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#283262 - 01/07/17 02:38 PM Re: Rating SurvivalCourses/Instructors? Standards? [Re: WesleyH]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5923
Loc: southern Cal
This thread was prompted by the recent news articles about the "North Rim lady" who was alleged to have attended a survival school, but who did virtually every thing wrong.

Years ago I worked on the body recovery of a group of three winter backpackers who had gotten into trouble on a previous excursion, attended a survival school (allegedly)and then went on this trip, which ended in their abandoning their companion to die by the side of the trail. Essentially, they did nothing right.

On the other hand, there are numerous epic tales of people who survived with no background in survival training who did enough right to get a passing grade from the School of Hard Knocks. There are probably also a lot of people who attended some survival school or another, paid attention, applied the principles, and enjoyed long and productive lives.

Is survival training, as presently applied, worth the time and money? There are surely some decent courses out there, but how is one to tell? Dead men tell no tales....


Edited by hikermor (01/07/17 07:53 PM)
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#283263 - 01/07/17 08:08 PM Re: Rating SurvivalCourses/Instructors? Standards? [Re: hikermor]
M_a_x Online   happy
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 915
Loc: Germany
I thought quite a bit about that.
Probably the expectations on the results of attending a survival school are wrong.
The school will provide their students with a situation and resources to allow successfully completing the course. Itīs basically the students fault if the student fails. Mother nature may not be that generous. Survival schools - hopefully - take care to make sure their customers survive. Mother nature may not care.
The scenario in the course may also not be a training comprising the right things (e. g. stay with your vehicle or stay put if you are lost). If one does not do it in training one may not do it in an emergency.
Survival training can provide basics for surviving but it is not likely to provide the ability to make good decisions under pressure.I think it would take additional approaches to get the willingness to do some prior planning (e. g. collect info about the expected road conditions or plan an alternative route) and train making decisions under pressure (not neccessarily survival related).
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#283277 - 01/10/17 08:12 AM Re: Rating SurvivalCourses/Instructors? Standards? [Re: hikermor]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Not sure what makes a good survival course vs. learning on one's own. Surely there's some value in acquiring local knowledge of the flora, fauna, geography and perhaps meteorology if one is to go out "exploring". I can also see some value in learning local laws and regs, and for a few of us a table of local repeater frequencies would be useful. Other than that, learning basic wilderness survival skills isn't too hard to do on one's own, as the compendium of material from which to study is vast, and I've never had a problem making up cotton ball tinders once I learnt how much salve to put on one so's it would take a spark and ignite, and trying various methods under moderate to extreme conditions in the backyard before attempting to test same in wilderness setting. But I suppose that doesn't really answer the question.

To me it seems that a school/course worth it's salt will take you to places where folks have actually had to get in the sh!t and get out. This can be simulated, but the program won't be worth much if it isn't a proper mock up. SHTF school is a good example of how students are put into the real world model and shown how people actually survived the situation. If I were going to spend any more money on training, I'd be looking for a course like that set up in a given context. For them, it was literally a war zone.

Otherwise, it was easy enough figuring out most of the skills on my own, or with minimal instruction from others who'd figured it out. The rest was just learning gear selection and use, and then doing it. Not a great deal of difference between spending the night in a plastic bag in the back yard in the middle of November vs. up at elk camp, except that I can make adjustments as I go in the backyard as needed to figure out what will work and what is a waste of time, but we call that modeling the theory.
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The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
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#283299 - 01/12/17 08:48 PM Re: Rating SurvivalCourses/Instructors? Standards? [Re: hikermor]
BruceZed Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 289
Loc: Canada
No one who is a legitimate survival instructor in NA that I have ever met, taught with or talked to at any Survival/Bushcraft Gathering has ever mentioned any organization they are a member of.

Every so often I have heard talk about it as a way of pooling liability, but every organization I have seen formed in NA, turned out to be 1 individual trying to make themselves seem more legitimate, that they are by forming an organization and making themselves the "legitimate" acclimatization organization.

To form such an organization one would have to have a true consensuses from a wide range of Survival/Bushcraft/Primitive Technology Instructors about numerous topics including Skills, Terminology, and sadly even simple Naming after Bushcraft USA LLC Trademarking the term "Bushcraft"). This action meant that few Instructors/Survival Schools in Canada would want anything to do with a new US Based Organization as it either would not allow us to continue to use the Term Bushcraft (which we do) or forced us to pay royalties to use it.
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Boreal Wilderness Institute
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#283324 - 01/13/17 06:48 PM Re: Rating SurvivalCourses/Instructors? Standards? [Re: BruceZed]
MoBOB Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1211
Loc: here
Originally Posted By: BruceZed


To form such an organization one would have to have a true consensuses from a wide range of Survival/Bushcraft/Primitive Technology Instructors about numerous topics including Skills, Terminology, and sadly even simple Naming after Bushcraft USA LLC Trademarking the term "Bushcraft"). This action meant that few Instructors/Survival Schools in Canada would want anything to do with a new US Based Organization as it either would not allow us to continue to use the Term Bushcraft (which we do) or forced us to pay royalties to use it.


This is a really bad thing. It is sad that someone chose to divide and profiteer off of what is a rather ubiquitious term across a broad spectrum of practitioners. It is strange to me that somehow a person or organization is allowed to trademark what is a very, very old term. It isn't as though they made it up like George Eastman did "Kodak". It seems as though the commonsense is lacking in the agency granting the trademark.
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