The Final Day
Monday dawned bright, and I was well rested from my night on the creek side sand bank. We got right into signalling for help. Signals can be visual (smoke, light); audible (whistle, yelling, beating on something), or scent (smoke, cooking odors). What ever form of signal you might use, anything in threes is considered a universal signal for help. Dave encouraged everyone to know SOS in Morse code (... --- ... or dit dit dit, dah dah dah, dit dit dit if you did not already know).
We then did an experiment with mirrors and whistles. We looked at the flashes from several sized mirrors ranging from dog tag, to wallet, to 5x7 pilot size. From 100 or so yards away with a large tree in the way, only the 5x7 was easily noticeable. We then did the same experiment with 8 or 9 whistles. As a group, we determined that the Storm All-Weather Safety Whistle was the best, but none of them were really good at a distance, and yelling would probably be more effective. In a heavily wooded area, it might be good if you were down with a broken ankle or something and could hear rescuers in the distance, but you had yelled yourself horse already.
Dave then covered thinking like Search & Rescue. Dave is professionally certified in SAR, so he has a great insight into the way they go about their operations. Among some of the takeaways were: to leave clues on the ground, not at eye level; don't take a dangerous "shortcut" as SAR will bypass it completely; and clues can be anything that are alien to the environment.
That pretty much wrapped up the class. We had a series of class and individual photos, plus received our patches and certificates.
So ultimately, would I recommend this class to anyone else? Heck yeah! This class was designed to help a person stay alive for 3 day to a week or so in a wilderness environment if lost or stranded. Anyone who does any outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, canoeing, camping, or even driving through remote areas would really benefit from the information in this class. It also is a great confidence builder and stretches your comfort zones to challenge yourself in new tasks. The knowledge gained can also give you a greater appreciation and awareness of your local environment. Dave and his cadre of instructors are all very skilled and are able to present the information in an entertaining and informative manner.
I really want to thank Dave, Chance, Laura, Mitch, Iris and Justin for providing such an outstanding experience and encourage all my readers to visit www.ThePathfinderSchoolLLC.com to look for a class that might fit their needs and schedule.
Sponsor Of The Week
Our Sponsor of the Week is Shelf Reliance and Thrive Food Storage. From their really cool can rotation systems scalable to fit your needs to the amazing Thrive brand freeze dried foods to fill those rotation systems, and a wide variety of emergency and outdoors gear, the folks at Shelf Reliance have great products and fantastic customer service to help stock your preparedness or every day pantry. Please give them a visit and tell them you heard about them here at If It Hits The Fan.