Saturday, February 18, 2012
What ... NO SLEEPING BAG ??!!
Knowing very little about each other, the lads posed for the pre-course photo. With nervous energy and unsure of what lay ahead they all smiled showing their excitement and genuine enjoyment of the -20 temperature and cool breeze that met them when they secured their vehicles.
However, I know exactly what they are all thinking in this great photo ! Two minutes prior to us all meeting on the trail I quarantined their kit bags and removed all forms of comfort including food, tools and more importantly their sleeping bags !
The nervous laughter and banter back and forth quickly turned to silence and fear. As an instructor this is the first opportunity to see the students mindset. We talk at length about the survival mindset. You must be prepared physically, mentally and emotionally to survival any wilderness survival emergency.
There was no time to dwell for the lads as I quickly re-issued the packs and hustled them to the rally point. Their teams were identified and they had but a few seconds to re-align themselves and prepare themselves for the next 28 hours.
Team 1 travelled into the bush with Instructor John and Team 2 travelled into the bush with myself. The snow was deep and heavy and gave the lads their first taste of the effort and energy level it takes just to move through the bush in this climate.
This became a quick learning experience about how easy it is to sweat while moving through the bush and how you must use the layering system when dressing for the bush.
Stay tuned as I continue to chronicle the journey of 8 lads who earned the title of Survivor.