Sat, Mar 17 2018 - AOC Survival Series: Introduction to Survival Skills (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Mark, Todd M
Participants:Todd M, Mark, Myra Kincaid, Ed, Vera N, Raymond N, Ping, Laura V, john everly, Mark W

Write Up:

We had ten brave souls who came out to the national forest in damp conditions for the weekend to learn and practice essential survival skills.  We found the perfect spot for the event next to Nimblewill creek in a picturesque mountain setting well away from the sights, sounds, and smells of civilization.

A few of us went up Friday afternoon to set up the camp.  Laura had indicated she might come up Friday as well, but after dinner it seemed that her plans had fallen through.  Well after dark we saw a bobbing light coming down the road.  Laura came walking into to camp at nearly 11PM with her backpack!  It turns out the gps had taken her up a back way to Nimblewill Gap up an old forest service road.  She had to stop where the road was washed out, and decided to hike 5 miles in the dark to the camp site.  We were very impressed with this and the fact that she had all the survival essentials (just in case)!

Saturday morning, after everyone had arrived and set up camp, we talked about survival priorities, and the importance of stopping for 20 minutes once you realize you may be lost, to calm down, rest, and plan what you need to do.  Most wilderness deaths are caused by exposure (either heat stroke or getting too cold), so we discussed how to deal with that.

Then Laura did a presentation on first aid, as she is a certified cpr and first aid instructor.  Big thanks to Laura!

We broke off into teams of two and each team was challenged to find a shelter site and rig up a tarp shelter.  Then the teams went foraging to get tinder and kindling and did fire building excercise.  Everyone was able to succeed using a firesteel.  Not an easy thing to do in the damp conditions we were in!

Lastly, we built a big group campfire and relaxed for the evening.

Before breakfast the next morning, Ping got a fire going in soggy conditions.  It was awesome!

We then covered the topics of 'Daypack essentials', finding and purifying water, navigation, and finally, we did an in depth discussion of knots.

Thanks to Vera for going out of her way to clean up garbage at the site!

After we concluded the survival event several of us took a hike to little known Bearden Falls, which is about 1.5 miles from camp.  Very beautiful.

Mark and I had a great time doing the event with this awesome group.  Maybe we can do something more advanced in the near future.. who knows!