North Burnaby Boys & Girls Club

Earlier in the week, I had the opportunity to present some wilderness survival tips to a great group of 6-12 year old kids at the North Burnaby Boys & Girls Club. Thanks to the staff and kids alike for a great welcome and entertaining sessions: I enjoyed meeting all of you.

It was certainly a new challenge for me, but worth it when at the end of the session the kids were relating back to the staff all they had learned. The observation that their young minds are like sponges is very close to the truth!

Thanks again for having me over, and I'm glad you all learned something. Stay safe!

July 22 Outdoor Essentials

We had a small but enthusiastic group for our Jul 22 Outdoor Essentials course. It was a very enjoyable day for instructor and students alike, despite the drizzle!

Two of our attendees are brand new to Canada, and are now well equipped for their planned outdoor adventures. Welcome to the wilderness, David and Genelle!

With Airini hoping to enjoy the Yukon soon, we briefed her on everything from ground squirrels to grizzly bears (thanks for the tip, Eddie @adventuresinyukon). Remember, it's not just the big wildlife you need to be aware of!

Thanks also to @capilanou for a great location, and to our friends @bc_adventuresmart for providing valuable additional course content.

Don't miss our next course on Aug 19, 2017!

Last chance for our July 22 Outdoor Essentials course!

With the warm, sunny weather now upon us, you are probably already spending plenty of time outside. That's fantastic, and most of the time everything goes well...

BUT NOT ALWAYS...

We're excited to offer our July 22 Outdoor Essentials course at Capilano University in North Vancouver. This great location is right in the heart of the North Shore mountains, where we can offer the perfect blend of classroom and outdoor training. 

On our Outdoor Essentials course you will learn core skills that will significantly improve your confidence and safety outdoors.

Click here to register NOW!

June 1-4 Bushcraft Experience

We had a great time on our latest Bushcraft Experience course. With 8 students and 2 instructors around the campfire, our evenings were filled with smiles.

Our youngest student made a rather unusual looking natural shelter. A dome-shaped frame of willow saplings, covered with a thick layer of brush, worked exceptionally well at keeping young Daniel warm at night. The rest of the team dubbed it "The Sasquatch Nest"!

Willow Shelter

 

Knowing the properties of the trees that surround us is not only useful but very rewarding. Some trees can feed you at any time of year...

 

 

Trees
Friction Fire
 

...whilst others can provide the raw materials for a bow-drill set and a tinder bundle...

Some people ask us why we do what we do. The look on people's faces when they first achieve a friction fire is one of those reasons!


In memory of our good friend and assistant instructor
Jason Callaghan
21 Mar, 1997 - 8 June, 2017

We'll miss ya, little brother!
 
 

AdventureSmart at JIBC

It was a pleasure to support our AdventureSmart and SAR friends at their #surviveoutside event last night at the Justice Institute of BC in New Westminster. We'll be doing the same again on June 15 at BCIT in Burnaby. It's always great to work with folk who share our passion for enjoying the outdoors safely.

AdventureSmart's message:
get informed and go outdoors.

Their mission:
to reduce the number and severity of search and rescue incidents.

Please check out the AdventureSmart website, follow them on social media and share with your friends. They have a ton of great information, and anything we can do to help keep folk safe and out of the news has to be a good thing!

May 25-28 course

Another great course, and some overdue great weather to boot. Rachel and Mel both aced their final survival test, constructing a shelter and lighting a fire in just seven minutes! Way to go guys!

May 25-28, 2017

Here, you can see the magic moment when the team managed to split a 7" log with a 4" knife. Took some effort, but with a little knowledge of basic physics, it's amazing what you can accomplish.

log-splitting-1
log-splitting-2
deer-in-camp
deer-in-camp-2

A visit from a small family of deer right at the main camp really made our day.

Doesn't get much better than this, folks!

Bushcraft in April

Our spring 2017 season if off to a great start! Despite a major washout on the approach, and a bunch of residual snow on the shadowed northern hillsides and valleys, we cracked on and found the perfect spot on a nice south-facing hill.

The fantastic thing about nature is that every year is a surprise. Last year, everything was a month ahead: this year it's a month behind. You really never know what you're going to find until you get out there. Always something different to experience and learn. We never get tired of this stuff!

Fire in the rain...

One of the questions we are often asked is "How do you start a fire when it's raining, and everything around you is soaked?"

Welcome to the fire paradox: the more you need it, the harder it is to light one...

So, after months of almost constant rain, and record-breaking rain volumes, we set out last Friday to Harrison Lake, BC to sharpen our skills for the 2017 season. After all, the worst conditions are the best time to practice! When we arrived, everything was suitably dripping. Not only that, we had high gusting winds and frequent heavy showers to deal with. To make things even more interesting, we decided to do things out in the open on the beach, rather than under cover...

As luck would have it, there was some good thick standing deadwood around. With an axe and twenty minutes, the wood was gathered and processed. Another five minutes and we had a pile of feather sticks crafted from the dry insides... Two sparks from a ferro rod, a little bit of careful attention, and hey presto!

It didn't take long before the fire was super hot, capable of drying both us and the vast stores of wet wood we placed around it. Not only that, but what a beautiful view to boot!

2017 Harrison Lake fire

Our 2017 season is here!

With our courses starting up in April, we're going all out to make 2017 our best year yet!

  • New website
  • Launch of Outdoor Essentials one-day course
  • More dates for Wilderness Survival and Bushcraft Experience courses
  • Reduced prices

You asked and we listened.

Our website has been completely re-designed to provide more information on our courses, dates and pricing. We are now able to offer online reservations, making it even easier for you to book the course you want!

We're really excited about launching Outdoor Essentials. Our new one-day course taught in Vancouver, BC, Outdoor Essentials teaches core skills that will improve your confidence and safety outdoors.

We also took a look at our pricing. Our goal has always been to make the wilderness accessible to as many of you as possible: we hope the changes we've made mean we'll see more of you out there soon!