This summer myself and Nick headed out to experience a survival weekend. This is something we have wanted to give a go for a long time and to have the chance, (especially with beautiful weather!) to learn how to live outdoors is exciting.
There are many survival experiences across the UK with various different companies, but we headed to Survival School, after getting many good reviews on the course.
Not too many photos taken on this course as there just isn’t enough time with all of the learning!
More about Survival school
Survival School is the 21 year old, internationally renowned, accredited and approved centre dedicated to teaching Bushcraft, Survival and Wilderness Living Skills. Established 1997.
Weekend Bushcraft course
So we don’t want to give too much away on what you do learn on your long weekend but below is a breakdown of the various lessons
Arrival, talk, set up tarps and eat
Sleeping outside was the best part of this. Just under a piece of tarp. It was so quiet in the forest. Nice and cool.
This is the most intense day and we learnt an incredible amount, including the following:
Making bread for breakfast. An easy to do bread with just flour and water.
Shelter building – this easily took a few hours and it got pretty hot. We learnt about the various natural frames you could build, with insulation being created by twigs and leaf litter. This night we stayed in the shelter we had built. It was nice, a bit more exposed but it felt freer compared to the tarp shelter.
Making fires – again great fun. We learnt about various different ways to make fires, ending with using the bow tool. I actually failed at this and it took 2 of us to create a spark to create fire. Much more practice needed.
Natural cordage – here we learnt about which plants you can use to make natural cord from and how to take it from plant to fibres to the final cord. This was very fiddly work and it took a lot of concentration and a steady hand.
Knife skills – learning more and bolstering our knife skills. We were taught a number of different knife grips and safety, followed by how to make a number of helpful tools. For example; tent pegs, a mallet and pot stands etc
Animal trapping. Now while it is essentially completely illegal to trap animals here in the UK, in a survival situation it is incredibly important to know how to feed yourself. We learnt a number of methods for trapping anything from small birds to small and large game, with the knowledge firmly embedded that all the methods shown were illegal in the UK.
Water collection and preparation. One of the most important parts of the course. Taking us through a few different methods of water collection, safety and locations you could collect water in. We then covered a wide variety of safe ways to prepare water that has been collected.
Game and fish preparation. Learning how to prepare various game animals and fish ready to cook (pigeon, rabbit, trout)
Sunday was a time to reflect back on the weekends learning
Knife law – really important to know UK knife law.
Natural Navigation – this was pretty fun! We learnt how to look at the trees and how to successfully create a natural way to navigate through the use of the sun.
Foraging – learning what you can eat, or use from various plants and trees
The whole weekend was refreshing and we both felt that we had learnt a lot in a short space of time. This is more of a taster weekend, so when you find out what you love, you can then go home, do some more research and then find other courses to enhance that certain skill. There were parts that we found more interesting than others but all together they are skills that you could use to survive.
Quick tip: The food is generally basic (it’s survival training after all) and fairly low in calories so make sure to take lots of extra snacks and electrolytes!