought would best serve our student’s needs while minimizing impact to the land, plus other public use.  Ultimately, we decided that the Laurel Run section would be the best setting.  The only […]

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Upcoming “Wilderness First Aid” Course at Exkursion

Upcoming "Wilderness First Aid" Course at Exkursion

For anyone who is interested in becoming certified in Wilderness First Aid (WFA), or who wishes to renew their certification, Exkursion has added a course to their Summer schedule. It will be held on two consecutive Sundays, August 5 and 12, from 3:00 to 9:00 both days.  The cost will be $185. This is a great opportunity for several reasons.  First off, wilderness first aid training provides a potentially life saving skill for anyone who spends time in the woods or any remote setting.  It is also a terrific confidence builder.  After completing the training, you will be better equipped to assess trauma and medical problems, and you will have a better understanding of how to treat such common wilderness maladies as shock, hypothermia, bleeding, fractures, dislocations, bites … the list goes on. In turn, this particular course is great because the program is being taught by SOLO, the oldest, […]

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One Tough Navigator

One Tough Navigator

Congratulations to Mendl B. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for completing a private lesson in Basic Wilderness Navigation. We first met earlier in the week at Commonplace Coffee in Squirrel Hill on Forbes Avenue for a “classroom” session to discuss the fundamentals of land navigation … like the parts of a compass; the differences in compass types genrally; how to read a topographic map; the difference between Magnetic North and True North; plus many other points.  There, Mendl bought me a cup of coffee that might be the best that I ever had! Then, yesterday, as part of the “field” session, Mendl braved a blazing sun and a 103° heat index to walk on and off trail at Hartwood Acres County Park to practice the practical elements of navigation.  He learned that while navigation is fairly easy conceptually to learn, it is a bit harder to do in actuality.  However, half way […]

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Team True North

Team True North

Training for Team True North has already begun in earnest. Janée Romesberg will be representing True North Outdoor School in the Lionheart Adventure Race from August 11-12.  Lionheart is a 25 hour race beginning in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania, in the beautiful Laurel Highlands, which involves mountain biking, trail running, kayaking, rappelling, and orienteering over an 85 mile combined course. Janée has already completed the Basic Wilderness Navigation and Advanced Wilderness Survival courses in recent months, but she will be working with Erik and Larry to refine many of the required skills that she will need for this race. Follow Janee’s personal blog posts about her training experience with True North at the links below! Training for Lionheart Continues  

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Communicating from the Backcountry

Communicating from the Backcountry

Communicating from the backcountry for non-emergency reasons is a real challenge.  Heck, that is an understatement.  More to the point, unless you have a satellite telephone, very often one is simply cut off from the frontcountry world.  Yes, of course, cellular coverage in remote settings has vastly grown in the last ten years, but it is still limited, and it is worse for those (like me) who use smartphones.  However, thanks to a new generation of Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) this is beginning to change. Historically, PLBs have been used solely for emergencies.  They are designed so that in case of an emergency, no matter how remote the location, one can signal for assistance with just a click of a button.  Not all products are created equally, though, as some of the more popular ones have technical limitations, thus giving a false sense of security.  Arguably the best and most dependable […]

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What It Sometimes Takes to Survive

What It Sometimes Takes to Survive

Earlier today, my friend and fellow outdoors instructor, Derek “The Deuce” Tirado forwarded to me a newspaper article published today in the Canadian Herald Sun.  You can find below the story in its entirety. As a heads up, I think that you will find it a gripping account since it plainly illustrates the extreme ends to which one must sometimes go to survive. And, of course, because it underscores one particular life lesson: It is better to potentially be judged by twelve than definitely carried by six. Read on … Lost Camper’s Smoke Signals Accidentally Start Massive Island Fire CANADIAN tourist who broke his foot while camping alone on a remote island in Norway has been rescued after sending out smoke signals – but the fire he started then engulfed a large part of the island. The 25-year-old man, who has not been identified by authorities, spent three days on […]

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A New Life Saving Tool for Your First-Aid Kit

A New Life Saving Tool for Your First-Aid Kit

Consider the following scenario: You and the other members of your group are finally relaxing around the evening campfire after another long day of hiking in a remote section of Allegheny National Forest. Suddenly, the shared banter and laughter is interrupted by a loud cry from your friend who, sitting just across from you while whittling, just sliced deeply into the back of his hand with his knife. As he leaps to his feet, you immediately see the blood begin to pour from the wound and vigorously drip from his fingers. You recognize immediately that this cut is bad … very bad. A knot forms in your stomach because you also know that it will realistically be almost twenty hours before he can get proper medical care. After all, the group can’t safely start the hike out until dawn, and not only does there remain a hard fifteen mile hike […]

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A “Bug Mac”

A "Bug Mac"

For anyone that has taken any of my courses, it comes as no surprise when I now write that I always refrain from teaching about edible plants and, instead, proclaim the merits of insects as a primary food source.  When I do, most often, the look on a student’s face is confusion … Did I mishear?  Is he kidding? Well, for those who are skeptical, or think that I must be crazy (perhaps both), please consider checking out the audio link to a recent National Public Radio story: Time for a “Bug Mac”? There you will learn about an extremely popular restaurant in the Netherlands whose “bug buffets” have been selling out. And if you want to learn more about potential food sources in an emergency situation, consider registering for one of True North’s wilderness survival courses.

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