Modern and Primitive Survival Basics


Get ready to learn and put your survival skills to the test with Fire Heart Adventures on this two day survival course. This course takes place on a beautiful parcel outside of Winter Park. The amenities of the property include fresh water access, a fire pit, an outdoor cook stove, composting toilet, tent camping, and a yurt. Overnight participants may sleep in their personal tent or sleep in the public area of the yurt.

Modern and Primitive Survival Basics

With David Michael Scott

Get ready to learn and put your survival skills to the test with Fire Heart Adventures on this two day survival course. This course takes place on a beautiful parcel outside of Winter Park. The amenities of the property include fresh water access, a fire pit, an outdoor cook stove, composting toilet, tent camping, and a yurt. Overnight participants may sleep in their personal tent or sleep in the public area of the yurt.

The first part of the course will address a modern survival situation where we will learn and practice various techniques to keep you alive while awaiting rescue. This part of the course will include psychology of survival and, building the perfect survival kit, and modern firestarters. Later in the day we will look at finding a safe camp spot, how to build a shelter with the supplies at hand, and how to sustain yourself in the wilderness.  We will cover what you need to do to stay warm and how to find drinkable water and sources of food.  Once we have established these basic needs, we will go into how to create different signals to help your rescuers find you.

One the second day, we explore the practice of primitive skills and long term survival. These skills include primitive fire building techniques, recognizing and utilizing the flora around you for sustenance, making rope, shelter building, and medicinal purposes[1]. We will also look at how to find and filter water and trap small game.

By the end of this course you will have an overview of modern and primitive survival basics. You will come away with a larger toolbox of tips and tricks to use in the wilderness. Whether you are on a pleasure camping trip or facing an emergency situation, you will be better prepared and more likely to come through alive and in style.

Friday: Modern Survival

Friday Morning: Challenged to Survive

●        Psychology of Survival

●        Rule of 3’s

●        The Perfect Survival Kit

●        Modern Fire 

Friday Afternoon: Surviving the Night

●        Camp Selection

●        Tarp Shelters

●        Intelligent Fires

●        The Will to Survive

Friday Evening: Getting Rescued

●        Passive and Active Signaling

●        Self-Rescue

Saturday: Primitive Skills

Saturday Morning: Primitive Fire Starting

●        Bow Drill

●        Hand Drill

●        Flint and Steel

●        Nesting

●        Char Cloth                            

Saturday Afternoon: Primitive Shelters

●        Lean To’s

●        Debris Hut

●        Preventing Heat Loss

●        Natural Shelters

Saturday Evening: Primitive Traps

●        Figure Four Deadfall

●        Paiute Deadfall

●        Passive Snares

5:30pm: Wrap-up and Departure

One Day: $90

Two Days: $165

Fire Heart Adventures will have some snack food available, but participants are responsible for bringing and cooking their own meals. Campfire and stoves will be available for cooking.

Course Descriptions:

Challenged to Survive

Learn the psychology of survival and the common mistakes that people make which lead to an emergency situation. Once you know the priorities of survival, you know what steps to take to improve your situation. Your chances of survival are vastly improved by the equipment you bring along, which is why we take time to explore “the perfect survival kit”. Lastly, we will play with fire because nothing says comfort like a warm fire! You will learn ways to start fires using the sun, flint and steel, and chemistry. With some basic knowledge, a proper survival kit, and a warm fire, your chances of survival are looking up!

Surviving the Night

Moisture and cold are our greatest enemies when it comes to surviving a night in the wild. In some instances you have less than three hours to secure shelter and fire before you become a victim of hypothermia. The first step of surviving the night is to pick an intelligent camp. It should have natural blocks from the weather. You will want a camp that is rich in resources such as firewood. Once your camp is selected you will want to secure shelter and fire. A simple tarp can become a lifesaving shelter if set up correctly. The combination of a tarp shelter and an intelligently placed fire can keep you alive through the night in even the most adverse of circumstances. Camp selection, a good tarp shelter, and a well placed fire make your survival more likely, but in the end your survival comes down to your heart and will. The will to survive is the difference between life and death.

Getting Rescued

The vast majority of survival situations last less than 72 hours. That means that you only need to live through three days! The length of time you will wait to be rescued can be shortened, or lengthened based on the actions you take in your camp. In most emergency situations the prevailing wisdom is that you should stay put instead of moving your camp each day. Not only does this allow you to build a better camp with fire and shelter, but it allows you to create a series of passive and active rescue signals that enable local search and rescue teams to find you. Whistles, mirrors, your extra clothes, and even underbrush can be used effectively to signal for help if you know how.

Primitive Fire Starting

The whole world changed when Prometheus stole fire from the gods. Suddenly we were able to keep ourselves warm, cook food, and illuminate the night. There are a multitude of primitive fire starting techniques that date back millennia such as hand drill, fire plow, and fire saw. You should always have a box of waterproof matches when venturing into the wild, however knowing how to start fire by rubbing sticks together or by casting a spark onto some char cloth is a great life saving skill to have. There is no magic to the process of hand drill or bow drill. They are techniques that must be practiced and mastered, nothing more. Learn some of these techniques to impress your friends at a party or potentially save your life in the wild. 

Primitive Shelter

What do you do if you have to spend a night in the wild and you have only the clothes on your back? Prevailing survival wisdom says that if you have to choose between building a fire and building a shelter, the shelter is the safer bet for your survival. That being said, it is incredibly difficult to build a shelter out of natural materials that stops the rain or blocks the wind, unless you have thought about it and practiced. Every part of your environment can be a tool for your survival. Make use of tree wells, dry pine needles, and bark to insulate you and keep you dry. During survival there is never an idle moment. Use your downtime to improve your shelter so that each night is a bit warmer than the last.

Primitive Traps

Food is one of your last concerns in a survival situation. Your body can sustain itself for weeks without food thus your energy and attention are usually best used in other areas of survival. However, once your camp is setup and your emergency signals are prepared, perhaps your want to spend a bit of time setting up some traps. By in large, traps are a better alternative to hunting because hunting is an active time consuming process while you simply set up a trap and check on it later to see what you have caught. Two of the simplest deadfall traps are called the Figure Four and the Paiute deadfall. The are simple, quick to build, and effective when setup correctly for catching small game. Any protein is good protein.

[1] Location and seasonally dependent

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