"Keeping women safe in the Australian bush"
"Keeping women safe in the Australian bush"
Our courses are conducted in an all-women environment (and are inclusive for for those who identify as women, trans, non-binary and gender-queer participants), and are based on Australian and International Search and Rescue analysis and practices, lost person behaviour and psychology and real-life, hands-on practical survival skills and tools.
To keep the experience as practical as possible, we keep group sizes small, and only have a limited number of places available. Course spots fill quickly.
We run courses in and around Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, and occasionally Southern and Central NSW.
We've all seen those survivor-type reality TV shows, including where Bear Grylls drinks his own urine (there are much better and safer things to do with your urine by the way - join a course and we'll teach you!). If you're a fan of the History Channel's fabulous "Alone" series, you'll see the real art of survival, in absolute hostile landscapes like the Arctic.
But survival can be grouped into six type of activities, each with very different skills and requirements:
1. Preparedness actions
4. Wilderness Living skills, and
5. Bushcraft skills
6. Military skills
Prepping falls into this category. As do sensible bushwalkers and hikers who know the critical pre-trip actions to take, and the critical items to always take with them. On Every Walk. The Scout's motto of 'be prepared' comes under this category. Trivial events begin to shape an incident, long before the incident happens. After all, the best survival situation, is the one that never happens in the first place.
These are the critical skills you'll need once you are in a survival situation - whether you're lost, injured, have misplaced your gear, or have been in an aircraft, boating or vehicle accident. Or perhaps there's been a cyclone or an earthquake. There are numerous reasons why you might find yourself in this situation, but here you are. How do you prioritise and what is it you need to do to stay alive? These skills include sourcing water, fire and shelter. But these are not just physical skills - the psychology of survival is even more important than the actual physical skills.
Staying alive and then maximising your rescue opportunities, are two very different sets of actions. Knowing what items to use, how to go about using them, understanding when and how rescuers might be deployed, how characteristics such as your gender, age, intentions and 39 other individual characteristics will influence how search parties look for you, are critical in maximising your rescue chances. Also understanding how to re-orient and therefore self-rescue if you're lost, is an equally crucial skill.
4. Wilderness Living skills
These are the living skills of indigenous peoples who subsisted on their lands for centuries. Skills such as foraging, traditional herbal and plant medicines, fire-making from hand drills, basket weaving, knapping to make primitive tools and weapons (spears, knives and stone blades), pottery, tanning hides, hand fishing and trap making. These skills take much practice, and require specialist knowledge of the environment, flora and fauna in every location. Skills like hand-drill fire making aren't much use however, if the right timber to construct the hand-drill isn't available in your geographic location.
These are wilderness living skills that have been refined over time, using tools and greater wilderness knowledge. They also include comfort items rather than critical living items, and can include knife handling, knot-tying, woodwork, fire-craft, tracking and snaring, advanced shelter construction and cordage and weaving skills.
Military-centric survival covers skills such as Evasion, Resistance and Escape, and are known by the military acronym of SERE. Whilst it includes basic wilderness survival and rescue, military focus is on resistance to interrogation, communication and military codes of conduct. Some SERE skills (such as concealed fire making) are in opposition to maximising your rescue as a civilian. Others are not just for the military - evasion techniques have also been used successfully by civilians in kidnap and hijack scenarios, escaping high-risk travel locations, or escaping dangerous personal situations.
Survival skills are also geography and environment dependent - urban, rural, survival at sea, wilderness survival in tropical/polar/temperate and arid climates can all differ. Whilst some skills are generic, each of these environments also has a unique set of risks and challenges and responses, which may not be suitable in other environments.
We teach preparedness, survival and rescue skills for the wilderness and hope that in starting your survival skills journey, you'll develop the same love, appreciation and respect for nature as we have.