If you cannot afford to obtain a backpack for this class, that’s ok. I don’t want anyone to have to go buy one. However, I want you to limit the amount of gear you bring to about what you could carry comfortably on your back (not counting the camp chair). You don’t have to worry about food or water, so equipment is all you need to pack. Cars will be parked about 1/4 mile away from where we are camping, and we’re going tokeep them out of the course (as something to hold supplies in) and focus on our wilderness camp only. If you don’t have a backpack, you can unload your gear at the camp first, then park your car.
You can show up any time after 4 pm the previous day before the course starts to set up your camping spot. The course will begin at 8 am and our gates will open at 7 am. Breakfast will be waiting for that first morning. Plan on being at the camp for the entire duration of the class once you have arrived. Cell phones are fine for emergencies of course, but try to limit usage only to emergencies.
* Food and Water – All provided. You can bring some snacks if you want, but all food and water will be provided for you. There will be breakfast served at 8 am on the starting day.
Here is the packing list for the 5-Day Intensives:
* Day-Pack: There are a couple of field exercises where you will need to take along a few things with you. Food, water (which again will be provided) and some other items. Bring a small daypack (or camelback with enough room to store a meal and some items in).
* Clothing: Seasonal appropriate clothing in layers, preferably earth-toned or camo – bring some rain gear (ponchos are great – I’ve got some extras if you need one) just in case. We will be doing some crawling and laying on the ground, so long sleeves and long pants is a great idea.
* Shoes & Socks: Whatever is comfortable and you feel safe in. Boots are fine of course. For walking quietly in the woods (which will maybe happen about 15% of the time in some exercises), flat-soled shoes (like wrestling shoes, vibram 5-finger, moccasins, etc) are great. However, if safety is an issue for you, then wear boots all the time or whatever works best for you. Sandals or any kind of open-toed shoe are definitely NOT a good idea. In the winter, make sure and have some non-cotton, warm socks. Wool socks are great.
* Knife – Preferably Fixed-Blade, 4″ – 6″ blade length. I often (but not always – email to ask if you need) have several, great-quality, brand-new, fixed-blade knives with sheaths, still in the box, from Cold Steel for sale. They range from $10.00 to $40.00 and are all decent knives for use in the woods and at this course.
* Camelback or canteen with some way to carry (shoulder strap, etc) your water
* Small field notebook & pen/pencil (in ziplock bag to keep it dry) – for field exercises
* A watch or some type of timepiece.
* Tent or Tarp(s) to camp in. Even if you’re sleeping in the open, bring something to store and your gear dry in and out of the way when you’re not using it. A tent is probably a better idea, just to give some privacy and allow for a better night’s sleep. The ground is not rocky, but it’s not soft, so bring a comfortable ground pad. On the subject of camping at these classes, it’s much more important you get a good night’s sleep – because there is so much to learn and practice during the day – than it is to practice hardship for these 2 weekends. There’s plenty of time to practice hardship later. :) For those who prefer hammocks, there are lots of trees and several good hammock locations.
* Mess Kit or something to eat your food with and on. If you don’t have one or forget it, we have a limited number of inexpensive mess kits you can buy. Mess kits cost $10.
* Canteen cup, or some other type of cup to hold hot coffee, cocoa, tea, etc., in
* Sleeping bag/poncho liner/blanket/bivy sack – Something, depending on the time of year, to keep you warm at night.
* Biodegradable Soap. We’ll have hand cleaner there as well.
* Toiletries as needed
* Insect repellent (usually only necessary April – Sept, depending on rains)
Optional – not necessary, but especially the first 2 items on this list are a great idea to bring if you have and would like to use:
- Hatchet, Machete and/or Survival Type Saw
- Camp Chair
- Small field binoculars
Guns, ammo, fireworks, alcohol and illegal drugs are NOT permitted. If you have a CHL, we’re not going to put a 30.0.6 notice up, but if you bring a gun, I don’t want to know about it, so please leave your gun IN THE CAR for this course. There is a very good reason for this based on incidents in past classes, which I will explain at the class. If you have any medical condition that I should be aware of (diabetes, epilepsy, severe allergies, etc) please let me know in advance (email is fine), or certainly let me know at the start of the weekend at least.
You will be parking your cars a little distance from the class and camping areas, and I do not want you going back and forth to your cars once the classes have started. So once you’ve set up your camp, then what you have in your personal camp and what we have in our common area(s) is all we are working with for the weekend (i.e. no car camping). Cell phones are fine for emergencies and at night, but leave them on silent during classes.