“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”
In Canada, let’s face it- winter can last seven to ten months of the year. During this blessed season, some of us barely go outside, travelling from one heated building to another- avoiding the bitter cold, barely dressed well enough to survive the walk to the car, let alone an unexpected 48-hour stay in the woods.
Yet, at some level, we have to acknowledge that disasters can (and do) happen every day to other people. They can happen at any time- even in the middle of the night, on the coldest night of the year. One moment you are driving home in all toasty warm in your car, and the next, you are way off the road in a frozen pond- climbing out of your vehicle in the dark, soaking wet at -23°C.
The colder, the windier, the faster and more competent we have to be in order to survive.
In Winter Survival, we want you to be able to stay alive twelve months of the year, every year. Don’t worry- you don’t have to love winter or be an experienced winter camper. If you show up properly equipped, listen carefully to the lessons and work hard, you can reasonably expect to stay dry, warm and comfortable throughout the duration of the course.
Our instructors will lead you through some hands-on exercises at base camp practicing with the elements of a winter survival kit. When you have completed your assignments, you can move on to the second phase of the course which takes place in a winter wilderness environment.
There, you will meet the back country team and set up a solo survival camp- build a bed, make a winter shelter, create a warming fire, cook some meals on an open fire and complete a series of useful skill-building crafts. At several points, we will break camp for a guided winter plant walk, animal tracking experiences and a winter wilderness navigation exercise.
At the end of a hard day, you can choose to sleep in your emergency shelter or enjoy the comfort of a heated canvas tent. The Winter Survival course is based on the premise that you can enjoy learning ABOUT survival and PRACTICE basic survival skills for fun without any need for deprivation or stress.
If you want to experience a winter survival scenario, we recommend enrolling in one of our Winter Survival Adventures upon the successful completion of this course.
The course will cover the following topics:
- Ensure No Danger
- Scalds and Burns (Review)
- Cuts With Knives and Saws (Review)
- Eye Injuries (Review)
- UV Protection (Review)
- Cold Injuries
- Prevention and Preparedness
- Dressed To Survive Cold and Wind
- Frost Accumulation
- Drying Your Clothing
- Sourcing, Collecting and Preparing Winter Kindling
- Sourcing, Collecting and Preparing Winter Fuel
- Ignition (Various Techniques)
- Fire Lays and Maintaining A Fire
- Protecting and Reflecting
- Winter Shelter and Fire Layouts
- Fuel-Shelter-Sleeping Bag Relationship
- Winter Bedding
- Commercial Winter Sleeping Bags and Wool Blankets
- Commercial Foam and Insulated Sleeping Mats
- Commercial Camp Beds and Hammocks
- Commercial Bivi Bags
- Beds Made From Available Natural Materials
- Bedding From Natural Materials (Hides, Cattails, Down)
- Heating Your Bedding
- Commercial Winter Tents (Mountaineering Tents, Scott’s Tent, Canvas Tents)
- Hybrid Shelters (Natural Materials and Synthetic Materials)
- Shelters Made Entirely From Natural Materials
- Sourcing, Collecting and Transporting Water
- Ropes and Bindings
- Making Natural Fibre Cordage (Winter Sources)
- 5 Knots and their uses
- Candle Lanterns
- Fuel Lanterns (Enclosed Shelter)
- Maintaining A Battery in Cold Temperatures
- Winter Signals- Communicating Your Distress
- Craft Options:
- Building a Suede Saw
- Making a Water Transport Vessel
- Making A Candle Lantern
- Wildlife in Focus:
- Upland Game Birds
- Winter Night’s Sky Study
- Northern Lights Study
- Excursion Options:
- Animal Tracking and Observation
- Winter Plant Identification Walk:
- Viburnum trilobum (Highbush Cranberry)
- Viburnum edule (Squashberry or Mooseberry)
- Cornus canadensis (Bunchberry)
- Corylus cornuta (Hazelnut)
- Harvesting Project
- Cambium Emergency Food
- Tree Syrup
Prerequisite: Wild Survival
- You must be over 18 years of age to attend this course unaccompanied.
- Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Each place booked is for one person only, so each course attendee must have their own booking.
- This course is not suitable for young people under the age of twelve.
Storing, preparing and cooking food is an integral part of the Survival 72 course content. Therefore, food is included as part of this course fee.
At the beginning of the course, the Quartermaster will issue each participant a food hamper. You will be asked to store the food at your campsite in accordance with the Timeless Journey® Base Camp Food Storage Guidelines. You will be preparing and cooking for your own consumption, under the supervision and guidance of the course leader.
You are welcome to make, or buy, your own gear. Although we would like to encourage you to be as self-reliant as possible, all gear used by students in the course must meet the safety standards of the Quartermaster. In some cases, it may be wise to contact the Quartermaster if you have any questions or doubts about gear crafting projects you would like to undertake in preparation or if you would like to make substitutions to the items listed on the Standard Clothing and Equipment Checklist (Overnight).
Course Schedules and Specifications:
The Winter Survival course is offered several times a year, in different conditions, seasons and locations in Canada. Check the list below and read the specifications carefully to make sure that you are signing up for the right course.
WNSU 11/22/19 • Winter Survival (3 Days, 2 Nights) •West Kootenay Campus • $400.00
Course Dates: Friday, November 22, 2019, to Sunday, November 24, 2019
- Start Time: 4:30 pm on Friday, November 22, 2019
- End Time: 3:00 pm on Sunday, November 24, 2019
Registration Deadline: Friday, November 8, 2019, at 6:00 pm
Location: Timeless Journey® West Kootenay Campus near Winlaw, BC, Canada
- Survival Instructor: Andrew Crawford- White
- Assistant Survival Instructor: TBA
Course Size: maximum of 10 participants, 9 places remaining as of 11/22/2019 7:12 pm