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Wilderness Survival Skills & Emergency Preparedness

Event Details

Wilderness Survival Skills & Emergency Preparedness

Time: January 30, 2013 from 6pm to 8:30pm
Location: WWU South Campus - AW 210
Street: W College Way
City/Town: Bellingham
Website or Map:
Phone: 425-248-0253
Event Type: outdoor, class
Organized By: Chris Chisholm
Latest Activity: Jan 21, 2013

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Event Description

No college or other affiliation needed. Artwork by Joanna Colbert and used with permission. This class will also run from 2:30-4:30 at Village Books. The cost is $15 general, $10 for students/low income, and $10 per additional friend/family member. Here's the itinerary for today from our website which you can also view at

Before Class: Please arrive early in order to complete any registration information, view recommended books, and answer questions.  Also, if we get started early, we'll teach you how to make rope from all-natural materials which is one of the most important survival skills. Instructors Kim & Chris Chisholm will teach everyone how to "reverse wrap" grasses, cedar bark, stinging nettles, and other materials into strong rope. In a survival situation, it is also important to multi-task, so as you practice your reverse-wrap, everyone will also introduce themselves with their primary interest for the evening.

15-30 Minutes: Essential Tools and the Critical Order of Emergency Survival: As you probably know, beginning hikers should never leave home without the 10 Essentials, but as your wilderness skills grow, that list begins to change.

15 Minutes for the Five Minute Emergency Drill: We will present a survival scenario, and you can "go it alone" or form a small group to figure out how best to survive the situation based on the order of survival, your level of experience, and other factors.

15-30 Minutes on Shelter vs. Navigation: To get a jump-start on this discussion, check out our article on shelter

15 Minutes on Water: Now that giardia is pervasive in fresh water throughout North America, if your water filter fails, or you run out of purification tabs, what then? We will bring samples of "burn bowls" and show you how to make them in case you are caught without a metal pot to boil water in, and show you how to "rock boil" water in order to purify it.

15 Minutes on Fire: Of course, if you don't have a fire source, then you can't boil water or enjoy comforting external warmth. It is critical to practice making fire with all-natural materials. Unfortunately, few people actually practice this, and it's hard to do, especially in wet Pacific Northwest climates. We will set up "tipi" and "lean-to" and "log cabin" style fire demonstrations, discuss proper use of matches, lighters and magnesium, and then actually light (but of course immediately put out) a fire by "rubbing two sticks together" using the bow-drill fire-by-friction method. You can also get a jump-start on this lesson by reading our article on fire.

15 Minutes on Food: The depth to which we will discuss food will be entirely time dependent. We will start with wild edible plants that grow locally as well as out in the wilderness. We will also discuss the Big 5 foods you would seek out right away in a wilderness survival situation, even before resorting to hunting and fishing.

After Class - Feedback & Planning: Please join Chris & Kim after class to review experiences, browse resources, discuss feedback, and brainstorm ideas for the future. Email or Call us at any time with any questions and requests.

Upcoming Classes:

• Wednesday, February 27, 2013: Local Wild Edible Plants & Backcountry Herbal Medicine
• Wednesday, April 24, 2013: Safety, Tracking, and Bird Alarms in Cougar, Wolf, and Bear Country

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Comment by Chris Chisholm on January 7, 2013 at 12:58am

Hm. Must have dropped off the description. I'll go back in and edit. The cost is $15 general, $10 for students/low income, and $10 per additional friend/family member.

Comment by Jamie Jedinak on January 7, 2013 at 12:48am


What is the fee?  ~  Jamie


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