Tag Archives: wilderness medicine

WEMR at Tremont…


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

BUSAR Update – December & January..


Training – We trained at Lookrock in both December and January. December focused on hypothermia treatment, SKED packaging, and high angle recovery.

January focused on multiple reps of steep angle, with sessions after dark as well.

Morgan and Sharbel also completed BigPig Outdoor’s Survival 101 course in January.

And the Jernigator did a little run up Groundhog Ridge manway..

Responses – 

  • Grieco, Ransom, Sharbel, Campbell, Sledge, Jernigan, Geist, Wadley, and Lewis responded to the crash of N1839X. Plane crash in the Smokies
  • Grieco responded to missing AT hiker at Peck’s Corner

Team Workouts – 2017 marks the end of 35 pound kettlebells as we up it to 45 pounders. Thank you for the loyal service and punishment you have brought to the team…



Recruitment – 

  • Jeff Wadley – Former Lt Colonel in Civil Air Patrol and SAR theory junkie. Literally wrote the book on plane crashes in the Smokies – Mayday, Mayday
  • Ben Harrell – Former Civil Air Patrol ground team leader and computer wizard


BUSAR Anniversary Update – September


BUSAR celebrated it’s one year anniversary this month!! Looking back, I am extremely proud of the missions and training accomplished this past year. Huge thanks to Steve Kloster and Jared St. Clair for supporting the idea and our team.

  • August – Smokies Litter Team day
  • September – Georgia Orienteering race
  • October –  Ekaneetlee ManVenture
  •  November – Rob Spieden Tracking class
  • December – Porter’s Creek, Lester Prong, “real” Bunion & Survival 101
  • January – Survival 101 & Downed plane search exercise
  • February – Survival 101 & Interagency SAREX
  • March – Skedco Manway carryout
  • April – K9 training, BTRT-E, Virgina SAR conference, litter team day & Smokies Tech Team
  • May – BLRI SAREX
  • June -BUSAR tech training, Swiftwater I & Black Diamond Vertical Training
  •  July – Swiftwater II & Black Diamond Vertical Training
  •  August – Swiftwater II & Black Diamond Vertical Training

Workouts – Crushing it as the weather cools off.. A couple of us needed to knock out the pack test, so we created the “SAR-duous” duty pack test. First three miles is standard USFS test – 45# in 45 min plus and additional 2 miles, switching out to SAR packs and carrying 35# kettlebells


Rescue Swimmer 1 – Herrington, Grieco, and Jernigan started the Public Safety Rescue Swimmer course, taught by Jason Benjamin. More info here:Rescue Swimmer



Black Diamond Vertical Training weekend 4BUSAR was again well represented at the final Black Diamond Vertical Rescue Training of the 2016 season. Excluding  our dedicated, exceptional Instructors Daniel Murray, Greg Osborne, Victoria Airey and the legendary Bob Barlow (caving, innovating and instructing since the sixties) BUSAR members comprised half of the class! King Cobra, Dusken and his Lady. Danny and I proudly showed the BUSAR colors.
After the students rigged the drops, the day was spent on rope learning new skills, practicing those previously acquired, and completing the Basic and Advanced Rope Techniques Skills check-off process: ascending, rappelling, pick-offs, ascending and descending past knots, transferring from one rope to another while climbing and descending, and
  Figuring out how to climb with a Rope Walker or make a climbing system from 3 random “parts”
It was another great day on the Rock. As always, BUSAR members are welcome to attend any and all sessions. Two day training is generally held the second week-end each June, July, August and September at Backbone Rock in Shady Valley Tennessee. There is a campground at the Rock. I will be your point of contact for any questions.
– Doc
GRSM Tech Team Training – Herrington, Miller, Benjamin, and Campbell attended the Smokies Tech Team training day. Great to support and integrate with the guys we will be working with in the field.



  • Cataloochee Search for family of five – Spieden, Herrington, Miller, Sledge, & Benjamin before being called off


  • Dusken Sledge – prior military, squad leader, mountain warfare school grad, & hiker


Fall Foraging & Survival 101 Dates Announced…


Old Man Winter called me today and said it’s time to get the schedule out..

Survival 101:


Fall foraging class will be Saturday, September 24th:




Rescuing Naked Foragers…


Three worlds collide in a BigPig news update..

Due to technical difficulties, a.k.a. moving further into the mountains, I have had limited computer access of late, but stuff has been brewing in the land of many pigs..

Two foraging events:

Spring Poisonous, Edible, Medicinal & Useful workshop is scheduled for Sunday, April 10. You can find out more here: http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/poisonous–edible–medicinal—-useful-plants.html

I will be the keynote speaker at the awesome North Carolina Wild Foods Weekend. I wrote about this event a couple years ago, and I am honored to be speaking about foraging and survival. There are a ton of great instructors at this family event.To learn more about this event, click here:  http://wildfoodadventures.com/workshops/category/north-carolina-wild-food-weekend-association/


Search & Rescue:

Lot’s of good stuff brewing with the BUSAR team, including attending the Virginia SAR conference. I will be teaching a 2 day “Wilderness Survival for SAR Personnel” class and the BUSAR boys will be leading daily PT sessions. Click here to learn more:



Also lined up is the Virginia SAREX in May. Click here to read more about this full scale SAR exercise. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1_MEYv9Akm8ZHpaX3BVMlFEVWc/view

Naked, but not Afraid!! 

Last year, I had the pleasure of training Melissa LeEllen for her episode of Naked & Afraid. Her episode will be aired this season, possibly in July. I will make another post as we get closer, but you can read more here: http://www.melissaleellen.com/ Go Melissa!!

BUSAR Training – Ski’s March of the Skedco..


My only experience with a Skedco before March’s training was hauling out a dead body a couple years back, so when Ski told me he had acquired a couple for our training weekend, I was excited to ride in one.

First to volunteer, I found the off-trail ride to be a relaxing back massage as I was slid across logs, sticks, and rocks.


Our day started with plotting UTM’s for our drop off and rally points, followed by off-trail navigation to the rally point.



Team Bravo route..


At the rally point, Doc Miller and former SF trooper, Andrew M., led some lessons on Kendrick Traction Devices and improvised traction splints..


We ran a mini-sign square station and sign interp for the tracking portion, straight from VA’s Operational Tracker Evaluation..


And then loaded up in the Skedco for the carryout to Hwy 129, taking turns every 20 minutes or so..



Even though we only needed one Skedco, each team hauled one in to figure out the challenges of off trail carry. From that experience, I created a new sport after tossing it across the creek and through holes in the rhodo multiple times.

Behold the Skedco Toss!!



BUSAR recruuitment: https://www.facebook.com/BUSAR1111/





Survival Weekly – 2/3/16…

image: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/massive-search-and-rescue-finds-its-victim-a-sex-doll_us_56a7a4ece4b0b87beec60d71?ir=Weird+News&section=us_weird-news&utm_hp_ref=weird-news

Welcome to another edition of Survival Weekly, where the real wilderness survival “reality show” plays out everyday, in the wild places around our world. These unscripted stories will give you insight to the true threats and challenges you may face i+n your outdoor pursuits. So sit back, relax, and read on to get a dose of reality to sharpen your most valuable survival tool. – BPO

Featured – 

Fugitives call for rescue – http://www.click2houston.com/news/2-men-flee-authorities-beg-for-police-rescue-the-next-day

News – 

The cost of SAR in Maine – http://www.sunjournal.com/news/local-sports/2016/01/31/outdoors-maine-cost-search-and-rescue-missions/1862697

Ongoing treasure hunter SAR – http://boingboing.net/2016/01/31/whimsical-treasure-hunt-turns.html

Flying submarine drone – http://www.gizmag.com/loon-copter-amphibious-drone/41485/

GPS can lead you astray – http://katu.com/news/local/gps-leading-drivers-astray-in-oregon-national-forests

Winter Safety – 

Lost skiers rescued – http://www.uniondemocrat.com/localnews/3962064-151/deputies-volunteer-find-lost-teen-skiers#

Missing snowmobilers found – http://www.myyellowknifenow.com/11380/three-people-found-in-separate-behchoko-searches/

Injured skier rescued – http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/cops_courts/sidecountry-search-and-rescue-underway/article_dc42e955-5d95-5a27-ab00-5373d7749f52.html

Lost snowboarder found – http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/d39d4accfecd4df089865bad24af6c3b/NV–Snowboarders-Found

Snowboarders found – http://mynews4.com/news/local/wcso-search-on-for-2-missing-snowboarders-on-mt-rose

Water Safety –

Rescue personnel rescued in rough seas – http://www.kgw.com/news/local/central-coast/teen-falls-from-a-cliff-at-cape-kiwanda-search-underway/30316947

Body of missing swimmer recovered – https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/missing-swimmer-body-found-near-wharf-on-north-shore.html

Boater recovered – http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/man-whose-body-found-in-kenmare-bay-named-as-bill-topham-1.2517230

SAR for missing swimmer – http://www.ckwstv.com/2016/01/29/search-for-male-in-lake-ontario/

Water SAR – http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Major-rescue-operation-missing-man-River-Truro/story-28623392-detail/story.html

SAR recovers floating doll – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/massive-search-and-rescue-finds-its-victim-a-sex-doll_us_56a7a4ece4b0b87beec60d71?ir=Weird+News&section=us_weird-news&utm_hp_ref=weird-news

SAR for missing kayaker – http://www.mailtribune.com/article/20160125/NEWS/160129723

image: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/man-whose-body-found-in-kenmare-bay-named-as-bill-topham-1.2517230

Hiking – 

Missing runner found – http://www.dailytidings.com/article/20160130/NEWS/160139994

BORSTAR – http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/valley/article_f73dab76-c3e4-11e5-a632-bb1d088839de.html

Lost & Injured hikers rescued –

Hunter-gatherer – 

Duck hunter rescued – http://komonews.com/news/local/hunter-rescued-after-falling-in-columbia-river

Climbing – 

Vehicles – 

 Avalanche kills five snowmobilers – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3424811/British-Columbia-avalanche-kills-five-men-ride-snowmobiles.html

SAR for missing mountain biker – http://patch.com/california/altadena/search-rescue-team-searching-missing-mountain-biker-0

Interested in learning skills to handle emergencies like the ones you read in Survival Weekly?  Check out BigPig Outdoors Survival  classes  – http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/survival-101-1.htm

image: http://www.torquayheraldexpress.co.uk/VIDEO-rescued-Dartmoor-horrendous-conditions/story-28630419-detail/story.html