Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chilcotin Holidays

Kristin's Canadian Wilderness Survival Experience with her esl teachers!

I was very excited when I heard that I would have a chance to take part in a Bushcraft course with my esl teachers. On the afternoon of the 12th of November, the other seven interns and I met our guide Nick in the forest just behind the ranch. After a short introduction and briefing from our esl teachers about what we would need for the upcoming night we had a crash course on the basics of survival including fire lighting and how and where to set up a shelter.


Having acquired all of the necessary information we were left to our own devices, our task was to survive the night. After a quick return to the ranch to grab our sleeping bags and the necessary tools, we set out to find a well sheltered spot in the forest that would protect us from the elements. We then busily started to prepare our tarp shelters including raised wooden beds that would keep us off the cold ground. We only had one and a half hours of daylight to build the shelters, light the fires and collect enough firewood to keep the fire going for the entire night, luckily for us the dropping temperatures provided us with plenty of motivation to work speedily.
By the time Nick returned we had managed to set up two separate quality camps, Kevin and I happily taking on the task to start building the second one by ourselves, relishing the opportunity to put all of those newly learned survival skills to the test.With our camps set up and fires burning bright Kevin and I joined our friends at the other shelter for dinner, thankfully this did not consist of collected berries or trapped squirrels. After a few enjoyable hours around the fire Kevin and I returned to our camp where we settled in for the night. Being only the two of us meant that we got a lot less sleep as the fire needed to be "fed" at least every hour to ensure that we didn't freeze as the temperature dropped below -15 degrees. There's something magical about fires and even though I only got about four hours of sleep between three two hour long shifts. I never grew tired of watching the flames and quite enjoyed keeping it alive as being closer to the fire was always more comfortable and warmer than my sleeping bag.

The next day, after we all had safely made it through the night, with no one giving up to seek the comfort of a real roof over one's head, we learned how to make a signal fire. It was a struggle to get the task done in the allotted 15 min but with a great team effort and using all our newly learned skills, we succeeded to get the signal fire going and were therefore allowed to be "saved" and go back home to the Ranch.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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