Having attended both courses this year, I am sometimes asked to compare Randall’s Field Survival vs Basic Survival at Pathfinder School. If a handful of people that I regularly interact with are asking this, a few of you must be wondering it, too, so I thought I’d share my thoughts. Both were GREAT courses and this isn’t to find a “better” one, just to compare and contrast the differences for anyone deciding between the two.
A huge priority for my 2023 training plan was to attend some wilderness survival training. Though I felt I had a pretty solid skillset via self-study and practice, there really is no substitute for formal, high-fidelity training. With that in mind I signed up for two classes. The first, Randall’s Adventure Training’s Field Survival was back in March. The second, and the subject of this after-action review, The Pathfinder School Basic Survival Course, was this past weekend.
Recently I published and article called Wild Edibles of the Southern Appalachians. While putting that article together I did a lot of research. I wanted to put out the best and safest information possible. In doing so I learned just how many poisonous plants there are out there. Here are just a few of the most dangerous poisonous plants of the Southern Appalachians.
As most regular readers have probably sensed, I’ve been on something of a survival “journey” over the past couple of years. Though I had a lot of head-knowledge about survival I didn’t practice much of it. Over the last couple of years I’ve invested a lot of time into bettering my survival skills. Gathering food in a survival situation has been pretty low on my list. Recently I’ve begun to correct that by learning some wild edibles of the southern Appalachians.
Like everyone else, I love the idea of “one gun to rule them all.” Actually, maybe I like the idea little more than everyone else. Those of you familiar with the blog know that two of my big interests are handguns and survival. So why not an article about the ultimate wilderness survival handgun?
I recently attended a 60-hour, Search and Rescue (SAR) qualifying course. The class is required by both the SAR team I volunteer on, and as a member of the special operations team at my EMS day job. The class spent a couple days (and one night) in the woods. I though I would share a few training observations and campout lessons learned.
The ability to build a wilderness survival shelter is one of the most critical survival skills you can possess. Being stranded outdoors can be lethal without the ability to protect yourself from the elements. Shelter provides you protection from the elements: rain/snow, wind, cold, and beating sun. An effective shelter also provides a huge psychological boost and a sense of security.
There are few skills that are as universal as building a fire. From remote Afghani villagers who have never seen a cell phone to the most Gucci’d-out backpackers, the fundamentals of building a fire don’t change much. It comes as a surprise to me when I encounter individuals who can’t build a fire…even though I encounter them with some regularity. This post is going to take a very deep dive (13,000 words and 70+ photos) into how to build a fire.
My girlfriend and I have been doing a good bit of hiking lately. I am always interested in what we can do to improve our chances of survival if something were to go wrong. On our last hike I was thinking about wilderness predator defense. This article will cover some general principles regardless of what predators you may encounter, as well as a little specific advice here and there.