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OUTDOOR EDUCATION in Bellevue & Beyond Message Board › Wilderness Survival Class Itinerary for This Week & Next

Wilderness Survival Class Itinerary for This Week & Next

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Chris C.
user 9023418
Group Organizer
Puyallup, WA
This Wednesday in Snohomish at the Thumbnail Theater!

Next Tuesday in Seattle at the UW South Campus Center!

Rsvp at­

Most hikers would never leave without carrying some extra rope for multi-purpose use, and in fact, knowing how to make rope from all-natural materials is is one of the most important survival skills. While people are arriving, Chris will teach everyone how to "reverse wrap" grasses, cedar bark, stinging nettles, and other materials into strong rope. In a survival situation, it is also important to multi-task, so as you practice your reverse-wrap, everyone will also introduce themselves with their primary interest for the evening.

As you continue to work on making rope, Chris will introduce the critical order of emergency survival, which you can read about at http://www.wolfcamp.c...­

As you probably know, beginning hikers should never leave home without all the 10 Essentials, but as your wilderness skills grow, that list begins to change. For instance, if you become versed in making fire-by-friction using the "bow-drill" method of "rubbing two sticks together," you may find that this "primitive" skill is actually the most dependable fire-starting method in our cold, damp Pacific Northwest weather. So although bringing a fire-starting kit is great, it might not be as important as bringing a metal pot. Why? Chris will lead a discussion on this fascinating perspective.

Wrapping up the first hour of class, we will break into groups for a Five Minute Emergency Drill. Chris will present a survival scenario, and you can "go it alone" or form a small group to figure out how best to survive the situation based on the order of survival, your level of experience, and other factors. 8:00 The second hour of class will be spent primarily outdoors on the South Campus lawn, so please dress for the weather as we practice a series of hands-on skills, including:

Navigation. We will test whether you are right-or-left dominant when walking so that if you ever get lost, you can better orient yourself. We will also give a 1 minute overview of how to use map and compass, an overview that even if you are an expert navigator, is an excellent exercise to pass on to novice hikers.

Shelter. We will show you actual materials you might find in the Pacific Northwest wilderness with which you can make shelter in case of emergency. We will demonstrate the lean-to, debris hut, and finding natural shelters, plus discuss the limitations of each structure in the Pacific Northwest. Once again, we will break into groups, and each group will have 5 minutes to build the best shelter possible for the "model" we provide. This activity is a real eye-opener for understanding actual shelter-building in emergency situations.

Water. Now that giardia is pervasive in fresh water throughout North America, if your water filter fails, or you run out of purification tabs, what then? We will bring samples of "burn bowls" and show you how to make them in case you are caught without a metal pot to boil water in, and show you how to "rock boil" water in order to purify it.

Fire. Of course, if you don't have a fire source, then you can't boil water or enjoy comforting external warmth. It is critical to practice making fire with all-natural materials. Unfortunately, few people actually practice this, and it's hard to do, especially in wet Pacific Northwest climates. We will set up "tipi" and "lean-to" and "log cabin" style fire demonstrations, discuss proper use of matches, lighters and magnesium, and then actually light (but of course immediately put out) a fire by "rubbing two sticks together" using the bow-drill fire-by-friction method.

Food. The depth to which we will discuss food will be entirely time dependent. We will start with wild edible plants that grow right around campus as well as out in the wilderness. We will also discuss the Big 5 foods you would seek out right away in a wilderness survival situation, even before resorting to hunting and fishing.

If you have any questions about this class, please send an email to or simply rsvp and Chris will contact you with additional information. Thanks!
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