This is a key training for Hikers & GeoCachers to mitigate risks associated with heading into the wilderness. Please note that if you can't make this class, it will be repeated on Tuesday, January 22nd. Also, Meetup does not have an option for listing varying prices based on the number of people you are registering, but you can change the amount you pay before being redirected to PayPal, following this price schedule: One Person $15.00; Additional Friends/Family Members $10.00 each. Email or Call the Wolf College at any time with any questions, requests, or to register with a credit card.
Before Class: Please arrive early in order to complete any registration information, view recommended books, and answer questions. Also, if we get started early, we'll teach you how to make rope from all-natural materials which is one of the most important survival skills. Chris & Kim 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.
15-30 Minutes: Essential Tools and the Critical Order of Emergency Survival: As you probably know, beginning hikers should never leave home without 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.
15 Minutes for the Five Minute Emergency Drill: We 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.
15-30 Minutes on Shelter vs. Navigation: To get a jump-start on this discussion, check out our article on shelter. We will discuss the decisions made during your Five Minute Emergency Drill, and then we'll 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. If time and space allows, we will again 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.
15 Minutes on 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.
15 Minutes on 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. You can also get a jump-start on this lesson by reading our article on fire.
15 Minutes on Food: The depth to which we will discuss food will be entirely time dependent. We will start with wild edible plants that grow locally 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. Then join us in March for our full class on wild foods!
After Class - Feedback & Planning: Please join Chris & Kim after class to review experiences, browse resources, discuss feedback, and brainstorm ideas for the future. Email or Call us at any time with any questions and requests.
Parts of class will be spent outdoors, so please dress for the weather as we practice a series of hands-on skills, and expect to cover this itinerary with instructors Kim & Chris Chisholm in some order depending on your health, daylight, weather and location.
Also note that this class moves fast through survival information, and you will need additional practice to become proficient at these survival skills. If you would like to learn to a more advanced level and have time to really practice your skills, please enroll in our 5 Day Summer Course: Wilderness Survival Training and Trek