This course is for people who want to significantly improve on their outdoor skills in a compressed time frame. Students will leave the course with accelerated competencies and a strong sense of how to further develop their skills and confidence. This is adapted and improved from our 2019 Workshops including longer class time, new curriculum and optimized skills/content teaching sequence. We recommend enrolling in the full 5 Class Series however we have reserved limited spots for people to sign up for individual classes. Students under 18 can attend without a parent but must be approved by the instructor if they are attending alone. We use this curriculum in part to train new instructors.
The content covers 5 of the most critical skill areas for Wilderness Travel and Backcountry Camping. All of the content is designed to be useful in both survival and every day camping contexts. We begin with knife work which lends itself to many of the other tasks that we teach in the series, learning to carve, process and split wood safely and efficiently. We also examine various types of knives and what kind would be the best for you as well as proper maintenance and sharpening.
The second class covers rope and cordage. What types to use and how to use it as well as how to improvise it when its not already handy. We will learn key knots and lashing and use these skills in week 4 when we cover shelters.
Week 3 is Fire and we will cover how to identify and collect material for starting a fire in wet conditions, how to process suboptimal material for success and practice various methods for ignition including matches, strikers/percussion and friction. We will learn tons of material that students can take home to develop skills further.
In week 4 we will examine shelter and explore various designs and concepts such as insulation and anchoring. Students will build and get feedback on several shelters throughout the day learning both how to improvise shelter from materials on hand and how to build a natural shelter.
Finally, in the final week, we will cover navigation and orienteering. We will focus on building student confidence in understanding how to interpret environmental signs that provide directionality and location as well as mastery of common tools for navigation including maps and compass. In this final week students should have a much expanded sense of direction and confidence in being able to problem solve when lost.