Winter Outdoor Skills and Survival Training
5 Day Class
Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
This course will cover many of the basics of survival as well as some advanced survival tactics. We will focus on cold weather survival but also teach you techniques you can use all year long.
Colorado is notorious for its snow, downhill and back country skiing. It is also notorious for its sudden flash storms and blizzards that commonly catch the unsuspecting outdoor adventurer off guard. Many have died in Colorado because we have blue skies in the morning but by midday, a vicious storm has rolled in before an unaware hiker has time to react. Even the most experienced of hikers have become trapped in Colorado's snow storms. Colorado may not have the largest amount of constant cumulative snow, but will be the type of weather conditions a typical outdoorsman will find himself in during the winter. You will not get the convenience of a 12 foot snow drift to build your winter palace.
Surviving in the extreme cold is mostly about staying warm, keeping your body temperature up and getting out of the elements. The traditional survival techniques do not always apply, due to the cold and wet surroundings. This course will teach you how to build snow and primitive shelters that will allow you to ride out a storm and how to build a fire to keep you warm in frigid temperatures. We will discuss the dangers of hypothermia, frostbite, dehydration, and snow blindness and ways to prevent them.
Avalanche danger in Colorado is very high and a frequent killer of man, so we will go over what to look for to keep you out of harms way when you are traversing through the back country.
Skills taught will include:
-Winter Clothing - layering
-How to prevent or treat hypothermia, frostbite, trenchfoot
-Cold weather risk factors
-Search and Rescue techniques
-Psychology of Survival
-Primitive shelters and snow shelters
-Primitive and Modern fire starting methods in a cold environment
-Full Length Body Fire and the All Night Fire
-Bow Drill Friction Fire Making, how to use a ferro rod and other modern fire starting devices
-Modern and Primitive Trapping and tracking
-Numerous improvised primitive deadfalls and snares
-Use of snow as water
-Winter Hydration and Dehydration
-Primitive Navigation Methods
-Primitive Tool Making
Accommodations - A large 21 person military tent with winter liner is provided for a community tent during class hours and may be used for sleeping at night. Tent is complete with 2 wood burning stoves and a cot for each student. A smaller 5-10 person military tent with winter liner and is also available for private sleeping accommodations. (first come/first served) and cots.
Food and Water:
Water will be provided but you will need to provide your own food of your choice. We recommend quick field expedient meals such as freeze dried meals or MRE’s. They can quickly be made at our primitive camps and won’t slow down the learning process. You can also purchase food locally once you get here. Grocery Stores and several local eateries are within a reasonable driving distance.
Length: 5 days/4 nights
Minimum Recommended Equipment: Its going to be cold! Bring warm weather clothing, a good sleeping bag and an all season tent if you do not wish to stay in our military tent. Sunscreen and UV protective sunglasses. A collapsible snow shovel is recommended but not necessary.
Shelter: You may sleep in a tent you bring, in your vehicle, in a primitive shelter or share one of our military tents which have wood burning stoves inside.
We will not provide you with any gear, so please come prepared. Fixed blade knife preferable a bushcraft style knife, folding saw, paracord, overnight camping gear, winter sleeping bag and a small backpack. Check Recommended Items List for more details!
Clothing Required: Warm outdoor clothing, warm gloves and hat, winter boots and wool socks. Cotton clothing is highly discouraged! Wool will keep you warm even when wet. Layers are important in Colorado. You will want a water whicking base layer, an insulating mid layer, and a waterproof breathable outer shell. Check out our Clothes Layering Basics if you are unsure of what to wear.
Instructor: Jason Marsteiner