Four-Day SERE-CCRS class 2019 NWSS

One of the amazing parts of the Northwest Survival School is its ability to customize classes and suite the needs of the student (or students). 
Such was the four-day SERE-CRS class held on May 10-13th, where Survival Expert Travis Johnson trained a new student in shelter building, evasion, fire starting, and live fire (rifle) exercises.  

Four days of training is tiring, but the class starts slow and the first day is an opportunity to set up camp and learn about the land and nature around the class site.  Survival is more than just learning a few skills, it is about becoming situationally aware of the surroundings, what resources are available, and being able to recognize what is the primary threat that needs addressing.  Skills such as water filtration, shelter building, traps and fire starting techniques (both is how to start a fire, but also what material to use for the success of the fire once it gets going).  Even with four days, much of what is taught in the class will need repetition and practice to better hone skills into the future.  
By the second day, the skills and knowledge learned is applied in the field and techniques for evasion are taught in the field.  Where does one set up a shelter that will be unnoticed?  How do you move through the woods without leaving tracks?  It is a lot to learn and by the second day, everyone is tired from a long day that stretches into dusk.  In the evening hours, shots reign through the valley as training turns into combat readiness and skills.  Targets are hidden within an area, which combines movement and awareness of where targets might be.  At the end of the day, with exhaustion setting in, we returned to a roaring fire and watched the stars come out at night.  
The third day is an opportunity to place all the newly learned skills to a test (and there is a lot to remember) as it is a day in the field, building a shelter and surviving for 24 hours in the wilderness.  Checks are made throughout the day for evasion techniques.  It is very much like a grown-up game of hide and seek in the woods.  As night falls, a shelter is made and the student experiences the night in the woods.  This often is a time where a student might have their first night ever alone in the woods, but the instructors are always nearby to make sure everything remains safe.  
By the last day, with a head full of knowledge and, which is often a nearly sleepless night, the camp is struck and the last of the lessons are learned.  In this class, spear construction, knapping, and large-scale traps were constructed.  Although it seems like an easy aspect to carve out a tip on a stick and call it a spear, but there is a lot more to it, such as hardening the wood through heat as well as straightening the spear.  Such applications can be applied to arrows as well.  As the class comes to a conclusion, it is hard to believe that it already has been four days.  As we find ourselves getting ready to transition back to civilization, it is easy to reflect on the days spent together, the bonds that were created and the new sense of confidence that embodies of newest graduate.

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