Monday, March 18, 2013

Circle of Survival

With years of experience as a Search and Rescue Operator as well as a Survival Instructor I have learned many constants that are known about wilderness emergencies and the responses that have led to successful survivors and their rescue.

Whether you read literature designed for Search and Rescue Professionals or books designed for outdoor enthusiasts you will undoubtedly find information related to successful outcomes from a variety of wilderness emergencies.  You will unfortunately also learn about wilderness emergencies where the individual succumbed to the elements.

When developing our syllubus' for our school I understood that the majority of students were adults and therefor learned more from field and dirt time than from watching videos posted on social media sites.  It was also clear through personal experience that adult learners were more successful when information was delivered through the use of visual aids rather than written documents.

Over the years I have instructed many courses where I have been tasked with presenting topics on the Enemies of Survival as well as the Survival Priorities.  However, Survival Priorities is a topic filled with "What ifs".  I often found myself responding to each question on a case by case basis.  The difficulty in these questions is that there are no correct answer nor is there a consistant numbering of those Survival Priorities.

Survival in a wilderness survival emergency is never a static situation.  This situations are dynamic and ever changing.  That ever changing nature makes your Survival Priorities ever changing and evolving.  

This winter has provided me with the opportunity and time to create a visual aid which I have called the Circle of Survival.  A circle is known as a shape that has no start and no end.  It is ever rotating. 

The inner most circle is your Situation or Wilderness Survival Emergency. 

The middle circle is an area of constant change.  You must Assess your situation.  Plan your appropriate course of action.  Then you must Act to fulfill your priorities in surviving your situation.

The outer most circle contains the options of survival priorities that you must deal with in order to successfully survive your survival emergency or situation.

It is no secret that many of victims have perished in wilderness survival emergencies because they acted without planning or failed to assess because they panicked.  An understanding of the Circle of Survival will provide you with the knowledge necessary to properly Assess your Situation, Plan an appropriate course of action and then Act to prioritize your survival needs.

The Beyond the Fire School of Survival  "Circle of Survival"

Monday, March 11, 2013

My Season is Almost Over

When I awoke this morning to the time of the clocks changed I sadly realized that wonderful winter season was slipping away. The sun was bright with a familiar touch of warmth that notifies us that Spring is just around the corner. 

So, with knife around neck, boots on feet and an hour to myself I wandered into the bush to enjoy the sounds and sights that signal the change in seasons. 

It was soon obvious that I wasn't the only one enjoying the warmth of the afternoon. Two snowshoe hare and morning fresh deer tracks accompanied by the sounds of the spring birds bouncing from tree to tree. 

Along the way I was lucky enough to find a stand of beautiful white birches that gifted me with a few chunks of true tinder fungus. A great find with a real nice spongy orangish core perfect for primitive fire making.  I also found a wonderful white pine filled with Old Man's Beard perfect for tinder material. 

In the end I was able to spend some time in the bush enjoying what's left of a winter that has brought much growth and experience for us here at Beyond the Fire School of Survival.