Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Outdoor Survival

"You know, I once read an interesting book which said that most people lost in the wilds die of shame. Yeah, they die of shame. 'What did I do wrong? How could I have gotten myself into this?' And so they sit there and they die. Because they didn't do the one thing that would save their lives—thinking."
—adapted from dialog from The Edge by David Mamet

So this class is about survival, which perhaps is about more than a set of learned skills. Undeniably, one’s chances of survival can be improved by a passing knowledge of some skills and a modicum of preparedness. Students in this class will practice building shelters, making fire, plant identification, and first aid. They will be taught the importance of material preparedness. But, without mental preparedness one is unlikely to apply the knowledge that one holds. Which implies a harder but arguably more important goal for the class—to slow these kids down long enough and to keep them quiet enough to see the world through calm eyes and open ears—to take in their surroundings, to begin to understand how the world functions and to find their places in it. In this way, the psychology of survival can apply as much to common daily life choices as it does to the much rarer event of needing to making it out of the wilderness alive in a critical situation. Oh, and the class is fun....

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BBC World News

  • Video of Ottawa attack released
  • Authorities in Canada release video showing the moments before a lone gunman stormed into Canada's parliament and was shot dead.
  • EU leaders agree CO2 emissions cut
  • European Union leaders reach a landmark deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, overcoming deep divisions between members states.
  • First Ebola case in Mali confirmed
  • Mali says a two-year-old girl - believed to have recently visited Guinea - becomes the country's first person to be infected by the deadly virus.
  • Bangladesh Islamist leader Azam dies
  • Bangladeshi former Islamist leader Ghulam Azam dies a year after being found guilty of war crimes.
  • Boko Haram 'abducts more women'
  • Dozens of women and girls have been abducted from two villages in north-eastern Nigeria by suspected militants despite a reported truce, residents say.
  • US-led Syria strikes 'kill hundreds'
  • US-led air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria have killed 553 people since September, including 464 IS fighters, activists say.