Ah, here we are. What exactly is survival training? Why does anyone need it? What type of people use that?
Picture this: your cruising down the road, and come up on an accident. It’s double digits below 0’c, someone is injured and stuck in the vehicle. Rescue is 1/2 an hour away. What are you going to do now? I sure hope you have an emergency bag ready to go in your vehicle.
Once you begin to train your mind to be alert, you will begin to find yourself being prepared. Suddenly you are the person who always has the knife, a lighter. You are the person who has the first aid kit. In your grab bag you have an insulated blanket, rations, a map of the area you were traveling. People know that you will have booster cables or an extra jerry can of gas. You begin to look at your surroundings and say “that’s what I need, I can make this work”
As you walk down the street you are noticing who doesn’t belong, who is following you to close, who is watching you? It’s walking into a room and marking your surroundings. Bar, washrooms, bouncer, escape doors.
It’s being stranded on the side of the road with someone, having a tire iron to help open the door, having a thermal blanket for the injured, a sip of water, and having a first aid kit ready with a compression pads. It doesn’t mean you are a hero, it just means that you are now aware of your surroundings, and before you left the house that morning, you made sure you had the right clothing for the most adverse weather of that season, and had gear that could save your life.
When we are in camp, the focus is going to be on how to prevent accidents from happening. It’s basic knife skills, its how to use an ax safely. Its how to stop yourself from getting lost in the first place, and what to do if you do get lost. Learn to build emergency shelters, fires, cook over a fire. Work on identifying wildlife, edible plants, uses for natural materials. We will learn how to become quite, not tethered to our cellphones. Explore caves, islands and learn about primitive traps. A crash course on how to snare animals from simple wire, and how to piece out a rabbit, chicken or fish.
Being prepared isn’t just about the skills you know. Its about your mental fortitude, and ways to keep your mind busy. What projects can you do, what sort of games can you come up with? You can go weeks without much food, a couple days with no water, but if your mind starts to go south, you are going to be in a really bad place. Here, we will learn ideas to keep ourselves motivated upbeat.
Experienced Bush Craft
If you are comfortable with the things I have talked about here, we can go on an overnight excursion to an island, sleep in our own shelters, catch and scavenge our food. You can challenge yourself to use only basic items, and learn from what you have to teach yourself, because up here, you are truly in the darkness and silence. This can bring out your underlying fear and anxiety so that they can be faced. Saskatchewan is home to some of the most intense wilderness you can face, in some of the harshest conditions on earth. Are you ready to experience it?
I am waiting for you.