Saturday, November 22, 2008

Now What???

You're out for a late fall hike.... you kind of know where you wanted to go, rather, where you meant to go, but now it's getting dark, definitely cooling off, and spitting snow. You're not sure, but you're pretty sure that you're just getting deeper and deeper in the woods...Now what??

Well if you go through one of our classes, you'll know that situational awareness in combination with being prepared for whatever may come is the key to turning a bad situation into something that closely resembles fun... Why just survive when you can learn to thrive??

This weekend, while most of the SMG staff (meaning all but me) were out either making tracks in WV's four feet of new snow (!!) or putting up the first lines on this years Blue Ridge ice, or both. The rest of us, (namely, me) stayed behind to teach a new course.

Intro to Outdoor Survival (IOS), is a course that hits the highpoints of our 3-day BOSS course..without the sleeping-out component. It's also a course we designed at the request of our partners, Excitations and Discovery Channel.. (look for it in the Discovery Christmas Catalog, Experiential Gifts, or directly from Excitations) Drawn directly from our very in-depth BOSS class, IOS covers the basics of what it takes to survive, (including building a personal survival kit), water, shelter, signaling and fire. It also includes a healthy dose of navigation and (constant) focus on situational awareness . (IOS is only available thru Excitations /Discovery. You cannot register directly thru us.)

A perfect class for the weekend hiker, the occasional car-camper or the aspiring backpacker... It's designed to give the student a solid grasp of the skills and knowledge that can make the difference between a fun day in the mountains or agony.. or maybe even between life or death.

This weekend we had students from Philadelphia, Northern VA and MD.... and I think all would agree, it was a very powerful and empowering, and fun, class.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Acute Sense of Place.

Tilting into winter.. and working in the mountains, and on the mountains.. is to know that life and love cannot be easily distinguished from the other.
I'm always stunned by the profound realization of how full of life these mountains really are (and always have been). . or is it love?
The weak autumn sun slipping over the next ridge should diminish the view and bring forth a monochrome landscape. Yet these mountains, the very trees, fight the fight. Even as their days are numbered they are full of energy and life and light.