What I learned from the wilderness.

Hello again beautiful people. I can't believe it's been two weeks again I meant to write this post last week, but distractions happen. So I was fortunate enough to go to wilderness survival school with my best friend, sister, brother in law, and a few of their friends two weeks ago. The "class" was set up in the Redwood mountain area of Santa Cruz about 35 minutes away from the San Jose airport. If you want some more information about the class, the company that provided our training was Adventure Out (Jack was our guide, you can find his Instagram at TubularTrout). So, what do you learn in wilderness survival school? Well, we learned how to build a shelter to stay warm (and you sleep in it), how to make fire without the use of modern technology (bow and hand drill), how to make utensils/bowls out of wood by coal burning, how to collect and purify water as well as what you can harvest from the land in order to keep yourself alive. I know sleeping in a pile of leaves doesn't sound like a great experience for most people, but it proved to be absolutely invaluable for me. Here are the five factors that influence your survival chances.

1. Be Aware: Jack (our guide) told us very simply, if you are going to be out in nature and you don't know what the dangers in that area are, then you have no business being there. Know where you are going, what kind of poisonous plants are around, what kind of animals frequent the area, and where you could go if things took a turn for the worse. It's imperative to be aware of your surroundings along the way.

2. Be Prepared: Not only educated, but prepared. Whether you are going on a 2 hour hike in the same place you always go or to a brand new environment, be ready. Bring water, snacks, a survival kit (or atleast a first-aid kit), a headlamp/flashlight, and a multi-tool or knife. If you slipped hurt yourself or were bit, would you be able to help yourself? I always have friends that only bring a bottle of water on hikes, then are asking for water before we get half way (don't be that friend). 

3.Control your mindset: To quote Henry Ford, "whether you believe you can or you can't, you're right". If things were to change to a survival situation keeping a level head makes all the difference. Take some responsibility for your own well being an educate yourself! 

4. Proactive measures: Aside from what you should be carrying with you, if you are going out for a few hours, tell a third party where you are going and when you expect to be back. If you aren't back in that general time frame and aren't answering your phone, then make sure they know how to get ahold of search and rescue (just call the police department and ask for search and rescue, now there are no excuses).

Do you have the skill set to keep yourself alive and well in those situations? If you want to check out the program we did go to www.adventureout.com . It pays to be ready for the zombie apocalypse! Hope everyone had an amazing Halloween!

Stay Wild!

Joe