Vinnie Hansen is starting off our August blog schedule with a bang today, with her own version of a reality show. And she’s got some really BIG news to share!
Shh, not until the end of the post though. But it’s definitely something she can BRAG about.
That question and a love for camaraderie propelled 13 brave members of my Sisters in Crime chapter to attend a Wilderness Survival Camp.
We met our fearless leader Dan, a consultant to various reality television shows, in the redwood forest of a private vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The first rule for survival is: Don’t Panic.
Air is our most essential element. We can live for only a few minutes without it. Adrenaline sucks up oxygen.
Lack of oxygen can make our limbs go numb and our brain lose perspective. Perfectly outfitted hikers have been found dead in the wilderness because they became disoriented, forgetting where they set their pack or the direction back to their shelter.
After some deep breathing, the sacred order for survival is:
Before our training, I thought water was the most important concern, but a person can go for days without water. Exposure, not dehydration, is the leading cause of death in the wilderness. Shelter allows one to thermo regulate, which conserves water, and protects against heat or cold.
Dan divided us into three teams, and after a brief lesson set us off to build shelters given the materials at hand. Some simple rules: create plenty of insulation under and around the body, and create a small area of dead air space for one’s body heat to warm. In other words, the shelter should be a snug fit.
Next we tackled finding water, easy in our spot with a river flowing below us. But even in the desert water exists. Look for the lowest point, signs of vegetation, and animal tracks. Animals have to drink! Even butterflies and bees need water. You can collect water by running your shirt through dew points.
If you have a choice, choose running water over still water, and water that supports algae and tadpoles over water that appears devoid of life.
Boil if possible. We learned how to rock boil water even without a pot.
That brings us to fire.
Making friction fire is an arduous task, involving many steps. Nonetheless, a couple of my sisters did create fire before our camp ended, lifting them to goddess status.
Most of us left vowing to carry matches–everywhere.
One participant already reported back that the TSA allows one book of matches.
This was a rewarding experience even if not a single detail finds its way into one of my mysteries. I came home exhausted, but in the way one does after a day outdoors in the sun with a lot of good friends.
Have you ever taken any survival training? How well do you think you’d do out in the wilderness on your own?
This honor is bestowed on top quality indie books by the Book Readers Appreciation Group, and I’m thrilled to have received it. Check out the gold medallion that now adorns the book cover. 😀
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