Tag Archives: wilderness emergency

Nuts, Survival, and Women…

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Re-scheduled fall foraging class – Fall PEMU

Winter Survival 101 classes scheduled – Survival 101

Women’s Only Survival 101 class – Women of the Wild

BigPig Outdoors Calendar

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WEMR at Tremont…

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The great instructors over at Roane State are teaching a Wilderness Emergency Responder, formerly known as “Wilderness First Responder”, class over at Tremont in January.

I preach that good survival skills, medical skills, and land nav skills prepare you for 99% of wilderness emergencies. The only person responsible for your safety in the wilderness is yourself. A WEMR class is a great step in that direction.

 

Check it out here: WEMR at Tremont

Class 28/44 – The double birdie pyros…

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What does an double bird shooting accountant that was dragged to Survival 101 class know?

That she can overcome pain, adversity, push through physical and emotional barriers, find support in her loved ones, and accomplish something she didn’t think she could do.

Kerrie : “I can’t believe I did that”

Me: “I knew you could”

Sitting in 44 degree water after a 28 degree night in a survival shelter borders on crazy. Every fiber in your body screams, you start gasping as the cold water steals your breath, your mind seeks excuses to get out, your thinking becomes cloudy, and you question why you are sitting in a cold creek in the mid of winter shivering with your classmates.

And then it happens. You dig deep. You tame your breath. You find your reason for living. You focus your mind. And then you shoot your instructor the double bird.

And while the double bird was directed at me, it was really aimed at fear… pain.. self-doubt… social stigmas… and death itself.

Not everyone’s experience in the Creek drill is the same, but I highlight Kerrie’s because I watched her crush all those demons that day. I watched her go from inexperienced to being able to save her life and others under physical, mental, and emotional stress. Cold, wet, shivering, and confused, she was able to gather material to build a life-saving fire, a skill that very few possess nowadays.

This weekend I will be training another cast member for Naked & Afraid.

It, like all the other shows, are an illusion of reality. Reality doesn’t play fair, impose rules, or have an emergency crew on standby.

Reality knocks you out of your boat into icy cold water, like Craig Strickland and Chase Morland   stealing you from your beautiful wife and family.

Reality soaks you and your children on a cold, dark night like David Decareaux and his two boys  ripping you from the lives of your other children and loving wife.

Reality is the nighttime callout my SAR team got for a busted leg on an icy trail New Years day.

Reality will crash your car, dehydrate you, make your throat swell shut from a bee sting, and a whole load of other nasties.

But…

Reality, inspired by these heart-breaking stories, also allows us to accept the ultimate responsibility for ourselves and family and do something about it.  It allows us to prepare our bodies and minds in the safety of a training environment or at home.

It allows us to train our mindset, like Kerrie..

It allows us to train our skills like Team Dirty Water..

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And it allows us to choose the right gear, like Josh..

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In our comfortable world it is easy to forget that the forces of calamity lurk in the shadows. It is also easy to forget that we alone have the responsibility and power to to fight them, alone if necessary.

As I type this, I look out the window at the snow falling. It is 18 degrees and I am about to head out the door to work outside.

Natural law is hard at work. The icy cold, the bone chilling wind, the never ending assaults on my body’s warmth.

I imagine in Kerrie’s office however, it is warm and cozy. Her co-workers chat about the latest news while sipping mugs of coffee. Removed and oblivious to the dangers outside, the keyboards click away and the phones ring. At the end of the day  when they emerge from their office it will be a hasty walk to the car. As the bitter cold attacks them, there will be a deep, primal reminder of their vulnerability.

There is however, one amongst them that needs no reminder.

Maybe she walks a little slower, soaking in the elements as they launch their onslaught to her comfort.

Maybe she smiles confidently knowing she has endured much worse and found untapped sources of strength.

Maybe she cranks out the defiant, double bird in the face of anything, and everything, that would try to take her life… 

Upcoming Survival 101 courses

 

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P.S. – Moms that get survival books from their boy and read it in cold water rock!!

 

Land Navigation classes – 11/11 & 12/2…

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Not all those who wander are lost, but if you want to make it home or to another destination, it is best to spend some time honing your navigation skills.

Join BigPig Outdoors on November 11th or December 2 to learn or polish those skills.

Click here for more info: Land Navigation class

Big, Big BUSAR Update – May thru October…

 

 

The above are my two reasons why this update has been a long time coming.

Without further ado…

Training – 

  • Returned to crash site of N1839X and recovered two cellphones of victims
  • Doc Miller and Borkowski knocked out the Rescue Swimmer class
  • Doc Miller and Borkowski knocked out Swiftwater I & II
  • NPS Tech Team training – Swiftwater on Pigeon River – Benjamin and Johnston
  • NPS Tech Team training at Chimney Tops – Benjamin, Ransom, Sharbel, Herrington
  • Benjamin taught 16 hours of medical, 32 hours of swiftwater rescue, 55 of rope rescue, and 132 hours of rescue swimmer training to various agencies
  • Ritter completed his litter team training and first aid/CPR class
  • Herrington taught four survival and P-SAR (Preventative-Search & Rescue) classes at REI stores in Knoxville, Brentwood, and Asheville
  • Geist taught two Wilderness First Responder classes for SOLO-SE
  • Land navigation training and course setup – Harrell, Johnston, Miller, and Herrington
  • Borkowski taught multiple LZ classes to fire departments and rescue squads in VA
  • Borkowski developed draft of SRT2 Aviation training module
  • Harrel completed his SAR-duous duty pack test
  • Lewis  taught multiple tracking and SAR skills classes for VDEM to volunteers, first responders, and VA Department of Corrections.

 

Responses – 

  • Recovery at Ramsey Cascades
  • Recovery on Abrams Falls trail
  • Recovery on Alum Cave trail
  • Bohanon SAR – BUSAR logged over 630 hours during the 8 day search and had 100% response rate
  • Abrams Creek stranded hikers – Borkowski
  • Abrams Falls search – Johnston
  • Sharbel hired on as a seasonal SAR ranger out of Gatlinburg. He has more responses than I can list here, but has been averaging 3 – 4 incidents per week
  • Doc Miller responded to Hurricane Harvey and then Irma with his USAR team. what a stud!

Team Workouts – Going strong every week. Sharbs forgot his kettlebell one night, which inspired the painful,  “Follow-the-leader” interval . Yep, that is a dog at our workout too!

 

BUSAR is a 501(c)3 non-profit. To help us help others, go here… teambusar.org

BigPig Outdoors at REI Knoxville – Nov & Dec

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Back by popular demand, I will be at REI Knoxville on November 15 and December 13.

If your plan to survive a wilderness emergency involves sitting on the couch and watching survival reality shows, that’s great, my search and rescue team will be happy to come look for you.

If however, you are like the 100+ REI customers that have taken it upon themselves to seek out better mindset, skills, and gear, come see us.

November REI Class

December REI Class