Well, there’s been some mess up about the meet and greet – the one that takes place on Wednesday is actually for the teen apprenticeship. So I have a call in to find out what I need to do.
Meanwhile they have posted a list of the skills – and I have to admit I’m feeling a little intimidated.
Completing the Survival Basics means completing 25 different primitive skills based experiences.
☐ demonstration of Trackers knife safety and competency skills
☐ ability to navigate by compass cross country .5 miles
☐ working knowledge of topographical maps
☐ by the sun and a watch pinpoint and walk a straight line South for 500 feet through brush
☐ 6-feet of cordage harvested from natural fibers capable of suspending 5 lbs
☐ sleeping two-nights in an all natural debris shelter with no sleeping bag (not in summer)
☐ one liter of water harvested from dew or solar still
☐ one spring followed all the way to source
☐ one page journal and three water borne illnesses and prevention (not sure what this means!)
☐ boiling 1-liter of water with rocks
☐ lighting one fire with one match in 5-minutes in severely wet conditions
☐ bow-drill coals from each of these materials
-two softwoods (one domestic, one wild harvested)
-two hardwoods (both wild harvested)
☐ one hand-drill coal
☐ arrowheads made from each of these materials
-glass bottle bottom, flakes across all surfaces
-bone or obsidian, only stone tools are used
☐ completion of three quickie survival bows made from different woods (make them pretty)
☐ making a wood eating bowl by coal burning
☐ skinning one small animal (domestic okay)
☐ tanning the hide of one small animal (bark tan)
☐ hitting an 8-inch target 25-feet away with a rabbitstick ten times in a row
☐ hitting an 8-inch target 50-feet away with a bow and arrow set three times in a row
☐ making one simple basket that can hold 1 pound of grass or grain seeds
I feel like, giving training, I will be able to do all of these things, but of course the worst one is the damn debris shelter. I know what a debris shelter is, and I know that sleeping in one without a sleeping bag is going to be hell. A debris shelter is built of just that – forest debris. Two feet of leaves on the bottom – you need that much insulation for cold nights. A long branch with one end resting on the ground and the other end propped up with two branches forming a triangular opening. Smaller sticks laid along the whole thing, tightly together and just meeting at the apex – then over that another couple feet of debris. You have to scootch into it feet first. Ugh ugh ugh. Jamey, our formidable instructor for the Zombie survival class, told us that the nights he has spent in a debris shelter were his roughest nights ever.
In same class I was unable to start a fire with a bow drill. I got smoke, but could never get an ember. My arm would give out. That will be another huge challenge for me, but more of a physical one than a psychological one. Perhaps because it will be truly a matter of survival, and not in a comfy classroom, I will succeed. I just don’t know.
However, I will not let that stop me from trying.