Class 38/54 is fueled by Possum Punching Power…

Do you..

A. Ice you hand after punching a possum in the face when it crawls in bed with you in the wee hours of the night?

B. Stick your hand in ice water to simulate the hypothermic “fumbles” during the “Cold & Wet” drill?


If you guessed both A and B, you are correct.

Look deep into this Marine veteran’s eyes and you will see the mindset that makes a ten minute dunking in a cold creek seem like a bath, the patience to overcome old injuries and physical limitations, and the determination to persevere despite having only one numb, non-dominant hand to start his fire.

Maybe it was a heat crazed dream from building his fire too big at 3 am, maybe it was the bedtime story I told about having to punch a bear at Ekaneetlee Gap early one morning that was coming through my tent, or maybe, just maybe a possum really did try and cuddle with him in his warm shelter. None of us will ever know, but I do know that as soon as I saw this man hit the water, that he had the most important survival gear on board… the “Survival” mindset.

Congrats to Class 38/54 for spending the night out in 38 degree weather, wearing only T-shirts and equipped with only simple shelter kits. Great application of the super shelter principles and beds so thick, they were fit for a possum.


Natural tinder time…


The “Home invasion” crime scene…


Deer leg dinner..


The team embraces the shrinkage…


The warmer the air temp, the longer the swim. At ten minutes in, this band of brothers are in the zone…


Sometimes, humor can warm the spirit faster than a fire. Thick beards help too…


Hustle time…


Skills = Success, Success = Confidence


Pride, confidence, and faith. Those are the feelings I get when I look at this picture.

Pride in knowing that I helped three new friends along the path.

Confidence in their knowledge, skills, and mindset.

And faith that if facing challenges in the wilderness, that they will overcome.

These men weren’t forced to be here. They paid money, left their families and warm homes for the weekend, all to endure some tough conditions and challenges.

Why you ask? The answers are down by the creek…

Come find “your” answer at the next BigPig Outdoor’s “Survival 101” class**:

** Spring is here and 101 classes need cold weather as one of our instructors. Classes in March and April will be scheduled at short notice if the weather cooperates. Email me at to be notified of 101 class announcements.


4 thoughts on “Class 38/54 is fueled by Possum Punching Power…

  1. Tim Smith

    I really enjoy reading about your realistic approach to training and your debunking of the fantasy and myths so prevalent in survival. With the ice bath for the hands (in the top photo), have you thought about using a taller bucket, and securing a beer in the bottom with a series of knots that would take ten minutes to untie? Motivation?

  2. BSR (@bsr8884)

    I have to say this class was perhaps one of the best experiences of my life. My Godfather, the Possum Puncher himself, had a blast as well. We plan on coming back for more whenever we can. Double P and myself are longing for the next offerings from BigPig!

    Andrew, you have a great teaching style that engages your students. Thank you for letting us each share personal experiences as it added to the class. Oh, did you like the Possum Puncher’s stories?


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