Monday, June 29, 2015

Outdoor Survival Class

On Saturday, June 27th 2015, 8 ladies met for the first time in the parking lot at the Scuppernong Trail Head. It was a beautiful day.....sun shine and in the 70's....perfect weather to do a 2.5 mile hike to our camp site. Along the way we discussed wild edibles which were the trailhead we munched on mulberries while I pointed out a half dozen more edibles or medicinal plants. From plantain, the wilderness band aid, to mullein, a powerful decongestant, the participants paused and jotted notes as we moved from plant to plant.

In between stops, the ladies paired up and exchanged brief life histories beginning the bonding that would be sealed up later at the camp site. Everyone was in great spirits and was enthusiastic for the material.

Three hours later, we exited the trail and ate lunch at a park in Pine Woods Campground. After refreshments and a five minute siesta, the ladies got down to business again. We brought out grass we'd gathered on the trail and I taught them how to make cordage as we discussed the importance of mental fortitude in a survival situation. Then I handed over each participant a piece of paracord that they later weaved into a bracelet. We headed into the woods again to make a survival shelter from the materials we found around us. Everyone was busy and got down to the task at hand and in just a half hour we had put together a shelter that would be a comfy little home for someone faced with an overnight in the woods. Pleased with the work, the ladies gathered around their little hut for a photo shoot and off we went to camp. The tents were already set up and they gathered their gear and transformed the tents into a home away from home.

Supper arrived in about an hour....a wild edible course served up around a fire. Soup featuring bee balm, garlic mustard, dandelion, nettle, wild spinach, turkey and quinoa...gluten free and delicious! Followed up with a mulberry cobbler and rhubarb tea.

Free time followed dinner and later we headed to our tents listening to the coyotes call around us. The stars popped out and the temp dropped for perfect sleeping weather.

The morning brought another beautiful day. We focused on matchless fire making skills and got some hot water going for coffee and tea. Breakfast was eggs and wild edibles to spice it up along with a gluten free bannock bread made over the fire. Delicious!! We wrapped up the event with a healing salve workshop where we talked about infusing a medicinal plant into an oil and combined it with beeswax to preserve the medicine for year long use. Everyone went home with a tin.

We gathered up for one more group photo and packed up as clouds were closing in. Everyone was safely back to their cars before the first drops fell!!!

Next Outdoor Survival Class planned for October 17th, 2015. Mark the date!

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