Monday, December 31, 2012

Outdoor Survival Class Endorsement

I am already excited about the all the classes I'll be teaching in 2013 but my favorite class will always be outdoor survival skills. If you want to know more about what you can learn in the survival class and the ways it can benefit you, click on the link below to hear from one person's experience going through the class.

Check on my website at to see when the next Outdoor Suvival/Thriving class will be. Doesn't fit your schedule? I can do one on one trainings or small groups for a nominal fee dependent on what you are looking to learn. Do you really want to test your skills? Call me up and arrange for a winter survival class at a discounted price. I learned from one of the best, Art Sedlack, a former Park Ranger from Glacier National Park who took me deep into the park when there was over ten feet of snow and taught me how to thrive in the wilderness by watching the animals. During the cold, winter months it's even more important to watch and learn.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Soap Making Class Coming Soon!

The latest batch of soap with alkanet root for coloring came out beautifully! I infused lavender flowers in olive oil to preserve the properties and capture the scent and added a cup of infused alkanet root for a deep purple color. I prefer the cold method of infusion and added two tablespoons of alkanet root to a cup of olive oil and let it infuse for three weeks. Despite a lot of shaking and stirring of the infusion, the alkanet root remained in a pastelike form at the bottom of the glass container so I used cheesecloth to strain it out. Just after pouring the soap into the molds, I sprinkled more lavender flowers on the top for texture and scent. I am very happy with how the finished product looks and smells.

I have already been putting the other soaps to work. After curring for three weeks, they demonstrated a satisfying, rich, foamy lather. The calendula and oatmeal soap was blended with a mixture of essential oils that survived the saponification process and is a wonderful pick-me-up in the morning.

I'm very excited for the soap making class to be held Wednesday, January 30th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Greenfield Community Center, Room B. To see more details on that class and other classes coming up, go to my website We'll be making a couple batches of soap so that everyone can bring some home! It is a wonderful feeling to have created enough soap to last easily for a year or more. What started out as a way of becoming more self-reliant in creating my own line of hygienic and first aid supplies has turned into a passion for the process itself. It is easy to become addicted to the soap making process!

Monday, December 17, 2012

New Salves

Using wildcrafted plants, I have created two salves. The one on the left has olive oil infused plantain, yarrow, lavender, and calendula. Vitamin e is added for longevity and beeswax is added for an thickener as well as its medicinal properties. Beeswax is a natural nourishing moisturizer and is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-allergenic and a germicidal antioxidant. There are a lot of natural cosmetics that use beeswax. The properties of yarrow, plantain, calendula and lavender are no less amazing. They all have a long history of being used for their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The amazing properties of these plants can be harnessed and saved if infused properly and added to a salve. They will always be a part of my first aid kit from now on.

The salve on the right is the same base as the left but also contains activated charcoal. You can find activated charcoal in any natural food store. Is is an amazingly powerful ingredient. The more I find out about its medicinal uses, the gladder I am that I have it in the house. Activated charcoal has been used for centuries to draw toxins out of both humans and animals. It can be ingested or used as a topical to draw out poisens. I had a friend who had an infection in her index finger. The site was puffy and filled with pus. She put the activated charcoal salve on it overnight and in the morning, the swelling had gone down and the pus seeped out. Now just a couple days later, the site is no longer sore and there is no sign infection. Great stuff!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Class Schedule for Greenfield City Recreation Department

I am excited to announce that Resiliency Training LLC will be doing a variety of classes for the Greenfield Recreation Department starting in January of 2013. We are already doing classes for the City of Milwaukee Recreation Department. Classes will include topics such as herbal soap making, cattail basket making, how to use a compass and pace to navigate, outdoor survival skills, how to build your own emergency water purifier, how to prepare for a disaster and how to identify and use survival plants for food, shelter and first aid. The classes range from $20 to $55 for residents of Greenfield and $35 to $60 for non-residents. The higher priced classes will be for classes such as the soap making and water purifier and include materials to create your own soap/purifier to take home with you.

These classes will be located either at the Greenfield Community Center located off of Forest Home Avenue or Konkel Park located off of Layton Avenue. To register for these classes, go to the Greenfield Recreation Department website.

To see the class schedule and register for classes through the Milwaukee Recreation Department, go to the their website.

Monday, December 10, 2012

More Soap Making - Lemon Balm Bliss

I have to say that soap making has become my new addiction! I love adding the herbs and infusing them in oils. My next one will be lavender infused olive oil with olive oil infused alkanet root for color and lavender essential oils! I have added my Resiliency logo with the old fashioned wax seal.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Marksmanship skills also important in outdoor survival

I have to say I was more than a little intimadated to enter the gun range at Fletcher Arms in Milwaukee, but my goal was to become more comfortable with various calibers of weapons. I wanted to  be able to load, unload and lastly to shoot a variety of guns. To my surprise, with the right teacher, I was not only able to hit the target but to also hit a few bullseyes after only one session. I am not a gun enthusist by any means but it was all part of my goal to become prepared and to feel more self empowered. It did make me feel more empowered but above all I came away feeling a lot more respectful of the power that is behind a gun. I was also very impressed by the staff of Fletcher Arms. There was a warm, welcoming feeling and my instructor, Bob Llanas, was very competent and a patient teacher. He emphasized being respectful of the gun and feeling comfortable with it long before entering the gun range.

I have had self defense and archery training and I think the mind set behind both was very similar to the philosophy that Bob emphasized. We talked about the importance of breathing and mental preparedness. In an outdoor survival situation, breathing and mental preparedness are also crucial and a part of the basics to stay alive. Knowing you can take care of yourself helps to eliminate some of the panic that is sure to try to take over. I have heard several times that in an emergency situation, people have the tendency to revert to a grade level mentality that inhibits them from getting themselves out of whatever situation they found themselves in. I can attest to that from a personal point of view.

I remember a summer between years at college while working in the Boundary Waters getting seperated from a group of friends. I suddenly realized I had no idea where I was and I felt the panic start to settle in. I even felt the strange desire to run which I did until I realized how much worse it was making me panic. So I stopped, sat down, closed my eyes and focused on my breathing which helped me focus my mind on the situation and think more clearly. I began to visualize being safe and knowing I had the knowledge to take care of myself for the short term if need be. My panic began to subside while I visualized creating a "home base" to practice the skills I had learned and felt myself getting excited about how I would make my debris hut. While my eyes were closed, I heard voices and kept my eyes closed until I could truly identify the direction they were coming from. I was able to meet back up with my friends but I never forgot that debilitating urge to panic and the way I got myself out of it.

I don't know when or if I will ever need my marksmanship training but I do know that the knowledge and skills I gained at the gun range have made me feel more prepared and empowered.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Five Gallon Water Purifying System

Water is the most important component during an emergency situation. Storing water can be a hassle from finding food grade  buckets that won't leach the plastic lining to rotating filled buckets to ensure you have clean drinking water should the water supply be cut off or a boiling emergency be announced. Having a system in place can relieve a lot of the stress you would experience in those situations.  I've created a water filtering system using two five gallon food grade buckets with a Doulton 10' Super Sterasyl Ceramic Gravity Filter Candle. This system would also be a great addition to a camping trip!

The specs for the doulton are fantastic! Doulton water purifiers have been tested and certified to The World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. EPA-approved laboratory standards, European-approved laboratory standards and the national laboratory standards of over 50 countries. In fact, they are the only products in this industry to meet the rigid standards of ISO 9000. This filter will take care of :

  • Pathogenic bacteria: Cholera, Typhoid, Salmonella, Serratia, E. Coli, Fecal Coliform >99.99% removal
  • Cysts: Cryptosporidium Parvum, Giardia Lamblia >99.99% removal
  • Sediment: Down to 0.9 micron absolute; 0.5 - 0.8 micron with a filtration efficiency of >99.99%
  • Organic Chemicals: Pesticides, herbicides and organic solvents removal Metals: Iron, Aluminum removal Taste & Color: Hydrogen Sulphide, Iron, etc. removal Doulton Super Sterasyl Ceramic Water Filter Performance
  • NSF Standard 53

  • Buy the whole system at

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    Saturday, December 1, 2012

    Winter Survival Tip

    Despite the fact that this has been an unusually warm fall, we can assume at some point that it is going to get cold. Hypothermia can be a very dangerous condition if you are caught unprepared when temperatures fall and you have a long way until finding a nice warm place. It is surprisingly easy to get hypothermia. Cotton clothes and any sort of precipitation are a bad combination. Once hypothermia starts to set in, you'll notice a variety of symptoms including:

  • Shivering. An early sign of hypothermia, shivering starts mildly, but can become more severe and finally convulsive before ceasing.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Loss of coordination. This might begin as difficulty tying one's shoelaces or zipping one's jacket, and eventually include stumbling or falling.
  • Confusion.
  • Irrational behavior (there have been instances where hikers took off their clothes as they body temperature fell.)

  • Building a fire is obviously a way to combat hypothermia but if you don't have the means or the time to do that, another alternative to warming up is to look and see what the animals around you are doing. The squirrel is an industrialist little critter that spends a lot of time collecting seeds and nuts but if you watch carefully, you'll notice him also collecting leaves. Look high up in the trees and you'll see giant bundles of leaves packed in around a nest. The leaves provide very necessary insulation for the squirrel. The squirrel nest is the inspiration to the debris hut that so many survivalists build but you can also use the knowledge to layer your clothes with leaves to stay warm too. So if you are walking along and start to shiver, just grab a bunch of leaves and start layering them inbetween your clothes. Word of caution though...don't put them against your bare skin!