Posts Tagged ‘Basic Wilderness Survival’

How to Sleep More Warmly at Night

How to Sleep More Warmly at Night

With cold weather overnights having just arrived this week, and Winter just around the corner, I wanted to offer some often overlooked tips to help you sleep more warmly at night … Even if you use a winter-rated bag. They will not only help you to feel more rested in the morning, but help reduce the chances of a cold-related medical emergency. Put on a Hat:  While my grandmother exaggerated a bit when she told me that we lose “80%” of our body heat through our heads, research has indeed shown that we still tend to lose a lot of heat there through radiation due to blood flow.  So simply wearing a hat when we are cold will generally make us feel warmer, whether or not we are already wearing a warm coat. Wear Wool:  When it comes to clothing, wool is regularly disregarded in favor of cotton.  After all, […]

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The Most Dangerous (but Ignored) Wilderness Threat

The Most Dangerous (but Ignored) Wilderness Threat

If I were to ask you what kills more people in the backcountry than anything else, what would you guess? Based on talks that I have had with students in our various survival and medicine courses over the years, your answer might likely be some wild creature.  Topping the list of the usual suspects are bears, cougars, and snakes.  I certainly cannot blame them because deaths due to such attacks are featured most prominently in the news media, not to mention that they make a good plot thread in a screenplay.  After all, few movie trailers could be more dramatic and exciting than Leonardo DiCaprio fighting off a grizzly (even if it was computer-generated). But the simple (even if boring) fact of the matter is that what kills more people in the outdoors, either directly or as a significant contributing factor, isn’t wildlife (which is exceedingly rare), but rather an easily understood and […]

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Using the Outdoors to Find Your Bearings

Using the Outdoors to Find Your Bearings

Usually at some point while teaching a wilderness survival course, I explain to a class that the skills and knowledge that they are acquiring isn’t just limited to dealing with an emergency situation in a remote outdoors location.  Their wilderness survival ability is also applicable to Life in general. That’s because survival isn’t really so much about how much gear that you have in your backpack, or how much specialized training that you have.  Rather, in any survival situation, it’s what’s in your head and heart that most matters. So if you want to be a good survivor, and even test your chances of being one, oftentimes you can just look to see how you are “surviving” in your daily life.  This may sound odd, but the simple truth is that the hardships that we sometimes experience in our daily lives — whether being laid off unexpectedly from a job; being diagnosed […]

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Congratulations Survival Grads

Congratulations Survival Grads

True North is really proud to welcome our newest survival graduates who completed our Basic Wilderness Survival (BWS) course this weekend.  Some might think that this was some simple Spring camping trip, but, trust me, they’d be wrong … definitely wrong. After all, Winter would better describe the conditions!  This crew of four not only arrived bright and early at the trailhead, despite ample snow on the ground at Quebec Run Wild Area in the Laurel Highlands and the forecast upcoming overnight low temperature of 14 degrees, but they put their nervousness and physical discomfort aside to work hard all day, laughing and smiling throughout.  Even when they emerged from their tents the next morning with frost on their hats (where it had actually hit 12 degrees overnight) they continued to amply demonstrate positive mental attitude — the hallmark of the survivor — at its finest. We enjoyed a wonderfully diverse group who took our BWS […]

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Hunter Survives 3 Weeks without Food

Hunter Survives 3 Weeks without Food

As I regularly explain to clients during our wilderness survival courses, a lack of food in a survival situation is not necessarily a big deal.  In fact, in such situations, food is a detriment as it is a stressor on the body.  This is one reason why you’ll often hear survival instructors talk about the Rule of 3s — That is, one can go 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter in harsh conditions, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. The following news account, then, helps to underscore my point: Police in Manitoba ended their investigation today surrounding the events that caused a man to become lost and stranded in the wilderness for three weeks while hunting.  Other than an apple, which he ate on Day One, he had no other food and lost 40 pounds. So, this story helps to illustrate why, of the Seven Survival […]

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