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SEPA survivalist & bushcraft/Survive and Thrive's Wilderness Weekend Skill Share

It is time for another S&T wilderness weekend. Yet again the SEPA Bushcrafters will be collaborating with us to make it the most fun and informative experience possible.

100% FREE OF CHARGE, a gift to you and all who love you.











This family friendly, novice friendly camping excursion will be the perfect chance for you to get away from the hustle and bustle of noisy cars and sizzling concrete. Come on out and join up with intelligent, down to Earth people as we feel the living ground under our feet and practice the ancient skills used to keep the Sun shining on our faces.

Do you have gear that you want to test out but haven't had the chance?

Are there skills that you've learned but not practiced as much as you should?

Do you enjoy good talks around a campfire with the crickets chirping in the background?














If so, well then you are in luck !! Bring your Survive and Thrive A-Z Bug Out Bag ( or as much of it as you have ) , any gear you want to work with and a positive disposition.

We will provide the following 100% free of charge :


The Survive and Thrive Wilderness Weekend Skillshare is tailored for those that have been to them in the past as well as for newcomers. We will cover a broad scope of basics in self reliant bush craft. Water, Shelter, Fire, Wild Food & Medicine, Orienteering and Traps & Snares will all be covered over Friday night 7/19/13, Saturday 7/20/13 and Sunday morning 7/21/13. Rain or shine, we will be ready for both.













It will take place in French Creek State Park -

OGT site #10 is located off of Fire Tower rd 1/8 mile north of Scotts Run rd , Elverson, Berks, Pennsylvania 19520.

The site is not clearly listed on most of the maps. Please share this info with your loved ones at home.

Kids of a an age and mindset to pay attention are welcome provided their parent or guardian keeps an eye on them at  AT ALL TIMES and they can focus on the topics at hand.

Here is the plan:

Remember that wireless phone service is shoddy up there. GPS is recommended as a second to sticking together in a caravan. You are welcome to come and go earlier or later as you dictate your own schedule. Please feel free to participate in what ever way that you can throughout the weekend.  That said, the order of skillsharing and tent placement are kept fluid until the moment that they are to be set into place. Those that do not set up/break camp with the group may find some disadvantage.













There is a hand pump well for water in the parking area, however we will provide a hand and face Washing Station with pure soap and clean towels. Clean, sterile wash water will be maintained throughout the weekend. We will also set up Power Station and Cooking Station.

The  Power Station can be used by anyone to recharge cell phones and run small appliances over the whole weekend.

The Cooking Station will be a collection of propane camp stoves on a sturdy table. Whatever food or drinks that you bring that require cooking/heating/boiling can be safely prepared here. We will ensure that plenty of propane is on hand as well as matches and fire extinguishers. These stations are open to you at anytime. If you have a camp stove you are welcome to share it at the table.

Your tent site should be set up right away and your gear placed where you want it.

Your car or truck is to be parked in the parking lot unless you are sleeping in it.

If you are early to bed or a light sleeper then consider setting your tent away from the fire. If you know that you snore loudly, please cast your camp away from the rest. If you need assistance with your tent, there will be plenty of others to help you. If you want to eat after that then have at it.


Be sure to have a good amount of bug spray, be mindful of ticks .  We will have a comprehensive medical kit including an EpiPen for anaphylactic shock . The nearest hospital is Pottstown General. It is a 15- 20 minute trip from our site for a motivated driver. First responders , doctors and nurses are always among us.

Of course we will take all precautions to avoid any injuries , however you do participate under your own volition and at your own risk.

Children under 18 years are sole responsibility of the parent and MUST REMAIN WITH THAT PARENT AT ALL TIMES WITHOUT EXCEPTION. Please and thank you.


Please no alcohol permitted... Thank you.



Friday Evening - Settle in with a social fire and get things moving forward. Marshmallows provided later on.










Saturday 7:30am - Wake up and Breakfast
Whatever you bring to start your day, get it in you and CLEAN UP before 9am.

We will start up at 9 am , breaking for lunch and dinner throughout the day:

Water -

There will be water gathering purification, disinfection and distillation. We are going to review the basics for the benefit of our newcomers. Gathering water from trees, boiling water without a pot and effective improvised filters in nature will also be covered.

Shelter -

We will study on making debris shelters from natural materials on hand in the wilderness, what principles you should know with regard to insulation , waterproofing, bugs & critters, etc. Then we will articulate a few methods for using the contents of your A- Z Survival Kit. We will deal with what you need to know to adequately protect yourself and loved ones from heat , cold and wet exposure. After that we will split into very small groups ( unless you wish to go it alone ) and you will construct your own primitive or modern shelter with the guidance and support of the instructors.
Consider sleeping in your freshly made shelter for that evening.



Fire -

The fuels, starting mechanisms (primitive and modern ), construction and control of the fire will be reviewed here in a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. You will be collecting the wood and tinder , then starting your own fire with something other than a match or lighter. If you wish to bring a magnesium spark stick, this will be a time to practice it's proper use. Forest fire hazard is low but we will have a well prepared fire fighter on hand anyway.











Food and Medicine -

Wild edible and medicinal plants will be the big focus. We will learn to ID , forage and prepare. There will be a considerable amount of time and attention dedicated to this topic on Saturday.

Traps and Snares - Setting traps for warm and cold blooded animals for food. Fish traps and frog gigs will be covered.










Trading Blanket - Back by popular demand we will have a blanket trade and barter session. Offer up something that may fill a need in someone's camp or gear set, pick up something cool and useful for yourself. Bring a few things out, it's a lot of fun.

Sunday 2 pm - Be packed up and ready to roll out.


There are trash and recycling receptacles in the lot.

You are responsible for every single bit of your own mess.

Your car should be packed and prepared to leave at 2pm sharp.

Here is a MUST HAVE list for the weekend:

- Positive , patient and respectful attitude towards others and a desire to learn what is being taught. If your kid or partner is not really into it then please leave them at home. If you bring music then keep it low to your space and shut it down when others retire to sleep. This should be a pleasant and drama free trip for everyone.

- Full tank of gas in your car.

- Tent and bedding ( we have loaners to share )

- Water/ drinks, 2 gallons per person
( water is available from hand pump well on site, but bleach is needed to sterilize it.)

- Food - Think "easy to make and carry". Suggestions:
Peanut butter and jelly/ tuna and crackers / cereal and milk ( canned or in cooler ) / preseasoned meat&veggie kabobs wrapped in foil to cook on the fire / lots of granola bars / dehydrated meals that you add water to/ dried meats and cheese, etc. If you need a pot or pan then bring it. Consider a cooler with frozen drinks to act as ice. Also consider freezing Saturday's dinner if it is suitable, that way it thaws in time but will not spoil. Preboiling potatoes is preferred as they take a long time to cook thoroughly. If you don't have camp cookware you may think about paper plates and cups.

- Flashlight , one for each person . LED is highly recommended.
( if not a crank powered one the make sure the batteries are fresh)

- Medicine/ inhaler if applicable. If you are diabetic or asthmatic then be ready to deal with it. Let Fernando know of any health conditions ahead of time including severe allergies or history of seizures.



Here is a SHOULD HAVE list for the weekend : 

- Boots. There is a fair amount of rocky terrain and ankle support may prevent injury. Heavy duty sandals may work, but please avoid flipflops and crocs.
- Bug repellent. We highly recommend Lemon Eucalyptus oil. Repel sells it in small bottles. .
You can find it at REI It is 100% nontoxic and tests better than DEET and Skin So Soft for staving off mosquitoes , biting flies and ticks. It lasts for several hours and never fails. If you don't bring some kind of spray you will most likely regret it. Also the less "perfumed" you are , the fewer bees you will attract.

- Folding chair. There are benches and logs in addition to the ground to sit on but you will like the chair better.


- Wet wipes. No showers on our site.

- Gloves. A pair that will help to protect you when working with your hands. It would be great if we could go the whole weekend without a cut finger.


- Rain poncho / rain gear


- Sharp knife. A locking blade is safer to work with. A partially serrated blade increases your cutting power.














- A- Z Survival Kit - This kit is weights less than 5 pounds and very compact.
a. Leatherman Wave / Gerber Multitool
b. 8" zip ties - 30 ea
c. 3 mil. 55 gal Contractor bags - 2 to 3 ea
d. 3 mil. clear plastic sheet - 8ft x 10ft
e. 550 MILSPEC parachord - 50 ft (not just any rope)
f. Duct tape - 20 to 30 ft on a flat roll
g. Signal mirror or CD ( Thanks Brian SEPA great tip !! )
h. LED flashlight with a switch
i. Unlubricated , unribbed condoms - 3 ea ( water carry and wound seal )
j. Compass - button compass ( with moving face) is preferred to the needle compass
k. Whistle - it is better have a whistle without a ball inside
l. Latex surgical tubing - 6 to 10 ft
m. Clear medium or tall trash bags - 2 to 4 ea
n. Butane Bic lighter 1 ea
o. Strike anywhere matches dipped in wax 
p. Firestarters - fuelsticks or cotton/petrojelly balls in foil - 8 or more ea
q. Magnesium spark stick
r. Gatoraid / electrolyte powder
s. Medium sized fishing hooks 10 ea
t. Small bottle of chlorine powder
u. Bandana, large - 1 ea
v. Hoop needle, large - 1 ea
w. Travel sized baby wipes - 1 pack
x. Gauze pads - 2 ea
y. Powerbars - 3 to 6 ea
z. Triple antibiotic salve / Neosporin


Do not let a lack of gear keep you from coming out !!

Training always trumps gear. Just come as you are.

If you need a tent, tent space, a ride or wish to carpool just let Fernando know.

If you have a tent or tent space to share and / or car space then talk to Fernando now so that we can help a smooth transaction along. Please program his number into your phone now and feel free to leave it with your loved ones at home incase they cannot reach you out there. ATT's service definitely works up there but others don't. Please have Fernando's number with you before Friday July 19th at 3:30 pm.


Any questions?


Call  Fernando[masked]
















Here are links to an outstanding video and info/feedback from previous S&T skillshare weekends : - worth the short wait :)


Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was a great opportunity to connect with new friends and bond more with old friends. The skills shared range from simple to complex, yet are presented in a light atmosphere to keep both newbies and veterans engaged, entertained, and empowered. With gratitude: thank you!

    3 · July 22, 2013

  • Robin

    We had a wonderful time! Learned some great new skills, made our own alcohol stoves and frog gigs and had lots of fun! We met so many great new people too! For those of you that might be shy about attending something like this for the first time by yourself, please know you will be welcome and will find lots of people eager to share their knowledge. If this is something you are ineterested in, don't hesitate to come on out to a meetup some time. You will gain knowledge, skills, confidence and friends!

    5 · July 22, 2013

  • Erica

    Totally awesome! I'm very glad I was able to make it.

    3 · July 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was a great event. I learned a lot and am extremely appreciative of Brian an Fernando's generosity. I met some amazing people and look forward to seeing them again. This group is amazing.

    4 · July 21, 2013

  • John Z.

    Wow! This was a terrific weekend! I had so much fun sharing tricks and knowledge. There was so much to learn. I am really happy to join this group with everyone quick to offer their experience. What a thrill to have made friction fire not once, but twice! The workshops overall were enriching. I can't wait to meet everyone at the next meet!

    4 · July 21, 2013

  • Brian

    Always a a great time!!!!! See you all next time!

    2 · July 21, 2013

  • Lizz C.

    Jeff and I had a great time and learned a lot! It was wonderful meeting everyone, and we look forward to the next event!

    5 · July 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Awesome time helping you guys out today. Meet allot of awesome people. The skills taught where very in depth. And even I learned something.(fire drill) :-) hopefully I'll see you all again soon

    3 · July 20, 2013

  • Robin

    Actually bringing 3 others. Ben, his friend and daugther Hannah.

    July 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    A friend is very interested. Bringing him along.

    July 15, 2013

    • Brian

      That's great be nice to meet the both of you

      July 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member


    July 15, 2013

    • Brian

      Hope to see you there

      July 15, 2013

  • Erica

    Looking forward to it! I'll be visiting during the day and going home at night since I have dogs. Will there be classes Friday evening or is it just setting up? I'm bring a friend just for Sat. Should I change my RSVP to +1?

    July 15, 2013

    • Brian

      There might be something goin on Friday night ... Yes update your RSVP for your guest cya there

      July 15, 2013

  • John Z.

    Getting excited! Will be nice to meet folks for the first time.

    1 · July 11, 2013

    • Brian

      Should be a blast cya soon

      July 11, 2013

  • Lizz C.

    My son and I are very excited to be there!

    1 · July 8, 2013

  • Robin

    Can't wait!

    2 · June 26, 2013

  • Scott C.

    Are the other groups, which attended the last event, going to be there?

    June 24, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes Scott, however the trouble makers that were members of both SEPA Bushcraft and S&T will not be there.

      June 25, 2013

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