Tag Archives: training

Daniel Boone Challenge

 

So in an earlier blog I discussed the Crocket Challenge. I go on a yearly solo training where I push myself for a few days. This year I will do two weeks alone running up to seven scenarios. I will start with no-gear and low gear content and then move to additional phases. Scenario #2 will be the Crocket. Following a recovery day, I will go into the Boone phase while on my survival solo in Utah and Arizona.

I created this scenario in 1990-94 while teaching survival to Air Force buddies in West Texas who had some field time under their belts but had not ben pushed too hard. The Daniel Boone challenge is designed to test the total skills package. In this 3-day semi-supported scenario designed to challenge your skills, the participant stays a minimum of 60 hours. Building on the psychology of staying overnight with minimal supplies of the Crockett, in this activity I designed it to push the surviveor’s own limits and increase confidence and capability to survive in a scenario.

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The last time I did one of these I was pretty wiped out. I had zero luck on procuring food, it was cold and rainy most of the time, and I developed a bad cough. On the morning of day three, Trigger’s rations were looking pretty good.

Once in the opperational area, I will establish a new Comfort Zone (see my Zone Survival Concept) and live for three days and two nights. Part of the scenario is to set up two non-baited deadfall traps to show capability. Food procurement is simulated in the consuption kit. I usually pack a small handful of jerkey to represent the meat you would get from a ground squirrel. Its not allot—trust me. About 1 ounce.

Time: This exercise is designed for a period of 60-72 hours and equipment is limited to:

Cover: 2 wool blankets or one bedroll, waterproof tarp or space blanket. Clothing as required for environment. (no down jackets)

Cutting: Knife and saw

Combustion: Flint/Steel or Friction Fire. (Emergency fire kit zip-tied and in bottom of pack)

Container: Water bottle and metal boiling container.

Care Kit: Include small first-aid kit, water purification

Cordage: No more than 100’

All items must fit into in a small container no larger than 2500 cubic inches (small pack) or rolled into bed roll. My Frost River Summit Boulder Jct comes in at 2300 and change.

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Consumption: Food for three days- but must fit inside the pack or bed roll. (Not allot for three days). Survival fishing kit may be carried (have a license too). If you have a license and within legal parameters, you may supplement with wild game.

If water is not safe or readily available at usual site then an extra five gallons are permitted to be cached- but must treat it as if it were dirty and use purification methods. (1 gallon may be carried by hand and water will be cached for my pup only).

At least one tool must be made during this challenge as well as a para-bracelet. I like collecting the tools I have made on my trips and the para-cord bracelets hold a sentimental value for me.

Safety Items/ Bail-out Bag – you need to have one in case stuff does go wrong. This can be cached on the way in to the sit spot/ Comfort Zone. Mark it so you can find it in emergency.

Journal

If you decide to do one of these–you are responsible for your own safety.

 

Davy Crockett Challenge

At the end of this week I head to Utah and Arizona to do some solo survival work. I will be pushing my self in no-gear and low-gear scenarios. These scenarios include going out with nothing at all to surviving on a store bought pocket survival kit, and then wrapping up with a low gear scenario Ilke the Crocket and Boone challenges here. I have done both Crocket and Boone scenarios before numerous times since I first created them in 1990, but this is the first time I have done them in the dead of winter in a desert environment. I guess since I am doing this in the desert, I probably need to remame them. Open to suggestions on the Adventure IQ facebook page.

The Davy Crockett challenge is designed to provide an overnight experience in the woods using only minimal items. This is an easy introduction to a semi-supported scenario designed to help train on how to deal with the psychology of staying overnight with minimal supplies if you have never done so. This is a solid step in building confidence.

In this scenario the participant will establish a new Comfort Zone area and live for a day to day and a half.

Time: This exercise is designed for a period of 24-36 hours. Equipment is limited to:

Cover: 2 wool blankets or one bedroll, waterproof tarp or space blanket.

Cutting: Knife.

Combustion: Any method other than matches or lighter. Wet fire methodology recommended. Flint/Churt and Steel and Bow Drill to practice with.

Container: Metal water bottle.

Care Kit: Include small first-aid kit, water purification

Cordage: No more than 50’

All items in a small container like a satchel or rolled into bed roll.

If water is not safe to access or readily available at usual site then an extra one to two gallons are permitted to be cached- but must treat it as if it were dirty and use purification methods. I will only be taking what is in the bottle.

Safety Items/ Bail-out Bag – this is designed so the participant (me in this case) does’t die and if its someone else- they don’t sue me over not having the common sense to take a bail out bag.

Camera to take photos

Journal

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If you do this—you are responsible for your own safety in this

activity. Your well-being comes first.

This will be scenario #3 that I run, The first two will be a no-gear and the second will be a knife only and no other gear. I figure having two wool blankets with a few items will be a welcome change. I will eat between each phase, but notice that food is not included in this phase. I will (hopefully) procure off the land.

Survival Training for Building Resiliance

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We often focus on the Rule of 3’s as more of a guideline on how long you can endure withoutwater, food, contact, etc. However the often overlooked first rule is that without faith and hope you do not have a chance to survive.

Your job in a survival situation is to stay alive. As you can see, you are going to experience an assortment of thoughts and emotions. These can work for you, or they can work to your downfall. Fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, guilt, depression, and loneliness are all possible reactions to the many stresses common to survival. These reactions, when controlled in a healthy way, help to increase a survivor’s likelihood of surviving. They prompt the survivor to pay more attention in training, to fight back fear when scared, to take actions that ensure sustenance and security, to keep faith with his fellow survivors, and to strive against large odds.

When you cannot control these reactions in a healthy way, they bring you to a standstill. Instead of rallying your internal resources, you begin to focus on your internal fears. You mess with your own mind. The survivor who loses faith and hope immediately experiences psychological defeat long before you physically succumb. Survival is natural to everyone but getting unexpectedly thrust into the life and death struggle of survival is not. Don’t be afraid of your “natural reactions to this unnatural situation.” Prepare yourself to rule over these reactions so they serve your ultimate interest–staying alive.

Survival looks like an adventure on the television and for some it seems like a natural part of life. In reality it involves preparation to ensure that your reactions in a survival setting are productive, not destructive. Below are a few highlights to help prepare yourself psychologically for survival.

Know Thyself

Be honest, most of us think that because we are outdoors allot, went to a few Boy Scout camps, or are avid hikers/hunters, we “live in the woods”. While this is true for some, its not true for most.

We emphasize getting out and training in all conditions, not only to prep you for an unforseen survival event, but as a confidence builder for any situation. Cancer, job loss, death of a loved one all require resiliance.

Using our methodology of “Zone Survival” you are able to have a starting point as well as a point to retreat to when training outdoors. Through the training you do in your Comfort Zone, discover who you are on the inside. Strengthen your stronger qualities and develop the areas that you know are necessary to survive. To know more about Zone Survival, sign up for one of our classes at http://www.AdventureIQ.com

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Anticipate Fears

You will get scared. Some people have never spent the night in the woods, gone a few days without food, or traveled cross-country using only a map and compass.You will be afraid the first time you are alone in an unknown situation whether it is training or for real. Don’t pretend that you will have no fears. Begin thinking about what would frighten you the most if forced to survive alone. Train in those areas of concern to you. If you are worried that you wouldn’t be able to start a fire in rain, go out to Ft Backyard and turn on the sprinkler and figure out how you will get a fire going while water falls on you. Worried about dressing out game, get with someone who can teach you how to prepare wild game for eating. The goal is not to eliminate the fear, but to build confidence in your ability to function despite your fears.

Be Realistic

Survival situations suck at best. Don’t be afraid to make an honest appraisal of situations. See circumstances as they are, not as you want them to be. Keep your hopes and expectations within the estimate of the situation. When I was without water in the Chiuauan Desert and days from water, I sized up the situation, realized I could die, and devised a plan to get back, even if it was to only get back closer to rescue. When you go into a survival setting with unrealistic expectations, you may be laying the groundwork for bitter disappointment. Follow the adage, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” It is much easier to adjust to pleasant surprises about one’s unexpected good fortunes than to be upset by one’s unexpected harsh circumstances.

Adopt a Positive Attitude

During my own situation, I made up my mind that I was going to live. You can survive three days without water, but only three seconds without faith and hope. Adopt a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). Rescue should be a sweet interruption to your survival. In other words, get so good at it that when rescue occurs it is a welcome surprise. Learn to see the potential good in everything. Looking for the good not only boosts morale, it also is excellent for exercising your imagination and creativity.

Remind Yourself What Is at Stake

Its when we realize that we are going to possibly die that we need to remind that if we don’t make it back we are going to be missed. Remember, failure to prepare yourself psychologically to cope with survival leads to reactions such as depression, carelessness, inattention, loss of confidence, poor decision-making, and giving up before the body gives in. At stake is your life and the lives of others who are depending on you to do your share.

Train

I spend hours perfecting small parts of my craft. Building bow drill fires, hunting game with a slingshot, making natural shelters, and attending classes like wild edibles are just a sample of how I keep my brain and my “can-do” spirit in shape.

Through survival training and life experiences, begin today to prepare yourself to cope with the rigors of survival. Demonstrating your skills in training will give you the confidence to call upon them should the need arise. Remember, the more realistic the training, the less overwhelming an actual survival setting will be. Training in realistic conditions when its wet, cold, you’re hungry, your injured, or a combination of any of these will prepare you when everything goes south.

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Learn Stress Management Techniques

In every real situation we have to quickly understand what we can control and what we can influence, all the other stuff we have to let it go. If you don’t learn to take it down a notch you’re likely to get into more trouble. People under stress have a potential to panic if they are not well-trained and not prepared psychologically to face whatever the circumstances may be. Many lost people run when they realize they don’t know where they are. Its an survival response inorder to get large muscles moving and create a rythmic state that calms.

While we often cannot control the survival circumstances in which we find ourselves, it is within our ability to control our response to those circumstances. Learning stress management techniques can enhance significantly your capability to remain calm and focused as you work to keep yourself and others alive. A few good techniques to develop include relaxation skills, time management skills, assertiveness skills, and cognitive restructuring skills (the ability to control how you view a situation).

Remember, “the will to survive” can also be considered to be “the refusal to give up.”

Tough Love-Babes in the Woods

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Lighting a fire in wet conditions, and not rescuing from the failures is tough…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This goes along with our podcast- you can find it at http://www.Adventure IQ.com)

I have never been a fan of the notion everybody wins. When coaching youth roller hockey in San Antonio, I had one of the few, and eventually the only program that still kept score in the YMCA portfolio of sports programs.

I believe that you need to give kids a realistic view of their performance, but done so in a way that you leverage their strengths in whatever evaluation you are doing. I don’t believe in sugar coating the feedback, or playing with soft gloves. I also don’t believe in being harsh on them either.

In all my workshops, coaching endeavors, or training I do with kids, military leaders, new adults to the woods, etc is the same… I define the conditions and expectations, allow them to perform, allow them to self evaluate, and then provide guidance and feedback.

The other aspect is tough. I don’t rescue. I allow failure as long as safety is not compromised. Nothing is learned if I am constantly helping a participant to a point I am completing the task them.

Let’s discuss two situations where I have to guide a participant differently.

The first is a fire building scenario. The participant has a good grasp of the concept, understands how to use flint and steel, knows the type of tinder and has been highly successful in starting fires in the past. But this has all been in controlled conditions when it has been fair weather and dry materials.

Survival fires though are most often needed when conditions are wet and clammy. To really test skills, I have to put the participant into real conditions so they not only have the ability to start fires and get warm when most needed, but to have the confidence to do so.

Most fail in getting the fire started in these conditions. Many times, I fail. It is a difficult test to complete. But the real learning is through the debrief with the participant and allowing them to do it again.

Watching a participant unnecessarily expending energy to grab materials, using the wrong materials, standing by and watching the fire not start can be irritating and the desire to jump in can be powerful. But I have to let them fail. This is because the participant has acquired a level of mastery in controlled conditions that can lead to over-confidence which is just as dangerous as not having the skills at all. Here you have to have the tough love and not jump in, allow them to identify their own mistakes, and then provide guidance.

In the other situation, a participant who is new to GPS navigation. In this scenario, the participant is just learning, and allowing them to fail outright as they work to program coordinates, follow the gps to a target, and try to find the best path to get to the target can be overwhelming. In this case I will work closely with the participant and provide constant coaching and working them to success. I still use the same debrief techniques of “what, so what, now what” that I have discussed in the blog and podcast in the past.

Building a solid toolbox of skills is an on-going exercise. As a team, constantly work on our skills to either keep them sharp or learn new techniques. It is also what helps us in communicating with each other and building our team and our families to a tighter cohesive group.

I am not a fan of the everybody wins philosophy. In the back-country people die. There is no second place with mother nature, just a body bag.

Original article: http://waukeefamilyymca.blogspot.com/2011/09/everybody-plays-everybody-wins.html

For more information about us, please checkout http://www.AdventureIQ.com for other blogs, podcast, and videos.

Expedition Leadership Simulations

Nerd Alert!
Disclaimer….this methodology may be out of scope of what you may have considered for leadership development in adventure based activities….in addition…. I am not a true gamer. I was such an outcast in high school that the science club one shoved me in a locker and I was even turned down for a date by a girl who played French Horn…

I digressed from the start…

The past few years I have been using a self-modified version of Dungeuns and Dragons to teach leadership, decision making, communication, and expedition planning. Without going into the technical aspect, I have seen tremendous success in all of these areas.

Most adventure participants have a fairly decent grasp on their technical disciplines. Its when we bring a team together in place them in diverse and situations we see how well they can work together and communicate to successfuly resolve the situation.

In the simulations I have participants build on a multude of skills they either pocess, or the skills of their character. Since we have introduced Emergenetics into our Expedition Leadership coaching and workshops, we are not only able to see how thenparticipants prefer to act (through their character) but also to act OPPOSITE of their profile through their character. This provides them with a safe enviroment to test the waters of a preference or skill they do not pocess. For example, someone who scores with preferences of structure and analysis will ease into the technical aspects of the game. Hit Points, Armor Class, Skill Test, etc are easy for them. Developing a back story for their character, nearly impossible for some.

For nearly five years now we have been using this as another approach to build leaders as well as bringing teams together. While I may not have all the discipline of a game master (the guy who guides the game, acts as a referee, and essentially works to facilitate the adventure), I’m doing well enough to get teaching points across and facilitate the development of the participants….helping them transfer knowledge and skills from catacombs to camps.

For more information on our workshops, please visit our facebook page

We would enjoy it if you would kindly give us a “like” over there….

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100th Landing

Its been tough getting in flying time this week. Strong winds kept me out of the skies on Sunday morning. Even when I rescheduled for the same evening, the wind still refused to cooperate with my desire to fly. Jeff and I were scheduled to fly on Monday evening, but he called to tell me he was stuck in Twin Falls, at the opposite end of the state, with another student. Apparently their aircraft broke down and were trying to find a way home. This got me to thinking about my own future road trips and that I need to be prepared to find a way home should something go wrong with my airplane. In the mean time, Jeff wanted me to go ahead and fly solo.

So I got to the airfield around 7 pm. Checking the squak sheet I saw that there was a write up indicating that the front wheel had a shimmy in it. Now I know from this aircraft it does have a shimmy – but goes away when you provide back pressure when taxiing. I gave the pilot who did the write up a call to get more information. I suggest this as a practice if it is practical. It gives you more insight to the issue and then you can make a determination.

After getting more information I decided to fly the airplane.

Checking the fuel I found five gallons in one tank and two in the other. This wasn’t quite enough for doing my flight, even though I was staying close to the field. I towed the plane to the pumps and put in filled it up to the tabs.

Getting to the run-up area I noticed that there was one of the local race teams practicing in the pattern. These are a lot of fun to watch- but I was pretty concerned about him doing laps in the same pattern I was going to practice in. He travels pretty fast and could literally do an entire lap around the pattern while I am just working my way out of the pattern. I also know they have very small fuel tanks and use up a large amount of fuel at the same time- so I figured he would not be there very long. I made my announcement and departed to the east.

If the world did not already have enough extreme to it- after going to the practice area to work on turns- as I came back into the pattern I had an small experimental aircraft working the pattern. Now these planes only travel about 40-60 kts so I would quickly overtake him if not careful. As I got to the downwind leg, it was apparent I was going to run up on him pretty quick so I turned out of the pattern and performed a standard rate turn.

The standard rate turn is a turn in which an airplane completes a 360 degree turn in 2 minutes. This is done by have a turn of 3 degrees per second. This allowed me to leave the pattern and re-enter it at my point of departing the pattern. This gave me approximately two minutes of distance between the light sport aircraft and myself. This was a technique Jeff taught me a few weeks ago.

Like so many things, Jeff’s teachings and advice is right on time. During our last flight he pointed out that I tend to fixate on the runway and forget to look around. Thankfully I had broken this habit. During my 2nd touch and go I called that I was departing and would be left closed traffic- meaning that I was staying in the pattern. Just after I turned crosswind I noticed another aircraft entering the pattern on the downwind –strait in- and not from a 45 degree angle. The other plane never called until after I saw him and had to stop my climb. He also called that he was at 4000 but in reality he was eye level with me at 3100. I wish the FAA would make the 45 degree entry mandatory and not just a recommendation for non-towered airfields. I have had too many of these close calls in my short career.

I did one more touch and go’s and then called it a day. I should point out that in this flight I did my 100th takeoff and landing!

I will meet Jeff tonight to go and visit the Boise Air Traffic Control tower- this should be interesting to see them work.

Total Flight Time: .6
Total Landings: 4
Total Career Landings: 103

Simulated Engine Failure

Mornings don’t get much better than today for flying. Nice calm winds, low temps, and just enough clouds on the horizon to block the morning glare while giving us a spectacular view.

We had only one other aircraft in the pattern today doing a few touch and go’s. It was great to be up and aloft before the other traffic was airborne. Between both Nampa and Caldwell airfields- we had the skies all to ourselves for about 20 minutes. It was fantastic!

I pre-flighted my aircraft and taxied down to pick up my instructor. I didn’t need to refuel so I had a few moments before we flew to walk through some of my checklist. I even did a run-up before he got there, giving me a little bit of practice in that procedure. I want to get where that procedure is more of a flow because I feel its kind of choppy. The run-up comes at a time just before I taxi to the active and I want to more comfortable with it so I can concentrate on everything the airplane is doing before I launch for the sky.

Today we were learning how to do go-arounds and landing with an engine failure. Once airborne we stayed in the pattern and did a few touch and go’s to get me warmed up.
To correctly perform the simulated engine loss, we stayed in the pattern and then when we were on the downwind leg and even with the 1000’ marks, my instructor had me cut the throttle all the way. Now on my first attempt, I failed miserably and would have brought us in two short. I had put the flaps in way too early. I wound up having to put in more power and slowly taking the flaps out so we could do a go around. This was my first go around and I performed it very well.

The next attempt was much better. This time I waited to put in flaps until I was right over the runway. I then put in full flaps and brought us in for a perfect landing.

This is a useful maneuver and when coupled with the emergency landing exercise we did a few weeks ago, I now a few more tools in my bag should I get into trouble.

The landings are coming together and I have had a recent rush of confidence. I was going to hold of on flying for a few weeks, but I think since I am so close to my solo I will keep my scheduled flights. I will be flying both Saturday and Sunday- giving me three days of flying in a row. Jeff has also said I would be taking my written test for solo tomorrow morning. I know we will have to go over any errors on it- so I don’t expect I will fly solo before my flight on Sunday.

Total flight time today: .8
Total Landings: 6
Total Hours: 16.4
Total Landings: 69