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(This is the story of our Newest Primitive Survival Instructor Josh Hamlin, he has an immense amount of real life survival experience and will be teaching at our wilderness survival classes to pass on his knowledge to SIGMA 3 Survival students)

If you haven’t read part one or two then click below!

Alone in the Wilderness Part 1

Alone in the Wilderness Part 2

 

After this, I found a cure for the loneliness in the woods.  I came across a hiker.  I was excited, because he was a Native American, and so am I.  I walked up and greeted him, and he gave me a hesitant and perplexed “uh, hi”.  Looking back, I can see why he was so startled.  I had a big beard, because I hadn’t shaved in months, and to make matters worse, I was wearing a loin cloth.  His name was Rick, and he was a member of a Native American church.  Many Native American churches have brought old rituals into their practice of Christianity, and Rick performed sweat lodge ceremonies for Native American Christians.  I showed him my camp.  We bonded and became great friends, which was good, because he came to visit me, and he brought others.  Now, I had friends who valued my quest to find the old ways and who could embrace the spiritual aspect as well.

A group of soldiers came across me, too.  They played paintball to practice warfare.  They gave me a challenge to take a 5 minute head start.  They were to track me and shoot me.  I ran over the roughest terrain I could find and hid in a small cave certain that they wouldn’t find me.  I was wrong.  Within a few minutes I found myself being pelted with paintballs.  I don’t’ remember these guys names.  I just called them the “paintballers”.

One of the worst struggles in the wilderness is insects.  When you’re in the wilderness, don’t be afraid of the dark or of Bigfoot…be afraid of mosquitoes.  I tried every plant I knew to keep them off, and they worked…for a few minutes.  Then I would sweat, and here they would come again.  I got so desperate that I actually covered myself in a blanket during the heat of summer just to block the bugs.  I breathed through a small hole left for my mouth.  When I woke up, my lips were swollen like a clown’s.  Those things are relentless.  The only thing I ever did that was significantly effective was sleeping right on the river.  There was a wind on the river, and I think that kept their numbers down.  If you are planning on a time in the wilderness, just plan on enduring mobs of mosquitoes, because it’s a fact of life out there.

I had another encounter with the brutality of predation, and again, it had a profound impact on me.  At one time, there had been a homestead out there.  The structure was long gone and nature had reclaimed the land but evidence was still there….daffodils and yucca grew in a square  around my camp sight and a square hole of concrete went into the ground. The hole was about 2 feet wide 3 feet long and 4 feet deep. it was an eye sore and i wanted it gone so i decided to fill it up…i had thrown lots of sticks into the hole which rested in there like a ramp and i used the whole as a trash can for my fish bones. One evening in the fall around dusk i heard a loud cracking sound and i ran out of my shelter to see that an old coon had tried to climb down into that hole after the fishbones and the sticks had broken and he was trapped. MEAT!  I grabbed my rabbit stick and went after him. I like coons, and i didn’t want to kill him, but he was so fat and I knew I would regret it if i didn’t so i killed him.  He was a fierce warrior and tried hard to jump out and get me but he was just too fat. He didn’t try to jump out of the hole away from me.  He tried to get out of the hole on my side. He didn’t run he fought. I didn’t want to hurt him so when i hit him I did it lightly and said sorry after each blow. but because I wasn’t using enough force I only prolonged his suffering.  I had to hit him probably 60 times before he finally surrendered his spirit. His body shook with convulsions as he died, and I again felt like a murderer.  I pulled him out of the whole and his eyes were open and it felt like he was staring at me hatefully, so i cut off his head and took it away from camp and buried it.  I felt the predator well up inside me, and I howled like a wolf and cried my eyes out as I cleaned the animal.  After my trauma subsided I began to be really interest in the insides of the animal. Did you know that a raccoons penis is a hook shaped bone?  Well i didn’t before then, but I saved it and made a necklace out of it. I also saved his skin, and the amount of fat on his skin was astounding.  There was tons of  fat on the inside of his skin.  I saved the fat and made a lamp from it. The meat i roasted on the fire and ate all in one sitting. it was extremely tough but delicious.

Winter was a dull time.  The leaves had fallen, and most of the birds had left.  The animals that were still awake were less active.  It wasn’t fun.  It was cold.  I had very little clothing because I had gotten robbed.  I didn’t do much of anything but lay in bed in my shelter and feed sticks to the fire.  It never got so cold that the pond froze so my fish trap was still working, but it was slower in the winter and caught fewer fish.  The insects were all dead and i didn’t have much to eat.  I knew where some Solomon’s Seal was when it was alive, so I still gathered the roots of it long after it was gone.  I still had a small but constant supply of fish so between the fish and the Solomon’s Seal roots, I never starved but i did starve for variety.  I didn’t really need that much energy though because I only left my shelter to go get fish, roots and firewood. We had a one big snow while I was out there, and I got snowed into my shelter for about a week (I had no shoes), but it melted off and the winter slowly faded into spring again.  The cycle began again.  Spring beauties reminded me that my year was over.  I packed my stuff and the next time Rick came to visit i left the mountain with him.

I left my mountain and went back into the hustle and bustle totally to meet the hectic pace of it all.  The sounds of the city, the chaos, the buzzes and humming sounds everywhere. The traffic and the crime, the dirty looks from strangers, rape and murder on the news, miserable people drudging on in miserable jobs. There was also happiness and smiles from strangers and contentment from some people, but they were few and far between.  I had fit in here before, or at least I had pretended to, but now it was different.  Now it was unbearable. After two weeks off the mountain I turned around and went home, back to my mountain.  I would still be there now if it weren’t for my mission: to teach as many people that will listen about the wonders of nature and ultimately the wonder of the CREATOR. I ultimately never came home fully from that journey because I ended up staying in the bush over two years. And I still frequently live in the woods for long periods of time in between odd jobs I do occasionally for walking around money. My life is to teach the methods of our ancestors and walk in the path of the old ones that came before us! And it will be my goal to make all the students that cross my path completely self reliant in any wilderness in the world!

(This is the story of our Newest Primitive Survival Instructor Josh Hamlin, he has an immense amount of real life survival experience and will be teaching at our wilderness survival classes to pass on his knowledge to SIGMA 3 Survival students)

If you haven’t read part one then click below!

Alone in the Wilderness Part 1

 

It rained for days, and I had built no shelter.  I took refuge under an old bridge for a while, but the flood water rose, and I found no escape after that.  I sat by the pond again…just sitting in the rain….and waited it out.  I desperately needed a shelter, so I made a lean-to first.  It was not much, but it worked until I could get something better.  I was ready for an upgrade pretty quick, so I made my way up the hill a little to where it leveled out into a flat.  I built a wickiup in only a few hours.  Whenever the weather was nice, I slept by the pond, but when it rained I moved to my wickiup.  The shelter was leaky and far from perfect, but it was better than sleeping in pouring rain, so I counted it a success.  With shelter, food, fire, and water taken care of, I began to enjoy my life in the wild.  Things got easier, I had plenty of fish in my trap consistently, and I had a shelter.  I began to be able to relax and enjoy watching the animals.  There were a few beaver in the pond, and I enjoyed the comedic company of goofy armadillos running around my camping area as well.

My fish trap caught a turtle about that time, and I came to grips with another struggle: the brutality of predation and feeding myself on animal meat.  For some reason rodents and fish didn’t trigger my sympathy, but when I saw that a turtle had drowned in my trap, I actually tried to resuscitate it with CPR.  I was overcome with grief, and actually broke down crying.  Your psychology in survival can really cause you to feel for life much more passionately than in our modern society. You can feel free to laugh a bit, because it’s a bit funny to me now looking back, but you should know that it was a real struggle at that time.  I’m not a cruel person, and this was a healthy struggle to do what I needed to do in nature to feed myself.  I cooked and ate the turtle with all the reverence and respect due our animal brethren. I then altered my fish trap so that it would have air space above the water, so that the turtles would not die in it, but truth be told the turtle meat was so tasty that I cooked and ate every turtle that got in my trap after that.

Not all went smoothly.  Once, when I had been out scouting the landscape, I returned to find my books stolen, along with some baskets I had woven .  I was furious, and I looked for tracks, but I’m not the most talented tracker, and I never found who did it, which was probably a good thing for them.  I decided that I needed a weapon, so I made an axe out of the flint that I had brought with me, and I made a bow out of a small butternut Hickory tree.  Making the bow was laborious, but it brought me a lot of entertainment when I finally completed it.

Having made and an axe, I decided to build a better shelter.  I decided to make a wigwam, and that shelter requires a lot of cordage.  50 feet of cordage doesn’t go very far, so I had to wind some more.  I found myself winding cordage every single night, and there was never enough.  The wigwam frame only took a few days, but the thatching had to be grass, and the grass was a long way off and up a hill.  I was in no hurry, so I didn’t work on it too much, which is why the thatching took several months!

With a fish trap that was consistently productive, plenty of edible plants that I was familiar with, plenty of grasshoppers and crickets, and a shelter, my needs were met, and life was decent.  But in these situations solace turns into isolation which turns into loneliness.  In my case this somewhat challenged my identity and self-image.  I had always considered myself a loner, able to thrive without other people around.  I may have an independent streak, and I may march to the beat of a different drummer, but I found out quickly that I need others.  I was missing them, and I began to talk to the animals…then to the trees…then to the dirt and the sky.

This brings me to a life-changing spiritual experience I had in the wilderness, and my story would be incomplete without relating it.  Over thousands of years, thousands of spiritual seekers have taken to the wilderness for deep spiritual seeking, and I chose that path myself.  It shouldn’t be news to you that spending more time in nature will reveal just how connected everything in the eco-system is.  I began to really commune with the balance of nature and looked on in wonder as I lived in my place in that balance.  What could be more spiritual than that?  Like many people who think this way, I had turned to pagan practices, which placed a high value on nature and our communion with the wild.

Think of this: I hear bird alarm calls.  They would go out, and other birds would alarm in circles spreading through the forest.  I could stalk to the quiet spots and find the tracks of predators such as foxes or cats.  The concentric circles of alarms going through the forest, the relationship of predator to prey,  the uses I had for what nature freely handed me…I began to perceive purpose and intention behind the continuity I saw in nature.  It was so fierce, but so beautiful.  I understood it to be a work of art from the hand of a deliberate creator, not the impersonal energy source I had always thought it to be.  That personal creator showed up out there in the wilderness, and confronted all my preconceived notions of who it was.  There was a real challenge and struggle as I came to grips with the reality of God, the God of Abraham, the God I was brought up to believe was my bitterest enemy and the enemy of the wilderness and my people.  I finally just cried out to God, speaking right into the air: “God”, I said, “are you real?” I didn’t expect an audible answer, but I got one: “Yes.  I am the God of Abraham.”  I was filled with fear, and I literally trembled violently like many figures in the bible when they met God.  I asked one more question:  “Are you Jesus?”.  The answer came “Yes, I am Jesus whom you have been attacking.”  He showed me visions of all the people He had sent me in His name.  “I have been calling to you, but you would not listen.”  The conviction grew so strong that I ended up on the ground begging God for His forgiveness.  The voice stopped talking, but God lifted me up and hugged me.  The voice has never spoken again, but I immediately left the mountain and headed to a church where I procured a bible.  I went back to my mountain to study the bible, and I have been an avid student of the bible ever since.  The voice has not spoken to me since, but I have felt the reassuring hand of God on my shoulder during hard times.

 

Alone in the Wilderness Part 3

(This is the story of our Newest Primitive Survival Instructor Josh Hamlin, he has an immense amount of real life survival experience and will be teaching at our wilderness survival classes to pass on his knowledge to SIGMA 3 Survival students)   

 

Hello,

 

My name is Josh Hamlin.  I lived 2 years in the wilderness living off the land.  I was no stranger to the outdoors or to primitive skills by the time I set about the task, but you can only gain so much from practicing the individual skills within the safety net and comfort of civilization.  The time had come, and I had a need to place these skills in their context, physically and spiritually.  It will not surprise you that my deep reverence for nature had led me to practices of pagan spirituality.  I set out with the intention of sharpening my skills as a survivalist and strengthening my spiritual connection to the wild.  Both of these things happened, but not in the way I thought they would.  Then again, if I had known all that before-hand, I would not have needed to undertake the journey, would I?

I had someone drop me off near a place I used to go to get away as a child.  It was a hill near Tulsa, Oklahoma on the Arkansas river. It was a small area about 3 miles long and about a mile wide, but resources were plentiful, so the location was appropriate.  I had a few items with me.  I brought two dried gourds with me for water bottles.  I brought 50 ft. of hand-twisted cordage.  I brought some clothing and a blanket, since I would not be allowed to kill and skin large game.  Lastly, I brought parts I and II of John and Gerry McPherson’s Naked Into the Wilderness.

As the car drove away, all my romantic notions abandoned me, and the reality of the struggle that lay ahead set in.  This was it, and the task seemed insurmountable.  For all my training, I began to feel like a fool for even doing this.  Still, I had committed myself with my boasts, and I was determined not to return a failure.  You can dream all you want about living wild and free, and anyone can call themselves a “survivalist”, but if you’re going to really get at it, there is no way around it.  You will have to come face to face with the fear that I felt as I realized how very alone I was.

I immediately sat down near a small pond and did the most discouraging thing for anyone in this situation.  I sat in despair and waited to die.  Here was the unexpected twist: this was part of the process.  I sat there for 3 days straight having already given up on life.  On that third day, thirst paid me a visit, and the pond did not look so inviting.   There was a creek nearby, and I drank from it until the thirst was quenched.  It was then that I realized how hungry I was, so I set about planning to get food.  Understand this, though: I was still in despair and still welcomed death.  I did not do this with determination to survive, but rather I was lead by primal desire for food and water.  It was very basic and very immediate need that took over my mind and directed my actions.

My need for food led me to make a fish trap.  I had to cut down some saplings to make the trap, and I had no knife.  Cutting saplings with flint is no easy task, and it took me a long time.  In fact, it took me 2 days of work to get enough saplings to make the trap.  I used some of my cordage to lash the trap together, and I threw the trap into the pond.  I checked it the next day and found my trap empty.  Truly, nature did not owe me food.

Still hungry, I wove more cordage through the holes on the trap, the better to stop the fish from escaping, and threw the trap back into the pond.  I left my spot by the pond and returned to the creek, this time for crawdads to eat.  It wasn’t long before I caught several crawdads, but I needed to cook them.  There was an old Sycamore that had been overturned with the roots exposed.  Sycamore is a good wood for a bow drill fire and it had roots that were pointed upward which will help them dry, so I put it to use and made myself a fire.  I put the crawdads on the coals, cooked them, and had a tasty meal of one of my favorites.

I returned to the spot on the pond and checked my fish trap.  Several times I had wound more cordage into the trap to prevent the fish escaping, and my labors bore fruit.  Inside my trap was a blue-gill fish.  I ate it, re-baited the trap with its guts, wound some more cordage into some of the holes in the trap, and threw it back into the pond.  I turned a real corner in my situation with the fish trap.  It wasn’t long before my trap was reliably catching fish, and food was no longer a problem.  That was one need taken care of.  That’s when it began to rain.

Alone in the Wilderness Part 2

 

 

New Private or Small Group Packages! Since we have so many tactical courses on the board right now I wanted to make a special offer for those interested in wilderness survival! If you have an interest in wilderness survival training and the course you are interested in is not on the schedule then contact us to setup a custom class. You can pick any course from the wilderness survival course list including: the survival standard courses, shelter building, fire making, water procurement, food procurement (trapping fishing hunting), primitive cooking, knife only (more expensive), or any basic bushcraft course of your choosing. My recommendation for beginners is the standard courses. Contact Us for more details!

2 Day Custom Course: $295/person private lessons

4 Day Custom Course: $495/person private lessons

Notes: Groups will be given discount based upon size of the group, the larger the cheaper! These courses can be setup on almost any schedule as long as enough lead time is given for the founder to schedule. We will do the courses either at our primitive camp or some other location of your choosing elsewhere in the state. Extra charges for travel!

This is a  priority breakdown of how one should set out to start a survival situation with almost no gear and their knife!

 

First Day- Build a shelter the first morning and get the shelter to a comfortable level of warmth for your climate. It must be dry, warm, and provide a place to store things. Custom debris hut is usually first choice in most climates in our area. I will make sure that my shelter is located reasonably close to a water supply. While I am gathering shelter materials I should also use the opportunity to gather firewood for the fire at night as well. Next, I will begin making a fire with primitive bow drill or a hand drill with thumbhole strings to reduce energy consumption and make getting a coal easier. If I have suitable cordage then I will always go with bow drill first but if cordage is in very short supply then I do the hand drill. At the end of day one I will shift my focus to making several no carve pauite deadfalls and split stick figure four deadfalls. Set them out next to pack rat dens and near other high traffic areas for small game. Before I return to camp I should try to gather natural cordage material to bring back and when night time arrives I can make several feet of cordage around the light of the campfire. Note: Always make time to forage for edibles to and from different spots and make a throwing stick while out in case possible game opportunity presents itself!

 

Day Two- Begin the morning by re-stoking the fire and go check my nearby traps to see if the overnight traps caught me breakfast. Return to camp and begin either processing trapped game or begin improving your shelter while it is still cool. Shelter building is one of the more labor intensive parts of survival and should be done when the least amount of calories will be used. Then begin making more simple traps as well as a few more complex trap triggers for larger game. If there is fish nearby then immediately begin making fish traps because they are the easiest prey to catch. Bugs, worms, and anything smelly works for land and water traps. While you are out always be foraging for convenient wild edibles and collect any potential harvest the forest provides you with! The second day should almost be completely consumed by shelter improvement and food gathering. But don’t forget to stay hydrated!

 

Day Three- By day three you should have several dozen traps set out and producing food. This is your main focus until you have created enough food generation sources to provide you with enough fresh meat to eat on hand and enough extra to begin storing extra dryed meats, edibles, etc. Begin putting these things back for your next move. Every time you are out always make sure you are gathering materials when they become available. Don’t wait and come back later only to waste more calories. If you plan to leave your shelter and be on the move, then make sure you have stockpiled plenty of dried food goods for your journey plus a little more than you think you need just in case!

 

Day Four- When day four rolls around you should be more accommodated to your situation and should be at least providing yourself with a minimal amount of calories to survive without losing to much weight, if any! You should continue to improve on your situation adding new food generation sources and utilizing your areas resources to be prepared for whatever your endeavor may be. You should also have begun making things like drying racks and tools to use to make your work easier!

 

-In my experience, this generally turns out to be the general timeline of how long it takes to begin being truly self sustained in a known wilderness area. Everyday, is a snow ball effect of how your resources collect and you should take every free minute to improve upon your situation. At night time you should be making cordage and use any free time in a redundant manner to make the most efficient use of your time! When your basic needs are taken care of, then you move on to the higher primitive arts, such as tool construction. Stick with these timeline goals in mind and you will do good in almost any situation!

 

Summary: Day one make shelter near water,  make fire, and then make traps to gather food overnight while you are sleeping; Day two should be shelter improvement, foraging, and making as many traps as you can, especially fish traps; Day 3 Continue making traps, improving shelter, making cordage and start putting food back if you have any excess; Day 4 You should be self sustaining in most climates by this time and should be producing enough food so that you are not losing any weight. Don’t Forget to Stay Hydrated!

Okay. This is a serious topic and should be well thought out! Prepping depends a lot on your budget and your living circumstances. There are two survival philosophies: Bug In or Bug Out. Now even though I am a bug out practitioner I do believe it is more practical for most of the crowd to bug in! But let me clarify that I think people should have a good amount of food put away in case their is a food crisis or you are not financially fit enough to get food when hard times hits. So first is first, get yourself around 6 months worth of cheap staples like beans, flour and rice. This should not cost you much at all if you buy in bulk. For a few hundred dollars you can ensure that your family will have food and you can supplement that stockpile with foods you can gather in your area. Even in the city wild edibles are to be had everywhere, but they are bountiful in the wilderness.

Next investment I would make is to buy a good amount of conibear traps. At least 10- #110, 6- #220, 4- #330. Conibears are extremely effective traps and they last almost forever if you take care of them. They are lightweight and can be carried in a bug out bag and are more useful than almost anything you can have for putting food on the table. If properly deployed you could feed an entire family of four with just these traps. For instance, at our Primitive Hunting Techniques and modern trapping course we set out 4 #330 conibear traps and overnight we had two beavers in excess of 30 lbs. That is a lot of meat for only 4 traps and one 12 hour period. If you had all those traps out you could have more meat than you could eat if you knew where and when to trap, guaranteed! You will also want to buy some heirloom vegetable seeds and stockpile several kinds of different fruits and vegetables. Store them in your freezer to make them last longer and after each years harvest you can dry and keep the seeds!

After I got a stockpile of food together and a box of conibear traps then I would move on to building a bug out bag. And I am not talking about a 72 hour bag either. Put together a rucksack full of all the essentials one would need to survive on the move in the woods or an urban environment! This ruck should be complete and have everything you need! I know most people are most likely to bug in but the problem with bug in philosophy is that you are hiding all your eggs in one spot and if something happens that causes you to evacuate your area then all your stockpiles will do you no good. It is better to have a system for self sustainment than to depend solely on your household or caches for your needs! So first prepare to have to leave your home if necessary, but after your entire family is equipped and trained to use their kit then start focusing on storing things in your home.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that prepping is crazy or that bad things will never happen in America. Be a student of history and look what has happened generation after generation! Just about the only thing you can depend on in history is that bad times always return. They come in waves and sweep the unaware out into the deep. So don’t be shark bait! As Maynard from Tool would say, “Learn to Swim” (from the song Aenema, check it out)!

 

Summary: Put back six months worth of food, buy conibear traps and heirloom seeds, put together a bug out bag for family and train them in the basics, learn techniques to live off land, and then begin bug in prepping for longer terms when finances allow. Don’t ever solely depend on your home for everything, you must have a system of self sustainment wherever you find yourself!

What is survival gardening? Survival gardening is making your garden invisible to those in your area by means of spreading the plants out over large areas and hiding them in spots that most are not likely to find. If you find yourself in a shtf situation, then you will not want your neighbors to know you have a huge garden and that you are eating good when they are starving. That is calling unwanted attention to yourself. Your goal is to be stealthy about all things and never let those around know you are fat and happy. Jealousy insights violence, so it is best to never let them know what you are up to. Never clump a bunch of the same crop all in one area. You have to use deceptive techniques such as hiding a small batch of plants behind vegetative barriers.

Plant species that are conducive to each other such as planting ivy type plants next to corn so that they can use the stalks to grow towards the sun. Underneath the corn you can plant sprawling plants such as squash which can actually help keep critters away from the corn. But you need make sure these clumps of plants are not noticeable and hidden in corners that get plenty of sun and nutrients. You can even use man made materials to funnel more rain water to individual areas.

Another extremely important factor is to consider animals and critter control. One way is to use chicken wire to wrap a fence around the circumference of the mini garden. Another more camo-ed version is to make a natural barrier with trees or debris. No matter how cautious you are about blocking these things off from the animals, it is inevitable some will get in. So, I suggest letting the garden act as bait for certain animals and then trap the heck out of the area. This will not only make this a vegetable source but it will also begin producing meat for you! In a shtf situation, you will not have the option to be picky about your gathering methods. So you have to optimize each food plot accordingly. And don’t forget to pick heirloom seeds only and make sure you always dry out plenty for the next year! Make your own fertilizer by mixing moist decayed leaf debris and scat to increase your yield! These methods should keep you fat and happy in bad days and come take a look at some of the courses we offer in this area if your interested in learning more!

Summary: Plant in a stealthy manner, use man made or primitive materials to funnel water and nutrients to plants, fence off from animals, plant like types and utilize ground area to the maximum, trap the area for large and small game, use heirloom seeds and dry out your seeds for next year, make your own fertilizer!

Canning and Home Prep Class

Well the class went very well and we delved into a ton of different food preservation subjects. The class covered a ton of different subjects including: canning, caching, jerky, drying foods, pemmican, jelly, modern food storage methods, etc.  We also did an in depth lecture and some field exercises in preserving food primitively. Robert made a quick smoking tripod with primitive cordage made of roots, yucca leaves, and cedar bark cordage. After we constructed the tripod we made a primitive food cache in the ground and discussed how to bury food and keep it fresh without the animals getting into it! After making some canned vegetables, banana jam, dehydrated fruit, jerky, etc; we then jumped into making pemmican! Pemmican is one of the best wilderness foods you can get your hands on. Ancient northern tribes would live on pemmican for upwards of 6 months out of the year because it is a complete food. One could live off of it indefinitely and not be malnourished as long as they got some other vitamins and minerals from teas. Pemmican can last an extremely long time because the fat in mixture acts as a waterproofing agent to protect the ground jerky from absorbing moisture. They have found caches of pemmican that were hundreds of years old that were still good! We also go into how to make modern caches and what type of products can be used to bury food and supplies in case of a disaster! These are just some of the many topics we cover in our courses! We plan to host many more home preparedness and primitive food preservation courses in the future! Hope to see you at one of our future events.

Have you ever watched the wise animals of the woods? Have you ever noticed that the smarter an animal is, the slower they usually move in there everyday activities? A wise ol buck is usually the last to enter a danger zone and the first one to leave. We should all take lessons from the sages of the woods. An old animal has to be incredibly diligent and mindful to survive many years in the wilderness. You will notice that other than moments when animals are playing that they are always conserving energy. Animals do not concern themselves with petty endeavors, only those that will sustain their life longer. Survival is all about expending less calories than you consume and as survivalists we should try to mimic the masters of the wilderness by following there example.

All creatures in the animal kingdom understand that for every extra movement or exertion of energy means they will have to find and consume more food. The old wise buck moves slowly and we should take our model from God’s creations when I say that we should slow down and be like the Ole Buck. Most animals you see killed are as percentages go, mostly from the very youngest of the harvest. The old Buck lives to be old because he moves slow and is prudent before he takes action. He thinks before he moves and is always aware of his surroundings.

As survivalists we must surrender to that code when we are immersed in the bush. Slow down and absorb your surroundings! Read the landscape so that you know what bounties it holds. That is why we practice the skills we teach heavily because when the time comes to survive then you must have mastered the technique in order the keep the Law of conservation of energy. The scout is deliberate and does all things with forethought. When you look at the woods open your eyes wider and don’t let yourself focus too much on one thing. By focusing, you cause your mind to be tunneled. If your vision is always tunneled then you will miss much of your environment. Focusing your mind on one thing is fruitful in modern endeavors but can be a liability in the woods. You should practice absorbing all the things in your environment like a computer, seeing all and hearing all but not focusing your attention to one specific thing. When you focus your thoughts to much on one thing you will miss other things happening in your area. See as the owl does and move as the wise ole buck.

My advice to all survivalists is to remember to watch the animals more in their daily pursuits. Notice how efficient each species is at surviving in their environment! Most people forget that the animals live in the wilderness all the time, and that they should be our true teachers on how to survive!

Sigma just completed our first shelter building class and we got rave reviews from the guys who participated. They seemed to enjoy the experience and I was even told by a guy that he learned more about survival in that one weekend then he had learned in his entire life. And this was not a rookie in the woods. We really do strive to go the extra mile to teach you as much as we possible can in each course. I believe in coyote mentoring to a degree but I also want people to feel they learned a hell of a lot when they come out! So, I find a happy medium!

Anyways, now that I’ve plugged the school, lets get down to the brass tacks of what went down at this survival course. The first and most important shelter to learn for any survivalist to learn is the debris hut. If you don’t know how to build this shelter then you haven’t even scratched the surface of wilderness survival. This is the shelter that will save your life if you become stranded in a cold weather enviroment. The insulation on a well built debris shelter is so thick that you can sleep in below zero conditions with no sleeping bag! We added a little something different to this debris hut. The number one complaint in debris huts is that you don’t get much sleep because you are completely cocooned in leaves and aren’t very comfortable.

Comfort is a relative statement depending on who it comes from in my opinion. But I wanted to teach people how to build an internal heating system in their shelter that was not only efficient but extremely warm in the coldest of conditions. The shelter temperature can be controlled by the amount of heated rock, insulation, and air opening you leave in the shelter. You can always raise or lower the temperature by adding more or less hot rocks to the rock pit. At the front of the shelter is a rock pit that is roughly a foot deep and completely encased with stacked rocks around it. When you put the heated rocks into the pit and close the door behind you, it will radiate heat into the space and get it cookin in a real hurry! The rocks will stay heated for a very long time, usually till morning and into the next day.

Comfort is king in survival! Discomfort decreases your chance of thriving and that increases your chances of not surviving. A comfortable survivor is a happy survivor and a happy survivor is one with a positive attitude. It is absolutely essential to retain a positive state of mind in a survival situation. The brain is like a computer and if you continually program it with negative thinking then you will create a self fulfilling prophecy in your survival scenario! So freakin stay positive no matter what and use your head!

Just remember that shelter is numero uno! Then you need to worry about water, but you always build your shelter within reasonable distance of water. The two go hand in hand! Fire is the next key variable in the equations and one of the more difficult to master. Food is the final element that you must be concerned with, but of least importance in the short term. Master the sacred order of survival and you will be fine anywhere you go.

I’m not going to talk about the jungle hooch construction to much but I want to tell everyone a little bit about. Its based on an A-frame design that keeps you off the ground in a platform debris bed. This is bar none the most comfortable survival shelter I have ever constructed and I think people even with the worst of backs could sleep comfortably in one of these. It is a foot thick leaf bed and the debris conforms to your body. I call it primitive survival memory foam and its patent pending :)! I personally like it better than my mattress at home but I am a survival school instructor, so you might take that with a grain of salt! But to back up my claims we have had others sleep in it and they gave me great reviews. So I’m self proclaiming it worlds most comfortable Sigma Survival Shelter!

We all had a lot of fun that weekend and all the students said they were definitely coming for the next course. I want to thank everybody for coming out and it was a pleasure to host something that’s been a dream of mine for many years now. My hope is that we can create an unsurpassed training environment for those interested in survival-ism in all its forms. Whether you are worried about being lost in the woods, or handling an altercation in an urban environment; Sigma III Survival was designed to meet that need. If you have a desire to train the skills necessary to survive in a hostile world, then come join us today! Please help support Sigma so we can create something for everyone to enjoy!

Andrew McIntosh said on 11/3/10 – 02:01PM

Comment: The shelter class was great. As a former member of the SWAT team I can say that all my survival skills were very short term and mostly tactical. In this class I learned how to think about turning a short term survival situation into a long term prospect. Another words plan for long term and hope for short term. Also Robert instructed us in some tactial shelters that could be used by anyone ( Hunters or Combat ). The point is that I learned more in this class about surviving than I have any where else.

Recommended Shelter Gear:

Warbonnet Shelter System

Aqua Quest Tarp Kit

ENO Eagles Double Nest Hammock

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