Earthwork Wilderness Survival Training School | 413-340-1161
winter shelter Earthwork Programs

Winter Shelter Workshop (WS 1)

Saturday, February 25, 9 am-12 pm

Workshop 1 of WINTER OUTDOOR SKILLS ADVENTURE WEEKEND

Winter Shelter Building

The art of staying safe & warm in the cold

Building a winter shelter is both a needed survival skill and a great way to enjoy the outdoors this season.

In this family- and adult-oriented class, you will learn the basics of making three kinds of winter shelters:

  • The Quinzee
  • Tarp Craft
  • Thermal Mass Shelter

We will also concentrate on how to stay warm in the winter without shelter and techniques to prevent hypothermia, frostbite and other cold related injuries.Come away from this class with practical tools for staying safe and enjoying all of what winter has to offer!

For Adults, Teens & Famlies
$50/adult, $30/child with adult prepaid (add $10 if pay day of)

REGISTER FOR WINTER SHELTER

WINTER OUTDOOR SKILLS ADVENTURE WEEKEND–SCHEDULE

Saturday, 2/25 & Sunday, 2/26

Sat, 9-12: Winter Shelter
Sat, 1-4: WinterFire

* Maybe stay overnight in a tent or shelter you built…$5/person; rustic cabin…$8/person (very limited space)

Sun, 9-12: Ice Safety
Sun, 1-4: Winter Tracking

winter shelter building wilderness skills

Winter Outdoor Skills Adventure Weekend–4 Workshops

SPECIAL WEEKEND OF WORKSHOPS FOR SKIERS, SNOWMOBILERS, ICE FISHERMEN, SKATERS, HUNTERS, HIKERS, OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS & ANYONE WHO LOVES BEING OUTDOORS IN THE WINTER!

A Weekend of Wilderness Skills Workshops

Saturday, February 25 & Sunday, February 26

(These Weekends of Workshops fill quickly, so be sure to register ASAP.)

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR ALL 4 WORKSHOPS & SAVE 10%

(if you want to register for individual workshops, see link below)

Join us at Earthwork Programs to learn new bushcraft techniques and practice very old traditional wilderness skills of our ancestors.

For Families, Adults & Teens

All Workshops are in Conway, MA

Saturday
9:00-12:00 Winter Shelter WS 1
1:00-4:00 WinterFire WS 2

Sunday
9:00-12:00 Ice Safety WS 3
1:00-4:00 Winter Tracking WS 4

CLICK HERE TO SEE WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS & TO REGISTER FOR INDIVIDUAL WORKSHOPS

For specific questions, call 413-340-1161

MAKE A WEEKEND OF IT!

There may be an opportunity to stay overnight on the land on Saturday night if there is enough interest!
* Bring own tent & supplies OR make a shelter–$5/person

REGISTER FOR CAMPING
* Rustic cabin-$8/person (limited space)

REGISTER FOR CABIN

NEED TO REGISTER FOR CAMPING/CABIN BEFORE MID FEBRUARY

Earthwork Survival Skills with Zoar

This Program is an introduction to survival fires, shelter building and discovering wild edibles.

Learn skills that have been passed down for generations: starting fires without a match, building shelters that could save your life in an emergency situation, identifying and gathering wild edibles, and recognizing medicinal plants. Learn the skills to have peace of mind in the woods as well as be prepared for comfort in the outdoors without a tent.

Classes take place on the 90 acres on and around Zoar Outdoor in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains and Deerfield River Valley. No prior experience is required.

All full-day Programs will provide a delicious picnic-style lunch with salads, homemade breads for deli-style sandwiches, cookies and, perhaps, foraged edibles prepared over an open fire. A sheath with knife will also be provided for you.

Classes will be held rain or shine; please be prepared to be outdoors in the event of rain.

October 15, October 22, October 29
November 5, November 12, November 19

10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Minimum Age: 14, or 10 with an accompanying adult

$120/adult, $100/child; 50% deposit required

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER THROUGH ZOAR: http://www.zoaroutdoor.com/instruction/earthworks-survival-skills.htm

Earthwork Survival Skills with Zoar

This Program is an introduction to survival fires, shelter building and discovering wild edibles.

Learn skills that have been passed down for generations: starting fires without a match, building shelters that could save your life in an emergency situation, identifying and gathering wild edibles, and recognizing medicinal plants. Learn the skills to have peace of mind in the woods as well as be prepared for comfort in the outdoors without a tent.

Classes take place on the 90 acres on and around Zoar Outdoor in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains and Deerfield River Valley. No prior experience is required.

All full-day Programs will provide a delicious picnic-style lunch with salads, homemade breads for deli-style sandwiches, cookies and, perhaps, foraged edibles prepared over an open fire. A sheath with knife will also be provided for you.

Classes will be held rain or shine; please be prepared to be outdoors in the event of rain.

October 15, October 22, October 29
November 5, November 12, November 19

10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Minimum Age: 14, or 10 with an accompanying adult

$120/adult, $100/child; 50% deposit required

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER THROUGH ZOAR: http://www.zoaroutdoor.com/instruction/earthworks-survival-skills.htm

Earthwork Survival Skills with Zoar

This Program is an introduction to survival fires, shelter building and discovering wild edibles.

Learn skills that have been passed down for generations: starting fires without a match, building shelters that could save your life in an emergency situation, identifying and gathering wild edibles, and recognizing medicinal plants. Learn the skills to have peace of mind in the woods as well as be prepared for comfort in the outdoors without a tent.

Classes take place on the 90 acres on and around Zoar Outdoor in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains and Deerfield River Valley. No prior experience is required.

All full-day Programs will provide a delicious picnic-style lunch with salads, homemade breads for deli-style sandwiches, cookies and, perhaps, foraged edibles prepared over an open fire. A sheath with knife will also be provided for you.

Classes will be held rain or shine; please be prepared to be outdoors in the event of rain.

October 15, October 22, October 29
November 5, November 12, November 19

10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Minimum Age: 14, or 10 with an accompanying adult

$120/adult, $100/child; 50% deposit required

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER THROUGH ZOAR: http://www.zoaroutdoor.com/instruction/earthworks-survival-skills.htm

Earthwork Survival Skills w/Zoar

 

This Program is an introduction to survival fires, shelter building and discovering wild edibles.

Learn skills that have been passed down for generations: starting fires without a match, building shelters that could save your life in an emergency situation, identifying and gathering wild edibles, and recognizing medicinal plants. Learn the skills to have peace of mind in the woods as well as be prepared for comfort in the outdoors without a tent.

Classes take place on the 90 acres on and around Zoar Outdoor in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains and Deerfield River Valley. No prior experience is required.

All full-day Programs will provide a delicious picnic-style lunch with salads, homemade breads for deli-style sandwiches, cookies and, perhaps, foraged edibles prepared over an open fire. A sheath with knife will also be provided for you.

Classes will be held rain or shine; please be prepared to be outdoors in the event of rain.

October 15, October 22, October 29
November 5, November 12, November 19

10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Minimum Age: 14, or 10 with an accompanying adult

$120/adult, $100/child; 50% deposit required

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER THROUGH ZOAR: http://www.zoaroutdoor.com/instruction/earthworks-survival-skills.htm

Winter Shelter Workshop (WS 1)

Workshop 1 of WINTER OUTDOOR SKILLS ADVENTURE WEEKEND

Winter Shelter Building

The art of staying safe & warm in the cold

 

Building a winter shelter is both a needed survival skill and a great way to enjoy the outdoors this season.

In this family- and adult-oriented class, you will learn the basics of making three kinds of winter shelters:

  • The Quinzee
  • Tarp Craft
  • Thermal Mass Shelter

We will also concentrate on how to stay warm in the winter without shelter and techniques to prevent hypothermia, frostbite and other cold related injuries.Come away from this class with practical tools for staying safe and enjoying all of what winter has to offer!

For Adults, Teens & Famlies
$45/adult, $25/child with adult prepaid (add $10 if pay day of)

REGISTER ONLINE

WINTER OUTDOOR SKILLS ADVENTURE WEEKEND–2nd Annual–SCHEDULE

Saturday, 2/27 & Sunday, 2/28

Sat, 9-12: Winter Shelter
Sat, 1-4: WinterFire

* Maybe stay overnight in a tent or shelter you built…$5/person; rustic cabin…$8/person (very limited space)

Sun, 9-12: Ice Safety
Sun, 1-4: Winter Tracking

winter fire wilderness skills earthwork programs

Winter Outdoor Skills Adventure Weekend of Workshops (2nd Annual!)

$45/Workshop/Adult, $25/Workshop/Child with adult PREPAID

FOUR WILDERNESS SKILLS WORKSHOPS–2 on Saturday, 2 on Sunday!

* Learn about specific winter skills– discuss winter shelters (& maybe build quinzee), make a fire on layers of snow, do “warm” camping, learn ice safety, track winter animals

* Practice your wilderness living skills with various levels from beginner to experienced!

For Families, Adults & Teens
All in Conway, MA

WORKSHOPS
Winter Shelter (9-12 Sat), WinterFire (1-4 Sat)

* Maybe stay overnight in a tent or shelter you built…$5/person; rustic cabin…$8/person (very limited space)

Ice Safety (9-12 Sun), Winter Tracking (1-4 Sun)

$45/Workshop/Adult, $25/Workshop/Child with adult PREPAID
(add $10/Workshop/Person if pay day of)

REGISTER ONLINE

I’m Lost! Hike Turns to Wilderness Survival Experience (Part 2)

stop We last left off where I was lost and signaling for help and integrating my S.T.O.P plan of action. (S=Stop; T=Think; O=Observe; P=Plan)

sun compassSo after working on signaling with sound, I decide to make a sun compass. Time is important right now so I only take 3 minutes to put this together. I get a straight branch and place it in the ground and mark the tip of it where the shadow ends with another shorter stick. The next part of the sun compass is time. As the shadow moves every 15 minutes, I mark it again. This allows me to form an accurate read on the sun’s trajectory and gives me an east/west line while getting other things done.

Off in the distance I hear the call of a woodpecker; I have an intuitive hit that this is important somehow but not sure at the moment. Birds are excellent allies because they know their place and are specialists and depending on the type of bird will indicate habitat.

A New Paradigm in Being LOST
There’s a lot of “charge” in the word “lost”; so much focus on the psychological fear of being lost. Things arise in the mind, like “I’m not going to have enough water, warmth or food.” This is a fear of the unknown. Let’s shift our paradigm about being “lost”.

Indigenous people all over the world lived (and live) so close to the earth that they did not call what they did on a daily basis survival. They did not consider where they lived “wilderness”; something separate from their lives. Historical research in ethnobotany as well as speaking to the native peoples directly, has taught us that it wasn’t about being lost, it was about “being”; it was not about surviving, it’s about “living.”

We can learn from this recognition of a close relationship to the land. In this paradigm, you are part of the forest. If you are at home in the woods, you are never truly lost. Knowing your place, the plants and wildlife as part of your community is what will nurture a healthy at-home mindset where ever you are.

Thinking of the forest as “home” starts by knowing your plants and their uses. What parts of them are edible, medicinal, and in what season? What edible plants have poisonous look-alikes and what are clues to proper identification? What trees are good for firewood, for tinder? As you get to know your plant neighbors, they become your allies in better understanding the habitat you are in.

Building a Shelter and Knowing Ecology
Pine TreeAs I scan the land and see what it has to teach me, I notice an area where there are a lot of small pines, and interspersed are large pines, 80 to 100 feet high. Why is this important? Because pines decompose slower, and they accumulate a huge layer of the debris that forms a thick mat. This is exactly what I’m looking for to create that insulative layer in the form of a sleeping bag. Clustered together they create a natural shelter from wind and rain while allowing sun exposure because the branches die off near the bottom. All of these decisions play a role in location; that’s why it is requires skill to be able to read the land.

I will not camp directly under the great pines where the bark is peeling and are probably infested with ants. That was what “that little bird told me.” The woodpecker’s activity tells me the tree is rotten inside and could become a potential blowdown hazard. I don’t want a tree falling on me. Also, lightning can strike the same place more than once so I am scanning for lightning scars.

Location! Location! Location!
Earlier, my sun compass lets me know how much light I have left to work with and this is crucial since I need to set my priorities. I choose my site and start building. It is very important to be able to read the land topography. A great shelter in a poor location equals a bad shelter; as the saying goes “Location. Location. Location.”

There are clues on the land to know where water pools even though the site looks inviting. By learning what plants grow in moist or wet soil, you learn that even when there is no water present, the plants tell you of a tendency towards moist soil conditions, hence, do not build your shelter in that spot. For example, when you see moss on the ground you know the soil will be damp. So I need to continue searching for a drier area.

leave shelterleave shelter young girlNatural-Shelter-fix 

Building My Shelter

I start with two leg-sized diameter logs, a little longer than my height laying down. Make them parallel like train tracks, which creates a container for all the small sticks I quickly throw into the middle, making a raised bed. This is vital for staying warm because you need to create a layer of dead air space between you and the ground as insulation. The reason is that the Earth is bigger than you are and the heat from your body will transfer to the Earth; this is called conduction. This is how you get cold from laying on the ground even if you are out of the wind. My bed is made out of a jumble of sticks and a thick layer of needles and leaves. This is really “comfy”; I’m not kidding!

Telling Time by the Sun
Marking the shadow on the sun compass again, I measure with my hand how much light I have left. With this method, each finger width represents 15 minutes; a full hand is an hour. I follow the path of the sun with my hand, and I realize I have 3 hours of light.

Since I used the S.T.O.P rule and stopped early enough in the day, I have plenty of time and light to take care of all of my basic needs, and even wander from my anchor point.

The Importance in Developing Skills and Training
I have slept out before when practicing making shelters and sleeping in them throughout the year to hone my skills. I have slept in home-made shelters under clear skies, rain, snow and freezing temperatures. My record lowest temperature is 15° below freezing in February with no fire while wearing jeans, fleece top, rain coat and hiking boots. This was to simulate for me a lost-hiker scenario. After teaching many classes on wilderness living skills and survival, I have the confidence and skills and freedom to be at home in the woods and not afraid of being lost. My hands-on knowledge enables me to share my personal experience so others can have confidence when they are learning and gain that sense of freedom.

Home Away from Home
Frank-FireIt is an amazing sensation being deep in the forest surrounded by the night with a glowing campfire for warmth and companionship. Everything is done! I have created my home away from home – a bed and shelter that keeps me warm enough even without a fire; my plastic bag to catch rain, dew, and drinking water; my sun compass for navigation, a safe fire location and firewood comprised of tree species that throw lots of heat, light and will burn long and steady over time.

Enjoying the experience of the setting sun, the sound of the owls in the trees, and crackle of a bright, warm fire, there is a real peace that washes over me. This is a gift to experience and learn from. I am camping; thriving, not just surviving.

It took me getting lost to truly find the gift of the present moment.

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