Disagree. Living outdoors involves skills you don't know. The quickest way to learn new skills is from someone else who already has them. Sure, you can buy a book and/or experiment but you'll save a lot of time having someone show you. It's analogous to learning a martial art, or any physical skill really.
Originally Posted by 3moose1
I've done fieldcraft classes and found them useful. As some have pointed out, try and find one that covers the sort of environment you're likely to be in in future. There's also a blurry difference between survival and fieldcraft (often known as bushcraft here). Survival tends to be focussed on post disaster scenarios; bushcraft is more about living outdoors and using your environment to your advantage.
Sounds to me that you're more after the latter, but whatever your end up doing the skills you learn will be with you for a life time (although you have to keep practising) so it should be pretty good value. There are of course different quality schools, unfortunately I can't recommend any over there so do you research first.
I'll go against the grain a bit here. I'd say take the classes. Although I never have, I've been a backpacker since my youth and I've learned a few things the hard way. For example: You can practice all sorts of survival skills on short trips into the woods or at your local park or even in your backyard, but once you get to high altitude and ESPECIALLY in cold weather those skills will GREATLY deteriorate. One task that can be pretty humbling is trying to start a fire in the snow. Getting a chance to get out into the elements with an instructor now is a fantastic way to get up to speed. Just like a martial art or shooting, nothing beats getting real practice and experience especially with a teacher rather than just reading some books before going on a trip.
I haven't practiced in years, but surviving with minimum kit used to be a hobby. Things to consider......
Water - knowing how to procure and purify in a given environment.
Fire - how do start in various circumstances/technique. Wet tender is a potential killer. Hypothermia and dehydration are the biggest killers.
Food - native plants and in what time of year certain parts are edible/non-edible. Concentrate on your area to begin. How to trap wildlife. Mammals,fish, reptiles, amphibians and birds, dependent upon availability. If not, you better learn to like insects cause we're talking survival here.
Medicine - again, what plants have healing properties? Charcoal can save your ass in the event of food poisoning and can be used to help filter water. Many plants have healing properties for pain, poultice for infection/stings, sunburn, etc.
Shelter - how do build using what is at hand? When to stay and when to push on.
Navigation - most people couldn't find true north with a compass given their current location. Most don't know how to read terrain and decide a given direction wherein help is most likely to be found.
Improvising - You see this on the shows. What can you use, be it natural or somebodies left behind crap? One mans trash may be another mans treasure.
A knife. If I had only one article of gear to have with me, it would be a good knife. Know how to use, take care of and sharpen as needed.
This topic can be a lot of fun. I'd recommend you read what you can, find a like minded group to practice with and decide to go out at least twice a year for starts. Spring and fall are two different worlds. Plants are in different stages, animals are changing patterns and the climate, well, depends.
I haven't forgotten the reloading equipment. Shoot me a PM on your current arms, calibers, etc.
Hahaha for a second I thought you were talking to me.
Originally Posted by hungryjoe
don't rush into spending big money on survival courses. problem is, you don't know **** so you won't remember much, it'll all be too overwhelming.
Get some basic vids, Hood's Woods or something info dense like that, & go out in your backyard and practice the basics. Fire starting (MULTIPLE METHODS), flint knaping, cordage & ****. Then go camping & practice survival, both primitive & kit-based, with modern camping gear as backup. Do this for a few months. That way, when you show up to to a class, the instructors will see that they don't have to wipe your nose & pat you on the ass for encouragement & that you already know the basics and they might teach you something that will REALLY save your ass someday, how to adapt your kit in ways you hadn't thought of.
Just ignore anything Hood says where he claims to be ex-special forces, it turned out that part of his military "biography" was bullshit.
I don't recall ever hearing anything where he claimed to be ex-SF. where did you see or hear this pls?
Originally Posted by Sam Browning