BY: DAVID CHRISTIAN, NCTC FACULTY
A few years back, two friends were sitting around the table of a hunting cabin in northern Minnesota after a day of hunting ducks. It was after supper and they were playing cards while talking about what it was like to be off-the-grid for a few days. “Just think,” one of the men said, “there are so many people who don’t get to experience days like this.”
“And there are a lot of people who never have,” replied his friend.
They began to discuss what would happen if the grid failed, if suddenly people had to rely on their own skills to survive. How many people would know how to find the basic needs of food, water, and shelter? How many people would be able to find their way out of the woods with a map and compass if the battery on their smart phone died? Why is it kids with no experience in the woods can be lost for a few days where experienced hunters and people with skills die of exposure after just one night in the woods?
“You know,” one of them said, “this could be the basis for a class.”
Through the next few years, they started planning just such a course. During the Spring 2017 semester, it’s being offered for the first time as a Special Topics course (Wilderness Survival – SPCT-1111) by Robert Jung and David Christian. Classes will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7:20 p.m. and can take 20 students.
This course is designed to teach some of the basic skills necessary to survive in situations common to life in our region from going in the ditch in a blizzard to getting turned around in the forest while on a hike. Topics will include what to have in your survival kit, first aid, basic winter and spring camping techniques, food preparation/preservation, finding or making water safe, building a shelter, clothing selection, fire starting, orienteering, and more. There will be two overnight camping trips to the Hobson Forest site outside of Bemidji, MN (February 25-26 and April 22-23). Student course fees will cover gear rentals, food, travel, and other class expenditures.
Both instructors have long been interested in this topic and have experience in different types of outdoors skills. They envision the class as being a way for people to learn how to survive various situations from being stuck in the ditch during a blizzard to being separated from a group while in a forest.
If you’d like more information, feel free to talk with either Robert Jung (ext 2594, office 155M) or David Christian (ext. 2572, office 525F).
Make your education happen today by requesting more info about the Wilderness Survival course or any other NCTC program.