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Thread: Survival Course

  1. #1
    Member Rumbarr's Avatar
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    Default Survival Course

    Hey gang

    Been looking around for a weeklong survival type course I can take in the southeast area, I found something in the Fairbanks area but not headed in that direction . Any suggestions ?

    Thanks
    Alaska bound !

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    Member ironartist's Avatar
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    I have several ideas for you why don't you send me a p.m. and we'll go from there
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
    "Rebellion is in my blood, I was born an American"
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  3. #3

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    Hey Rumbarr, I can't help you narrow it down by area, but I have a few suggestions based on experience.

    First, figure out what you want to get out of it. Different survival courses focus on VERY different things. Do you want knowledge or extensive skills practice? An active experience or more patient instruction? Survival-type skills or outdoor-type skills? Living off the land primitivism or using local plane wreckage to "MacGyver" your way out? Sitting and signaling for help or making your own way out on a broken leg? All these styles are available (and all are equally valid methods), so figure out your own goals before you choose a class.

    Second, look at the instructor's background carefully. You'll learn totally different things from an old sourdough who lived outdoors the last 40 years, or from an ex-military guy. Not better or worse, just quite different.

    Third, look at the school sponsoring the class equally carefully. If they're on a tight budget you're more likely to get "rushed" instruction or have the instructor busy in the office while assistants practice skills with you.

    (Personally, if I was young enough to take another course, no question I'd choose one from Mors Kochanski at Karamat Wilderness Ways. http://www.karamat.com/ None of my grandchildren have the skills (yet!) to live in my cabin after I'm gone, but my will includes tuition for the Karamat winter course if any want to try it.)

    Here's the most complete list of quality survival schools I've found: http://www.equipped.com/srvschol.htm
    Inspiration is simply the momentary cessation of stupidity.

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    Consider enrolling in one of the University of Alaska Southeast's Outdoors Studies classes. They offer Winter Backpacking, Ice Climbing, Avalanche Training, Wilderness First Responder, Backcountry Skiing, Glacier Travel, Mountaineering, Outdoor Leadership, and even fly fishing.

    I took a Winter Survival course through UAA Anchorage and it was an excellent course.

    You might also check NOLS website and see if they offer training in your area.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphina View Post
    Hey Rumbarr, I can't help you narrow it down by area, but I have a few suggestions based on experience.

    First, figure out what you want to get out of it. Different survival courses focus on VERY different things. Do you want knowledge or extensive skills practice? An active experience or more patient instruction? Survival-type skills or outdoor-type skills? Living off the land primitivism or using local plane wreckage to "MacGyver" your way out? Sitting and signaling for help or making your own way out on a broken leg? All these styles are available (and all are equally valid methods), so figure out your own goals before you choose a class.

    Second, look at the instructor's background carefully. You'll learn totally different things from an old sourdough who lived outdoors the last 40 years, or from an ex-military guy. Not better or worse, just quite different.

    Third, look at the school sponsoring the class equally carefully. If they're on a tight budget you're more likely to get "rushed" instruction or have the instructor busy in the office while assistants practice skills with you.

    (Personally, if I was young enough to take another course, no question I'd choose one from Mors Kochanski at Karamat Wilderness Ways. http://www.karamat.com/ None of my grandchildren have the skills (yet!) to live in my cabin after I'm gone, but my will includes tuition for the Karamat winter course if any want to try it.)

    Here's the most complete list of quality survival schools I've found: http://www.equipped.com/srvschol.htm
    Thanks Sera, that 1 place you posted looks like its out in Canada but thats the general idea. Just want to have some fun and learn the basics from firemaking, learning about wild edibles, paw prints, trapping etc...

    I was in the scouts back around 1985 ' 86 and that was a lot of fun , learned how to extract water from the air and a few other things I remember . I learned that guy Michael Hawke from man, woman, wild does survival courses all over the world including Alaska, his prices are like around the 5 grand range and thats more then I'm willing to spend but could probably learn a lot from that guy ,although now way in heck I'm gonna eat a live scorpion lol
    Alaska bound !

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    Quote Originally Posted by EagleRiverDee View Post
    Consider enrolling in one of the University of Alaska Southeast's Outdoors Studies classes. They offer Winter Backpacking, Ice Climbing, Avalanche Training, Wilderness First Responder, Backcountry Skiing, Glacier Travel, Mountaineering, Outdoor Leadership, and even fly fishing.

    I took a Winter Survival course through UAA Anchorage and it was an excellent course.

    You might also check NOLS website and see if they offer training in your area.
    The university, is that open to the public for a fee ? sounds interesting
    Alaska bound !

  7. #7

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    I agree with EagleRiverDee, the university is a great way to get started, and it's usually cheaper than most private schools. I didn't mention them because you specifically talked about a week-long course, while most university courses are once a week plus a weekend. If you want to "have some fun and learn the basics", you might be getting in over your head to start off with a longer course, as some field classes can feel brutally hard to beginners.

    NOLS or Outward Bound courses are NOT survival classes but they're well worth the price.
    Inspiration is simply the momentary cessation of stupidity.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumbarr View Post
    Hey gang

    Been looking around for a weeklong survival type course I can take in the southeast area, I found something in the Fairbanks area but not headed in that direction . Any suggestions ?

    Thanks

    Where are you headed........??? If your honest (not a thief) you could camp in my back 40 which is in the heart of the Chugach National Forest. I drink the water straight from the creek up there. I'll teach you to build debris shelters and other basics. You collect the firewood and in evening I sit around the fire and teach you what I have learned in 40+ years of wandering about most of Alaska. I am a very good tracker, and a retired professional big game hunter. However I know little about small game or trapping. I have been thinking about doing this for some time, with very small groups.
    You might inquire here also, I am Sourdough on that forum: http://www.wilderness-survival.net/forums/blog.php

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Where are you headed........??? If your honest (not a thief) you could camp in my back 40 which is in the heart of the Chugach National Forest. I drink the water straight from the creek up there. I'll teach you to build debris shelters and other basics. You collect the firewood and in evening I sit around the fire and teach you what I have learned in 40+ years of wandering about most of Alaska. I am a very good tracker, and a retired professional big game hunter. However I know little about small game or trapping. I have been thinking about doing this for some time, with very small groups.
    You might inquire here also, I am Sourdough on that forum: http://www.wilderness-survival.net/forums/blog.php
    Now this is an offer I will strongly consider !! Thank you . Chugach forest is actually one of the places I want to spend some time in . As far as honesty lol, I learned you only lie to woman hehe, man thats gotten me in some trouble back in the day . If this is something that we do, how would all this work out ? be more then happy to pay for your services as well . The way it looks as of right now Aug/Sept 2012 would be my time to go up, is that good ? anyways thanks for this offer and I'll keep in touch with you on this .
    Alaska bound !

  10. #10

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    I don't do much, but wander around the area. So I am available most of the time. May 20'th till June 30'th is the least rainy summer period. August rains about 15 days a month, and September it rains about 22 days a month. But every different enviroment has lessons to learn in survival. This is a good site for weather avarages: http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/hop...weather/341707



    Quote Originally Posted by Rumbarr View Post
    Now this is an offer I will strongly consider !! Thank you . Chugach forest is actually one of the places I want to spend some time in . As far as honesty lol, I learned you only lie to woman hehe, man thats gotten me in some trouble back in the day . If this is something that we do, how would all this work out ? be more then happy to pay for your services as well . The way it looks as of right now Aug/Sept 2012 would be my time to go up, is that good ? anyways thanks for this offer and I'll keep in touch with you on this .

  11. #11
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    Does it rain that much Aug/Sept would be difficult to find dry wood for a fire ?
    Alaska bound !

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumbarr View Post
    Does it rain that much Aug/Sept would be difficult to find dry wood for a fire ?
    That is part of survival, you better get studying. That is a most basic essential. That and shelter. The god news is that in Alaska pure water is (Nearly) everywhere.

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    question for the op southeast continental u.s. or s.e.alaska I am seeing the prior. And the one about dry wood in the rain there's lots if you know where to look
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
    "Rebellion is in my blood, I was born an American"
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironartist View Post
    question for the op southeast continental u.s. or s.e.alaska I am seeing the prior. And the one about dry wood in the rain there's lots if you know where to look
    SE Alaska, Juneau, Haines, Sitka areas. I was gonna stop and see some friends in Seattle, so figure Southeast area being closer but thats still work in progress right now .
    Alaska bound !

  16. #16
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    There is survival training and then there is woodmanship. They are not the same, but do have common elements.

    In Anchorage we have Learn to Return which provides industrial survival training.

    Keep in mind that SE Alaska has only a few thousand people so there is not much of a demand for this kind of training, which means you will be unlikely to find it offered from the private sector. You can enroll in semester long classes through U of A as part of an Outdoors Recreation course of study.

    Reviewing your questions it appears that you are really interested in woodsmanship. There are lots of good on-line and printed resources out there to study and then practice in the field.

    I am reminded of the last time I watched the "survivor" TV game show many years ago. They were in Austraila. The first thing someone does is pick up some random pieces of wood and trys to rub them together to start a fire. By the time they had made a little smoke the guy was completely worn out. Having never used anything other than modern flame devices to make a fire I wondered how I would fare.
    During a commercial break, I went out to the garage and sorted through my scrap wood ben, picked out some likely pieces, used my pocket knife to make a fire block, some twine to make a bow, a drill, and finally a drill holder. In 10 minutes I had gone from scrap wood to a small fire on the floor of my wood shop. It was the first time I had ever actually made fire. Making the tools out of found wood would take more time, but be just as effective.
    To be fair I will disclose that my favorite book from the age of 6 to about 14 was the Air Force Survival manual. Evidently the contestants on the survivor game shows are not aware that books like that exist in thousands of book stores across the US.
    Rumbarr I recommend you pick one up. Save the tropical section for midwinter fun reading.

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    AGL4now:

    I follow much of the forums and your words of wisdom and generosity are awesome. If you decide to get small groups together for learning, I would be honored to pay for the opportunity to learn from you. I have been in Alaska 12 years and the longer I am here the more I realize it humbles you in an instant!


    BEE

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