Byron Kerns Survival School
Recently the wife and I attended the Byron Kerns Survival School "Bare Bones" course somewhere deep in the woods near Ocala, Florida. It lasted for 3 days and 2 nights. It was awesome! Stressful at times, relaxing others, informational and inspirational always. Byron is a really groovy dude and former SERE Instructor (epic) with a laid-back but attentive demeanor. He was instantly our buddy and guru, not to be taken lightly but not in our face about it. He immediately knew all of our names and treated us as peers and professionals.
Without giving too much away (wouldn't want to ruin any surprises) Byron started us off in a rush once we reached the woods - immediately putting stressors in place to make sure we weren't too comfortable. That's a good thing, because you need to learn how you may react in stressful situations and plan for them. After learning a few tricks and tying some knots we got to building our first shelter of the weekend. We decided a fallen tree would be a good choice, and all told it wasn't bad but for the mosquitoes doing flybys all night.
That night we worked on making some cooking tools and ate our meager dinner. We learned how to collect and treat water from a nearby creek. We went to bed early not knowing what the next day might hold.
Day 2 was a blast. We did so much its almost impossible to get it all down here, but in brief: fire starting, the 7-Skills of Survival, dressing a rabbit, smoking meat, making assorted tools and weapons, using a compass and topo map, wilderness first-aid, and shelter-building using plastic visqueen and paracord. That's what we stayed in the 2nd night, and we smartly decided to use the mosquito netting this time and kept those wee-bastards out of our hair that night. It did rain, but we were cozy and dry thanks to Byrons teachings.
Making tools in the woods
The third day we had some team contests, a test to see if we were paying attention (and win some great prizes) and then we broke down and made our way back out of the woods using our new orienteering skills.We were wiped at the end of it all, and stinky, but we felt great! Byron is an awesome guy and his class is top-notch. If you have any interest in this type of thing at all, you should definitely check it out!