Tom Brown Jr.
One of the questions I get from students,
especially during the late year standard or advanced classes, is what I do to
prepare myself for the winter. The answer I give most often is, “Watch the
animals and follow your own deeper instincts”. What I am telling them is that
we are not above the laws of nature, but must follow these laws, like any other
animal or plant does. Forget the fad diet and put on a few extra pounds like the
animals do, but there is more, much more.
We must not slow down in winter and stay
indoors, but rather seek to spend as much time outside and active as we can.
Just because nature tells us to put on an extra layer of fat we shouldn’t also
slow down and get out of shape. To withstand the winter storms and cold, we have
to remain active and keep ourselves in good shape, physically. The more we
expose ourselves actively to the natural winter world, the more comfortable we
become in it.
Normally I work out heavily during all times of
the year, but increase my workout in the winter. The more in shape I am, the
better my body functions, and the better I can withstand the coldest winters
without breaking my stride. Some of the things I suggest for keeping in shape
for winter are as follows:
- Long brisk walks. I usually carry a backpack
filled with sand.
- Wood cutting.
- Practicing survival skills in severe
conditions, such as bow drill in a violent snowstorm.
- Some weight training done outside.
- Winter sweatlodges and dips in chilly
- Stalking gymnastics and heavy weasel
- Mental training to control body parts, such
as sending blood to feet.
- Races against yourself, building a quick
The more activity you can do in a program, the
better off you will feel and the more you will get out in the winter world.
Be cautious not to get sweaty or fatigued too
far from a warm place, especially in a winter survival situation. When you cool
down you will find yourself in a hypothermic situation and have burned off too
much survival energy. These exercises are to be done around the home territory.