Fri, Sep 24 2004 - Wilderness Survival Course Weekend (View Original Event Details)|
Jason Craver, Emilio Ungerfeld
|Participants:||Emilio Ungerfeld, Jason Craver, Maria Maranto Dickey, Leilani Ho, Robert Koeckert, Gail Pritchard, stacey patmore, Margie de Marcaida, Meg Victor, Matthias Hess, Molly Freitag, Anne Smith, Katie Stofer, Peter Howley, Alvin Liem|
The Vienna Metro was my first challenge. I was literally on the
wrong side of the tracks for a while, bravely scouting out the
meeting spot that was clearly not the right one. After almost
getting a speeding ticket getting over to the other Vienna
Metro, I wound up making a wrong turn and getting my car
impounded in a lot that I paid $10 to get out of and then drove
back and parked in the same lot anyway. Hmm-the score
thus far: Metro: 1 Jason: 0. The rest of the group showed up
and after a brief mad scramble and negotiations, we figured
out who was sitting in what car and with whose equipment,
and caravaned on our merry way.
The trip began with a core group of hard-charging, muscled,
outdoor-obsessed adventure junkies with no fears. We had
among us some of the most crazed nature fanatics that ever
donned a L.L. Bean shirt, ready to eat tree bark and reenact
We braved the D.C. weekend outbound traffic, and plodded
ahead the best we could. When we decided to stop for dinner,
one car of the aforementioned hard-charging fanatics
charged into a small town bar/grill where I'm sure they scared
the heck out of the other patrons, and the rest of us charged
into Burger King, where no one seemed to even notice
At about 11 pm, we all made it to the KOA we were camping
at for the night. Some members had arrived ahead of our
caravan and met us there. We all got our tents set up and
slept until we got up with the sunrise and took our group to a
local McDonalds for breakfast. To make it an official MOC trip,
we purchased beer and ice, threw it into a cooler, and zipped
off to meet our instructors down the road.
Byron and Reggie were ready for us and met us just outside
the George Washington National Forest. These two men had
enough military experience to start their own branch of the
military and had done some of the toughest things we could
ever dream of. They were real MacGyvers, and they carried
MUCH bigger knives than Swiss Army ones. You could
literally drop these men anywhere on Earth, and you would
find them a week later happily putting the finishing touches on
a condominium they had created. Byron and Reggie were
friendly and made sure we all had the things we needed and
that any potential problems were taken care of.
Shouldering our packs, we all hiked into the woods on an old
logging trail. On the way Reggie stopped to pick up a box
turtle and we learned how easy it was to prepare a turtle to
eat and what part of the turtle NOT to eat. We made it to the
spot Byron and Reggie had impressively prepared for our
group, complete with two separate parachute canopies and
log benches that would be our classroom, fire circles, and
dining areas. We then separated into two groups; one went
with Reggie, the other with Byron. Introducing ourselves to
our instructors, we told them of our experiences in the
outdoors and what we hoped to gain from the weekend. It
was a long list of things we gave them and they were great at
taking a week long course and cramming it into a weekend
We learned the seven priorities of survival, which are:
Positive mental attitude, wilderness first aid, shelter, fire craft,
signaling, water, food.
1. How to make a very sturdy shelter from only a 99¢ plastic
2. How to tie four important knots to help make our
3. How to find water and make water collection devices.
4. What the best food sources are in the wild.
5. How to help in a medical emergency and treat in the
6. How to signal for help to be rescued.
7. How to decontaminate water with iodine, bleach, or
8. How to make a snare trap to catch animals.
9. How to make a fire even in the pouring rain.
10. Seven ways that a fire will benefit a person in the
11. How to lash l
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