|Practice Skills Under All Conditions
By Steve McDowell
This last advanced class I had the opportunity to go along as a guest. During the week
I was able to observe a full survival situation under wet conditions; I could see the
weather taking its toll. Debris huts took longer than normal to build. Bow drills were
attempted, but proved frustrating because of the dampness. The first two days alone were a
lesson on the importance of practicing your skills under all conditions.
It was also noticeable that people only did one thing at a time, not everything
together as you are suppose to in a survival situation. In the advanced standard class,
Tom gave a scenario of the first days out in the woods. An important thing to remember the
first day is to do everything at once. As you are collecting debris for your hut, bring a
rabbit stick and look for bow drill wood. That night at camp you should be making traps
and burning bowls and spoons.
As you move around camp you should stalk, keeping to one main trail, making as little
impact on the woods as possible which would scare the animals. The mental attitude should
be one of blending and flowing. Conservation should be kept in mind, looking where you can
help the earth by taking what is in excess, thereby keeping the other plants and animals
healthy. The right attitude will keep you strong in body, mind, and spirit. If you are
tired, you are doing something wrong.
At mid-week a change did take place in the group, we were much quieter in and around
camp. Tom said he noticed the animals coming back. I personally stopped fighting the
elements and accepted the fact I was cold and wet. After that it didn't bother me. The
week showed me you should practice your skills under all conditions until they are second
nature, and that flowing with the natural environment (rain and cold in this case) with
the right mental attitude is also an important survival skills.